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Uncommon Causes of Hyperthyroidism - Topic Overview

Uncommon causes of hyperthyroidism or too much thyroid hormone in the body include:

  • Taking too much thyroid hormone medicine. This can happen if you are taking thyroid hormone to treat thyroid cancer. It can also happen if you take too much thyroid hormone in an attempt to lose weight.
  • Taking large amounts of substances or medicines that contain iodine, such as iodized salt, kelp, cough syrups, multivitamins, or certain medicines, such as amiodarone, lithium, and interferon alfa.
  • Having too much thyroid hormone after pregnancy.
  • A growth in the uterus that releases hormones into a woman's body, causing the thyroid to produce too much thyroid hormone.
  • A rare tumor that grows on a woman's ovaries. The tumor contains thyroid tissue, which releases thyroid hormone into the body.
  • A rare tumor on the pituitary gland located in your brain. This tumor causes the pituitary gland to make too much thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to make more thyroid hormones.
  • Stress, surgery, or using contrast materials containing iodine for a CT scan or radioactive iodine therapy.

The thyroid gland usually returns to normal after treatment. For example, after you quit taking substances that contain large amounts of iodine or after a hormone-producing tumor is removed, the thyroid gland again works normally.

Recommended Related to Women

Understanding Goiter -- Treatment

A goiter may be large enough for you to see or to feel with your hand, or it may remain unnoticed until a doctor discovers it, perhaps during a routine exam. In any case, the first step is to determine whether the goiter is a symptom of another thyroid condition.  An ultrasound of the thyroid gland may help to determine the size of the gland and the presence of nodules.  Radioactive iodide uptake tests track how much iodide the thyroid takes in within a certain time period. Higher-than-normal...

Read the Understanding Goiter -- Treatment article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 10, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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