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Risk Factors for Thyroid Disease

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Updated May 16, 2014

Risk Factors for Thyroid Disease

Neck Surgery/Trauma

Some research suggests that there is a slightly increased risk of hypothyroidism or thyroiditis after recent neck surgery, trauma (such as whiplash), biopsy or injection in the neck area. The conditions are usually transient. The existence of longer-term post-traumatic hypothyroidism or post-surgery "thyroiditis" is still a topic of controversy.

Other Factors

Other research points to, but does not definitely establish, an increased risk of autoimmune disease -- including autoimmune thyroid disease -- in people who are left-handed, ambidextrous or prematurely gray. It's thought that these traits may be found on a particular gene that is also shared by certain autoimmune tendencies.

Mary Shomon, About's Thyroid Guide since 1997, is a nationally known patient advocate and best-selling author of 10 books on health, including "The Thyroid Hormone Breakthrough: Overcoming Sexual and Hormonal Problems at Every Age," "The Thyroid Diet: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss," "Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know," "Living Well With Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism," "Living Well With Autoimmune Disease," and "Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia." Click here for more information on Mary Shomon.

Sources

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Braverman, MD, Lewis E., and Robert D. Utiger, MD. Werner and Ingbar's The Thyroid: A Fundamental and Clinical Text. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), 2005.

Cassidy, JD. “Basal metabolic temperature vs. laboratory assessment in ‘posttraumatic hypothyroidism’” Journal of Manipulative Physiology & Therapy. 1996 Jul-Aug;19(6):425-7.

Elengold, Mark A. “Statement before the committee on Government Reform, Operations Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration,” U.S. House of Representatives, October 3, 200.

Faustman, Denise, MD, PhD. "Autoimmune Diseases: What Next After Genomics?" In Focus, American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association newsletter, Vol. 9, No. 2., June 2001.

Guthrie, Michael, RPh. "Mycoplasmas: The Missing Link in Fatiguing Illnesses," Alternative Medicine, September 2001

Hess, Evelyn V., MD. "The Environment and Autoimmune Diseases," In Focus, American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association newsletter, Vol 8, No. 4, December 2000

Kuman, Vijay, et. al., “Celiac Disease -Associated Autoimmune Endocrinopathies” Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology, July 2001, p. 678-685, Vol. 8, No. 4.

Mizokami T, et. al. “Stress and thyroid autoimmunity.” Thyroid. 2004 Dec;14(12):1047-55.

Moran, Mark. "Autoimmune diseases could share common genetic etiology," American Medical News, October 8, 2001.

Rose, Noel R., MacKay, Ian R. (Editors). The Autoimmune Diseases 3rd edition, 1998, Academic Press.

Searleman A, "Suspected autoimmune disorders and left-handedness,"Neuropsychologia. 1987;25(2):367-74.

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