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Do Thyroid Issues Run In Families

Can Thyroid Disease Run In Families

Do Autoimmune Diseases Run In The Family?

Q. I was just wondering if you knew of any hereditary component to thyroid problems. Both my sister and I were diagnosed with hypothyroidism in high school and my dad was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.

A. Yes, there is definitely a hereditary component to thyroid disease. Both the most common cause of hypothyroidism and the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the US have a tendency to run in families.

Hashimoto thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease characterized by gradual destruction of thyroid tissue, has a strong hereditary component. There is disease concordance in about 40% of monozygotic twins and even asymptomatic siblings of affected patients often have circulating anti-thyroid antibodies! Certain polymorphisms in a couple genes in particular are associated with the development of Hashimoto disease one is the cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 gene, and another is the protein tyrosine phosphatase-22 gene. The CTLA4 gene product keeps a lid on T-cell responses the PTPN22 gene product is a lymphoid tyrosine phosphatase that inhibits T-cell function. Other autoimmune diseases are also associated with polymorphisms in these genes.

Graves disease, an autoimmune disease characterized by over-stimulation of the thyroid gland, also has a strong hereditary component. Its concordance rate in monozygotic twins is 30-40%. It is associated with the HLA-DR-3 allele, as well as the CLDA4 and PTPN2 genes mentioned above.

Can Pregnancy Cause Me To Develop Thyroid Issues

You may develop an illness called postpartum thyroiditis after you give birth. During the next 12 months, you might experience weight loss, develop an increased sensitivity to heat, and suffer from other health issues. The symptoms of postpartum thyroiditis may resemble the health issues that are associated with hyperthyroidism.

Unfortunately, some healthcare providers may misdiagnose this problem. For example, your healthcare provider might believe that a postpartum mood disorder is causing you to experience these negative symptoms. If you receive a misdiagnosis and do not treat your postpartum thyroiditis, you might develop other health issues. If you are experiencing symptoms of this illness, you should visit our office in Louisville for thyroid testing.

Will The Baby Have Hypothyroidism

It is very unlikely that the baby will have hypothyroidism. Some people with hypothyroidism know of other family members with an over or under-active thyroid gland. A tendency to develop autoimmune diseases can run in families. This does not mean that everyone in the family is affected. Autoimmune thyroid diseases usually develop in middle-age, and are more common in women than in men. Rarely, babies are born without a functioning thyroid gland. This is screened for using the blood from the heel prick test, which all new born babies have early on. This is a different condition to autoimmune hypothyroidism, and not related to it in any way.

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Treatment For Hashimotos Disease

With treatment, the outlook for most people with Hashimotos disease is excellent. Treatment usually includes medication with the synthetic thyroid hormone . The doctor will recommend regular blood tests to monitor your thyroid hormone levels to ensure they are within the recommended range.You will need to take the medication for life. Medication does not cure the condition, but helps maintain normal thyroid hormone levels. The symptoms will return if thyroid medication is stopped. Surgery may be required if the enlarged gland causes pressure symptoms.

Early Signs Of Thyroid Problems

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If you are experiencing changes in your weight, vision problems, or increased sensitivity to shifts in temperature, you might have a thyroid problem. Instead of ignoring these early warning signs, you should schedule an appointment at the Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, KY. We can use a variety of techniques to address your thyroid problems and improve your health.

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What You Can Do To Improve Symptoms

Eating a proper diet, with a focus on calcium and sodium, is important, especially in preventing hyperthyroidism. Work with your doctor to create healthy guidelines for your diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise.

Hyperthyroidism can also cause your bones to become weak and thin, which can lead to osteoporosis. Taking vitamin D and calcium supplements during and after treatment can help strengthen your bones. Your doctor can tell you how much vitamin D and calcium to take each day. Learn more about the health benefits of vitamin D.

Hyperthyroidism Diagnosis And Treatment

A blood test measures levels of thyroid hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone in your blood. The pituitary gland releases TSH to stimulate the thyroid to produce its hormones. High thyroxine and low TSH levels indicate that your thyroid gland is overactive.

Your doctor might also give you radioactive iodine by mouth or as an injection, and then measure how much of it your thyroid gland takes up. Your thyroid takes in iodine to produce its hormones. Taking in a lot of radioactive iodine is a sign that your thyroid is overactive. The low level of radioactivity resolves quickly and isnt dangerous for most people.

Treatments for hyperthyroidism destroy the thyroid gland or block it from producing its hormones.

  • Antithyroid drugs such as methimazole prevent the thyroid from producing its hormones.
  • A large dose of radioactive iodine damages the thyroid gland. You take it as a pill by mouth. As your thyroid gland takes in iodine, it also pulls in the radioactive iodine, which damages the gland.
  • Surgery can be performed to remove your thyroid gland.

If you have radioactive iodine treatment or surgery that destroys your thyroid gland, you will develop hypothyroidism and need to take thyroid hormone daily.

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Can Hypothyroidism Be Prevented

Hypothyroidism cannot be prevented. The best way to prevent developing a serious form of the condition or having the symptoms impact your life in a serious way is to watch for signs of hypothyroidism. If you experience any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, the best thing to do is talk to your healthcare provider. Hypothyroidism is very manageable if you catch it early and begin treatment.

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In the United States, approximately 20 million people have thyroid disease, and women are five to eight times more likely to develop a problem than men. Up to 60% of people with a thyroid condition are unaware of their condition since the symptoms for thyroid disease are often mild, and problems are hard to detect without blood tests. That’s why it’s important to receive regular checkups with your healthcare provider and discuss any new symptoms you may be experiencing.

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What Should I Do If I Have Morning Sickness

If you have morning sickness, thyroxine can be taken last thing at night. If you are unable to take your thyroxine on one day, you should take twice the dose the following day. Thyroxine has a long duration of action, so the dose will average out over the week, but ideally you should take it daily, at the same time of day if possible. If your morning sickness is severe, you should see your doctor or midwife for assessment and advice.

Will Hypothyroidism Make Me Gain Weight

If your hypothyroidism is not treated, you could gain weight. Once you are treating the condition, the weight should start to lower. However, you will still need to watch your calories and exercise to lose weight. Talk to your healthcare provider about weight loss and ways to develop a diet that works for you.

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Treat Your Thyroid Issues

Experiencing unexplained changes in your weight, mood issues, and sensitivities to changing temperatures can be early warning signs that you have developed a thyroid problem. We can use medications and other methods to treat your thyroid issue and improve your health. If you would like to treat your thyroid problems, contact us at the Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, KY to schedule an initial consultation.

Whos At Risk For Hyperthyroidism

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According to the National Institute of Health , hyperthyroidism affects approximately 1.2% of the population in the US. Although it occurs in both men and women, its up to 10 times more likely in females.

Youre at higher risk for hyperthyroidism if you:

  • Have a family history of thyroid disease
  • Have pernicious anemia
  • Have primary adrenal insufficiency, also known as Addisons disease
  • Consume an iodine-rich diet or medications containing iodine
  • Are over the age of 60
  • Were pregnant within the past 6 months
  • Had thyroid surgery or a thyroid problem such as a goiter also known as a swollen thyroid gland

What are hyperthyroidism symptoms?

Though an overactive thyroid brings on a constellation of high thyroid symptoms , some of them dont seem obviously linked to the condition . Heres what to look for.

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See Your Provider If You Experience Symptoms Of Thyroid Disease

What if you dont know about your familys history withthyroid disease? These symptoms may indicate its time to seek medical care:

  • A nodule or goiter: You have difficultybreathing or swallowing because of an enlarged thyroid or abnormal growth ofcells that form a lump inside the thyroid.
  • Hypothyroidism: You move at a snailspace. You cant get your muscles to move. Youre always cold. You can no longerfocus or comprehend things as quickly as you used to. Hypothyroidism symptomstend to come on slowly, over time.
  • Hyperthyroidism: Youre revved up all thetime. You speak fast, move fast and go to the bathroomfrequently. People have a hard time keeping up with your conversation becauseyoure all over the map. As you might suspect, hyperthyroid symptoms tend to comeon suddenly.

Once youve addressed your symptoms with your provider, theywill likely perform a neck exam and a simple blood screening test. If allsystems appear to be operating well, your doctor may recommend monitoring overtime. If any of the results are concerning, your doctor may refer you to anendocrinologist or order an imaging test. And if you have a strong family history, genetictesting may help you make important healthcare decisions.

Thyroid Nodules Diagnosis And Treatment

Most nodules are detected during a normal physical exam. They can also be detected during an ultrasound, CT scan, or an MRI. Once a nodule is detected, other procedures a TSH test and a thyroid scan can check for hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. A fine needle aspiration biopsy is used to take a sample of cells from the nodule and determine whether the nodule is cancerous.

Benign thyroid nodules arent life-threatening and usually dont need treatment. Typically, nothing is done to remove the nodule if it doesnt change over time. Your doctor may do another biopsy and recommend radioactive iodine to shrink the nodules if it grows.

Cancerous nodules are pretty rare according to the National Cancer Institute , thyroid cancer affects less than 4 percent of the population. The treatment your doctor recommends will vary depending on the type of tumor. Removing the thyroid through surgery is usually the treatment of choice. Radiation therapy is sometimes used with or without surgery. Chemotherapy is often required if the cancer spreads to other parts of the body.

Children can also get thyroid conditions, including:

  • hypothyroidism
  • thyroid nodules
  • thyroid cancer

Sometimes children are born with a thyroid problem. In other cases, surgery, disease, or treatment for another condition causes it.

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What Kinds Of Thyroid Disorders Are There

The most common thyroid problems include hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is caused by an overproduction of thyroid hormones T-3 and T-4. When these hormones are overproduced, it can lead to an increase in your body’s metabolism, which can cause accelerated weight loss and heart rate irregularities.

Hypothyroidism is due to an underproduction of thyroid hormones. When T3 and T4 hormones are underproduced, it can lead to a decrease in your body’s metabolism, leading to weight gain and slowed heart rate. Both conditions can lead to serious health problems if not addressed.

Common causes of thyroid problems include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that leads to chronic inflammation in the thyroid, causing hypothyroidism. It is often a condition that runs in families. Typically, there is no cure, but when Hashimoto’s thyroiditis leads to hypothyroidism, it can be treated with medication .

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease that leads to overactivity in the thyroid, causing hyperthyroidism. However, treatment of this disease with medication can lead to remission in 30%-50% of patients.

Rarely, people develop thyroid cancer, which affects around 35,000 women a year. People can also develop thyroid nodules, which are small growths on the thyroid gland. These are typically harmless but should be monitored by your healthcare provider for signs that they are cancerous.

Genetics Of Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

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Autoimmune thyroid disease is one of the commonest endocrine and autoimmune diseases. Data from the Tayside area of the UK suggests the prevalence of hyperthyroidism in 2001 in adult females was 1.32% and in males 0.25%, whilst hypothyroidism was present in 5.46% and 0.95%, and furthermore, this was steadily increasing. Most of this is secondary to ATD, namely Graves disease and Hashimotos thyroiditis . ATD in the clinical setting has always been considered familial a quarter to a third of subjects with GD have a first degree relative with GD or HT, and twin studies suggest development of GD is mostly due to genetic factors. Therefore, much work has been undertaken to determine the genetic basis for this condition, including candidate gene studies and GWAS. Initial findings were disappointing, and whilst some susceptibility genes have now been discovered, they have not fulfilled the promise of such a clearly familial condition.

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Whats The Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism

In hypothyroidism, the thyroid doesnt make enough thyroid hormone.

The difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is quantity. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid makes very little thyroid hormone. On the flip side, someone with hyperthyroidism has a thyroid that makes too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism involves higher levels of thyroid hormones, which makes your metabolism speed up. If you have hypothyroidism, your metabolism slows down.

Many things are the opposite between these two conditions. If you have hypothyroidism, you may have a difficult time dealing with the cold. If you have hyperthyroidism, you may not handle the heat. They are opposite extremes of thyroid function. Ideally, you should be in the middle. Treatments for both of these conditions work to get your thyroid function as close to that middle ground as possible.

Can Hypothyroidism Cause Erectile Dysfunction

In some cases, there can be a connection between untreated hypothyroidism and erectile dysfunction. When your hypothyroidism is caused by an issue with the pituitary gland, you can also have low testosterone levels. Treating hypothyroidism can often help with erectile dysfunction if it was directly caused by the hormone imbalance.

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A Note From Paloma Health

If your family has a history of thyroid conditions, make sure to discuss with your doctor to assess your risk and determine the next steps.

Start by taking a thyroid blood test to understand your thyroid function. Many labs only look at thyroid-stimulating hormone . Still, it’s also helpful to measure free triiodothyronine , free thyroxine , and TPO antibodies. These four markers help you understand the big picture of what’s happening with your thyroid function and where specifically to make improvements.

Are There Any Foods I Can Eat To Help My Hypothyroidism

Thyroid Issues

Most foods in western diets contain iodine, so you do not have to worry about your diet. Iodine is a mineral that helps your thyroid produce hormones. One idea is that if you have low levels of thyroid hormone, eating foods rich in iodine could help increase your hormone levels. The most reliable way to increase your hormone levels is with a prescription medication from your healthcare provider. Do not try any new diets without talking to your provider first. Its important to always have a conversation before starting a new diet, especially if you have a medical condition like hypothyroidism.

Foods that are high in iodine include:

  • Eggs.
  • Edible seaweed.
  • Iodized salt.

Work with your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to craft a meal plan. Your food is your fuel. Making sure you are eating foods that will help your body, along with taking your medications as instructed by your healthcare provider, can keep you healthy over time. People with thyroid condition should not consume large amounts of iodine because the effect may be paradoxical .

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When Do Patients With Thyroid Parathyroid And Adrenal Diseases Need Genetic Testing

The vast majority of thyroid and parathyroid diseases do not have a genetic component. Every patient seen for thyroid and parathyroid disease is asked about their family history. When there is a clear pattern of disease across family members, or certain subtypes of thyroid or parathyroid disease, we will refer patients to our geneticists.

In contrast, approximately 1/3 of pheochromocytoma cases are now known to be genetic, which means that they have a hereditary or familial association. The most common associated genetic conditions are Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2 and von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome, followed by Neurofibromatosis type 1 and Familial Paraganglioma Syndrome . We recommend genetic counseling for all patients with pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma, as this can provide important information for the patients prognosis and earlier screening for family members.For more information on genetic counseling and testing at UCLA >

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