The 6 most common causes of hyperthyroidism and high thyroid function.
People often ask me why I don’t spend as much time talking about hyperthyroidism as I do hypothyroidism.
The reason is simple! Hyperthyroidism is far less common than hypothyroidism and MOST people who have hyperthyroidism end up with hypothyroidism.
Only about 1-3% of the population suffers from hyperthyroidism and these people ultimately end up with low thyroid because of the treatment they receive (thyroidectomy and RAI).
For the record, if you are someone who has had their thyroid removed or ablated from RAI you are now considered LOW thyroid and all of the information I have on that topic applies to you.
Back to hyperthyroidism, though. Even though being hyperthyroid is less common it still DOES happen and these are the most common causes:
#1. Graves’ disease.
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is the autoimmune disease Graves’. In this condition, your own body attacks itself and forces out extra thyroid hormone. This is because your body makes antibodies that look like TSH receptors on your thyroid gland. This is definitely the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the US.
#2. Thyroiditis (any type including Hashimoto’s, postpartum, subacute, and so on).
Thyroiditis just refers to inflammation of the thyroid gland. Any inflammatory state can cause damage to the gland and cause the gland to produce EXTRA thyroid hormone. Most of these cases go away spontaneously and don’t even require treatment with the exception of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which does NOT go away.
#3. Hot nodules.
Thyroid nodules are incredibly common among all human beings and typically do not cause any issues.
#4. Thyroid medication.
Thyroid medication is typically used to treat LOW thyroid but taking too much of it can absolutely lead to hyperthyroidism.
#5. Iodine supplementation.
Rarely, iodine supplementation can also lead to hyperthyroidism. This typically only occurs when your dose is VERY high and is not a common problem for low doses of iodine. Don’t let this scare you from taking iodine!
#6. Thyroid supplements (rarely).
And last but not least, thyroid supplements can rarely cause hyperthyroid symptoms as well. This only occurs in supplements that are purchased from overseas. Overseas regulations are not as strict as US regulations and sometimes these supplements contain added T3 and T4 which are true thyroid hormones. This CAN cause issues. As long as you are getting supplements from a reputable source then you should have nothing to worry about 🙂
Download my free thyroid resources here (including hypothyroid symptoms checklist, the complete list of thyroid lab tests + optimal ranges, foods you should avoid if you have thyroid disease, and more): https://www.restartmed.com/start-here/
Recommended thyroid supplements to enhance thyroid function:
– Supplements that everyone with hypothyroidism needs: https://bit.ly/3tekPej
– Supplement bundle to help reverse Hashimoto’s: https://bit.ly/3gSY9eJ
– Supplements for those without a thyroid and for those after RAI: https://bit.ly/3tb36nZ
– Supplements for active hyperthyroidism: https://bit.ly/3t70yHo
See ALL of my specialized supplements including protein powders, thyroid supplements, and weight loss products here:
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