Many things may increase your risk for hypothyroidism. These include:
- Age and being female. Older adults are more likely to develop hypothyroidism than younger people. And women are more likely than men to develop thyroid disease.
- Family historyFamily history. Hypothyroidism tends to run in families.
- Previous thyroid problems. Thyroid disease, an enlarged thyroid (goiter), and surgery or radiation therapy to treat thyroid problems increase the likelihood of having hypothyroidism in the future.
- Some lifelong conditions. Type 1 diabetes, vitiligo (an autoimmune disease that causes patches of light skin), pernicious anemia, and leukotrichia (premature gray hair) are seen more often in people who have hypothyroidism.
- Iodine deficiency. This is rare in the United States but common in areas where iodine is not added to salt, food, and water.
- Medicines. Some medicines can interfere with normal thyroid function, particularly lithium, amiodarone (such as Cordarone or Pacerone), and interferon alfa (such as Intron A or Roferon A).