Thyroid disease affects millions of people around the world - including many who aren’t even aware they have it. Afterall, this butterfly-shaped gland in your neck may be small, but its job is mighty, and it can wreak havoc on the body when it isn’t functioning properly.
Two of the most common issues are hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid). We often hear these terms tossed around and most of us know at least one person who takes medication for a thyroid condition.
But what determines who gets it? What causes someone to have issues with their thyroid? Where does it come from? Is thyroid disease genetic?
In one of the largest studies of its kind thus far, researchers discovered 112 genes linked to thyroid conditions. These are genes that scientists were able to determine may impact TSH levels and increase a person’s risk of thyroid dysfunction.
Of course, the idea that genes can have an effect on thyroid hormones is not necessarily new. The difference is that prior to this study, there were only about 34 known genes that could do so that means 78 more were just discovered to have a link to TSH levels.
Does that mean thyroid disease is genetic?
Yes. Genetics definitely plays a big role when it comes to determining whether or not a patient may be susceptible to an ailing gland, but it is not the only risk factor.
A few other factors that could indicate that a patient has an elevated probability of thyroid disease include:
● Risk increases with age, especially over the age of 60
● Women are often at a much greater risk than men
● Diagnosed with certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Type 1 diabetes, anemia, etc.
● Currently take medication that ishigh in iodine, such as amiodarone
● Prior treatment for a thyroidcondition
Thyroid disease does not discriminate. Anyone- at any age - can find themselves facing issues with their thyroid. Protect yourself by having your thyroid health monitored to ensure it is functioning as it should be.
Research studies like this one that determine the risk of thyroid disease help healthcare professionals to better address the needs of their patients. For instance, knowing that a patient is carrying a certain gene or is a woman of a certain age can help to weed through potential issues to get to the root cause. In this case, thyroid disease.
The importance of assessing risk gives patients a chance to make lifestyle changes, if possible, to protect their thyroid and keep it functioning optimally.
If you are at risk for thyroid disease, seek the help of a healthcare professional willing to get to the bottom of your health issues so that you may find healing naturally.
Learn how to naturally approach your health and heal your thyroid with Dr. Randy Hansbrough and his team. Call the office at (772) 287-7701 to schedule an appointment. Or sign up for a free, 30-minute consultation.