Thyroid Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Testing

A medical professional is best able to provide information about your particular circumstances. If you need immediate assistance, please call emergency services. 

This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. 

Thyroid disease is a common endocrine disorder that can cause problems when the thyroid produces too much or too little hormone.



  • Autoimmune diseases: When the immune system attacks the thyroid, such as Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s disease
  • Iodine deficiency
  • Inflammation: (thyroiditis), which may or may not cause pain
  • Medication use: High amounts of certain medications, such as lithium (used in many mood stabilizers) and iodine

Some risk factors for thyroid disease include: 

  • Being a woman
  • Having a family history of thyroid disease
  • Having an autoimmune disease, such as type 1 diabetes or celiac disease
  • Having received treatment for hyperthyroidism
  • Receiving radiation to your neck or upper chest
  • Having had thyroid surgery

Thyroid blood tests can check for hormones and proteins like antibodies and thyroglobulin. These tests can tell you if you have conditions like hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). 

Some types of thyroid blood tests include: 

  • TSH, which measures thyroid-stimulating hormone
  • T3 and T4, which measure the level of the different thyroid hormones in your blood
  • Thyroid antibodies test, which measures certain thyroid antibodies (markers in the blood)

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