Sometimes referred to as: Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, low thyroid
Thyroid deficiency is the underproduction of thyroid hormone, typically caused by autoimmunity against the thyroid gland.
Cases Per Year (US)
Depending on the population, up to 10% of adults experience thyroid deficiency.
Thyroid deficiency is 5-8 times more common in women than in men.
Low, if properly treated.
What is thyroid deficiency and why does it matter?
Thyroid deficiency is the insufficient production of thyroid hormone, which can be transient or persistent. Most of the time, it is due to a problem within the thyroid gland. But less commonly, it can be the result of a problem with signaling molecules from the brain.
Untreated hypothyroidism can play a role in issues with metabolism, high blood pressure, cholesterol, infertility, mental functioning, and nerves and muscles.
What are the causes?
The most common cause in the United States is chronic autoimmune (Hashimoto’s) thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition causing an antibody attack on the thyroid. Over time, this can destroy the thyroid gland.
Other causes include surgical removal of the thyroid, radioactive iodine ablation for hyperthyroidism, radiation, iodine deficiency or excess, medications, and environmental exposures.
Does the underlying cause have any other treatment implications?
Some triggers of hypothyroidism are potentially reversible (such as nutrient abnormalities, medications, or early autoimmunity) while most will require lifelong medication.
It is now thought that increased intestinal permeability is an important trigger in autoimmunity. If the intestinal integrity can be restored, it may improve autoimmunity and minimize the destruction of the thyroid gland.
Connect with our physicians
Jamila Schwartz, MD and Jade Schechter, MD are both members of the Galileo Clinical Team. Connect with one of our physicians about Hypothyroidism or any of the many other conditions we treat.Join Today