To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of hyperthyroidism we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors. We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow hyperthyroidism to develop?"
Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind hyperthyroidism consists of three steps:
|Iodine Need||3%||Ruled out|
|Cigarette Smoke Damage||0%||Ruled out|
Possible responses:→ Never had it / don't know
→ Probably had it/minor episode(s) now resolved
→ Major episode(s) now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current significant problem
Although supportive data is limited, a report from a study group of hyperthyroid women suggests that copper status should at least be investigated in women with hyperthyroidism.
"Thyroid and immune system health are crucially dependent upon copper. As far as I can see now, copper deficiency is the most important factor in the development of hyperthyroidism. Virtually all hypers in the hyperthyroidism group have found that copper supplementation reduced their symptoms, usually within hours or a few days at most. Most have reported that within three to six months of beginning copper supplementation, they have been able to significantly reduce their intake of antithyroid drugs. While copper is the big story in hyperthyroidism, it is not the whole story. If it were, it would have been discovered years ago. Proper copper metabolism interrelates with and depends upon many other nutrients." [John Johnson, iThyroid.com]
A study of 132 pairs of twins (264 subjects) showed that smoking can have negative effects on the endocrine system, causing a 3- to 5-fold increase in the risk of all types of thyroid disease. The association was most pronounced in autoimmune disorders (Graves' disease and autoimmune thyroiditis), although there was still a strong association for non-autoimmune thyroid disorders.
Underlying hyperthyroidism often returns after antithyroid drugs are discontinued. For this reason, patients are often advised to consider a treatment that permanently prevents the thyroid gland from producing too much thyroid hormone.