About Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Hashimoto Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the healthy tissues and cells of the thyroid. This depletes the levels of the thyroid stimulating hormone which is produced in the thyroid gland and is required for effective metabolism in the body. This hormone also regulates the heart rate and promotes faster burning of calories from foods.
The root cause for Hashimoto Thyroiditis is still unknown but there are certain risk factors like some other autoimmune disorder or certain medications which make an individual vulnerable to this condition.
Hormonal imbalance is yet another major risk factor which plays a role in the development of Hashimoto Thyroiditis. However, this is seen more in females than males. In some cases, Hashimoto Thyroiditis results after pregnancy and delivery of the child characterized by a common condition called postpartum depression. Excess iodine intake can also lead to thyroid disorders.
Do Genes Play a Role in Causing Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
The answer to this question is yes genes do have a role to play in the development of Hashimoto Thyroiditis. In fact, this arises from a combination of both genetic as well as environmental factors. While researchers have identified many of these factors there still is a lot of work that needs to be done.
There are many genes responsible for Hashimoto Thyroiditis of which HLA gene complex is the primary one. The HLA gene helps in the immune system distinguishing between the proteins produced by bacteria and viruses from those produced by the body. Hashimoto Thyroiditis due to genetic makeup is seen especially in people who have direct family members with this condition.
However, the genetic makeup of an individual plays only a trivial part in Hashimoto Thyroiditis when compared to environmental factors like effects of some medications, another underlying autoimmune disorder, excess intake of iodine, exposure to radiation, and pregnancy. This condition is seen more in females than males and typically occurs between the age bracket of 45 and 60 years.
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