There are various causes of hypothyroidism, but the most common one is an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This condition occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland.
Other causes of hypothyroidism include certain medications, surgery, radiation therapy, and iodine deficiency.
Causes of hypothyroidism
One way to remember the causes of hypothyroidism is with the mnemonic acronym “HARRIS MD.” This stands for Hormone resistance syndrome, Autoimmune disease, Drugs, Malignancy, Radiation therapy, Reidel thyroiditis, Iodine deficiency, and Surgery.
- H – Hormone Resistance syndrome : Thyroid releasing hormone resistance
- A – Autoimmune thyroiditis : Autoimmune destruction of the thyroid gland (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis).
- R – Radiation Therapy : Radioiodine ablation and traditional radiotherapy to the neck
- R – Reidel thyroiditis : An infiltrative thyroid disorder
- I – Iodine Deficiency : lack of iodine required for thyroid hormone synthesis
- S – Surgery : Total thyroidectomy
- M – Malignancy : Lymphoma, metastatic disease to the thyroid, thyroid malignancy
- D – Drugs : Amiodarone, Lithium, immune-checkpoint inhibitors (nivolumab)
Chaker L, Bianco AC, Jonklaas J, Peeters RP. Hypothyroidism. Lancet. 2017 Sep 23;390(10101):1550-1562.
This was first published on January 4, 2022 and Last Updated on March 16, 2023 by MyEndoConsult