Who’s At Risk?

Any of the following characteristics make you more likely to develop a thyroid disorder:

  • Being over age 50
  • Being a woman (Women are five times more likely than men to develop hypothyroidism.)
  • Having a family history of thyroid disorder
  • Having another autoimmune disorder, such as Type 1 diabetes
  • Having had thyroid surgery
  • Having been exposed to radiation, especially irradiation to the neck
  • Having been treated for a thyroid problem with radioactive iodine
  • Being iodine-deficient (rare in the United States)
  • Taking too much iodine (in food or drugs)
  • Taking drugs that can slow thyroid function, such as lithium carbonate (used to treat a form of depression called bipolar disorder) or amiodarone (prescribed to treat heart rhythm problems)
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