Hypothyroidism causes

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Hypothyroidism Main page

Patient Information



Primary hypothyroidism
Hashimoto's thyroiditis
Secondary hypothyroidism
Tertiary hypothyroidism

Differentiating different causes of hypothyroidism



History and symptoms

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Vignesh Ponnusamy, M.B.B.S. [2] Luke Rusowicz-Orazem, B.S.



The most common cause of hypothyroidism is thyroiditis. Swelling and inflammation damage the thyroid gland's cells.

Causes of this problem include:

  • The immune system attacking the thyroid gland
  • Viral infections (common cold) or other respiratory infections
  • Pregnancy (often called postpartum thyroiditis)

Other causes of hypothyroidism include:

  • Certain medicines, such as lithium and amiodarone
  • Congenital (birth) defects
  • Radiation treatments to the neck or brain to treat different cancers
  • Radioactive iodine used to treat an overactive thyroid gland
  • Surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid gland
  • Sheehan syndrome, a condition that may occur in a woman who bleeds severely during pregnancy or childbirth and causes the destruction of the pituitary gland
  • Pituitary tumor or pituitary surgery

Life Threatening Causes

Common Causes

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular Alström syndrome, Aneurysm of the internal carotid artery, Neutral lipid storage disease
Chemical/Poisoning Iodine 131, Iodine antenatal infection  , Iron overload , Isolated tsh deficiency, Lithium, Potassium iodide
Dental No underlying causes
Dermatologic Dermatosclerosis
Drug Side Effect Aminoglutethimide, Amiodarone, Antithyroid drugs, Atezolizumab, Axitinib, Bexarotene, Bromide  , Carbimazole, Catch 22  , Ed-in-sol, Ethionamide, Femiron, Feosol, Feostat, Feratab, Fer-gen-sol, Fergon, Fer-in-sol, Ferrex, Hytinic, Icar, Interferon alfacon-1, Interferon alpha, Interferon-alfa, Interleukin-2, Ircon, Methimazole, Mitotane, Nephro-fer, Niferex, Nivolumab, Nu-iron, Oxcarbazepine, Para-amino salicylic acid, Peginterferon beta-1a, Pegylated interferon alfa-2b, Pembrolizumab, Perchlorate, Pergolide, Phenytoin and levothyroxine interaction, Pramipexole, Propylthiouracil, Slow-fe, Sorafenib, Thionamides, Thyroid and cholestyramine interaction, Tiagabine, Tocilizumab, Tositumomab iodine-131, Ttf-1, Ttf-2, Tyrosine kinase inhibitors, Vitron-c
Ear Nose Throat Bilateral abductor vocal cord paralysis syndrome 
Endocrine Abnormal maternal iodine levels, Acth deficiency, Antithyroid drugs, Apeced syndrome, Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 3, Autoimmune thyroiditis, Brain-lung-thyroid syndrome, Central hypothyroidism, Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, Combined pituitary hormone deficiency 1 (pou1f1 gene), Combined pituitary hormone deficiency 2 (prop1 gene), Combined pituitary hormone deficiency 3 (lhx gene), Congenital disorder of glycosylation type 1a  , Congenital disorder of glycosylation type 1h  , Congenital thyroid dysgenesis, Cretinism athyreotic  , De quervain thyroiditis, Deficiency of pit1, Dopamine, Empty sella, Escamilla-lisser syndrome  , Fibrous thyroiditis, Goiter , Graves disease  , Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Hemochromatosis, Hyperthyroidism  , Hypoadrenocorticism , Hypomelia , Hypopituitarism, Hypothalamic dysfunction  , Hypothyroidism, Iodine deficiency, Iodine excess, Kaplowitz-bodurtha syndrome  , Lymphocytic hypophysitis, Lymphocytic thyroiditis, Lymphomatous thyroiditis  , Multiple endocrine abnormalities , Panhypopituitarism, Peripheral thyroid gland disorder resistance, Pituitary adenoma, Pituitary apoplexy, Pituitary cancer  , Pituitary dwarfism type 3, Pituitary dysfunction , Polyendocrinopathy, Polyglandular disorders, Postpartum thyroiditis  , Primary hypothyroidism, Pseudohypoparathyroidism type 1a, Rathke's cleft cyst, Reidel's thyroiditis, Resistance to thyroid hormone  , Retinohepatoendocrinologic syndrome  , Riedel syndrome  , Secondary hypothyroidism, Sheehan syndrome, Silent thyroiditis, Subacute granulomatous thyroiditis, Subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis, Subacute thyroiditis, Subtotal thyroidectomy, Supprative thyroiditis, Thyreostatic therapy, Thyroid dysgenesis  , Thyroid dyshormonogenesis  , Thyroid ectopy, Thyroid hormone resistance  , Thyroid stimulating hormone deficiency, Thyroidectomy, Thyroiditis, Trh deficiency, Tsh deficiency
Environmental No underlying causes
Gastroenterologic Diarrhea, Enteropathy, Retinohepatoendocrinologic syndrome 
Genetic 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase iii deficiency  , Abnormal maternal iodine levels, Acth deficiency, Alström syndrome, Bamforth syndrome  , Bangstad syndrome  , Cdg syndrome type 1a  , Chromosome 1, 1p36 deletion syndrome  , Chromosome 10, monosomy 10p  , Chromosome 10p deletion syndrome, Chromosome 12 ring syndrome  , Chromosome 15q duplication syndrome  , Chromosome 15q, trisomy  , Chromosome 2 trisomy syndrome  , Chromosome 6, trisomy 6q  , Chromosome 6q duplication syndrome  , Combined pituitary hormone deficiency 1 (pou1f1 gene), Combined pituitary hormone deficiency 2 (prop1 gene), Combined pituitary hormone deficiency 3 (lhx gene), Congenital disorder of glycosylation type 1a  , Congenital disorder of glycosylation type 1h  , Congenital thyroid dysgenesis, Cystinosis, Deficiency of pit1, Digeorge syndrome, Down syndrome, Emanuel syndrome, Ipex syndrome, Johanson-blizzard syndrome  , Kaplowitz-bodurtha syndrome  , Langerhans cell histiocytosis, Monosomy 1p36  , Mutations , Ohdo syndrome, Pax8, Pendred's syndrome  , Poems syndrome, Septo-optic dysplasia, Turner syndrome, Velocardiofacial syndrome  , Vilanova-canadeli syndrome  , Wolfram syndrome 2  , Zadik barak levin syndrome 
Hematologic Diabetes insipidus, Diabetes mellitus, Hemochromatosis, Hemocyte, Iodine deficiency, Iodine excess, Iron overload , Isolated tsh deficiency, Maternal antibody, Subarachnoid hemorrhage
Iatrogenic Iatrogenic, Neck radiotherapy, Neck surgery, Radiation therapy, Radioactive iodine therapy, Subtotal thyroidectomy, Supprative thyroiditis, Thyroidectomy
Infectious Disease Iodine antenatal infection  , Mycoses, Rathke's cleft cyst, Syphilis, Tuberculosis
Musculoskeletal/Orthopedic Bilateral abductor vocal cord paralysis syndrome 
Neurologic Aneurysm of the internal carotid artery, Brain-lung-thyroid syndrome, Craniopharyngioma, Dopamine, Down syndrome, Microcephaly , Microphthalmia syndromic, Neurosarcoidosis  , Subarachnoid hemorrhage
Nutritional/Metabolic Diabetes insipidus, Diabetes mellitus, Diarrhea, Obesity
Obstetric/Gynecologic Neonatal illness, Sheehan syndrome
Oncologic Craniopharyngioma, Glioma, Hypomelia , Meningioma, Metastasis, Neoplastic, Pituitary adenoma, Pituitary apoplexy, Pituitary cancer 
Ophthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose/Toxicity No underlying causes
Psychiatric No underlying causes
Pulmonary Amyloidosis, Tuberculosis
Renal/Electrolyte No underlying causes
Rheumatology/Immunology/Allergy Amyloidosis, Anti-tsh receptor antibodies, Apeced syndrome, Autoimmune disorders, Autoimmune enteropathy, Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 3, Autoimmune thyroiditis, Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, Dermatosclerosis, Fibrous thyroiditis, Graves disease  , Immune dysregulation , Kashin-bek disease  , Langerhans cell histiocytosis, Neurosarcoidosis  , Rheumatoid arthritis, Sarcoidosis, Scleroderma
Sexual Syphilis
Trauma Injury
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous No underlying causes

Causes in Alphabetical Order