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Are thyroid issues genetic?

By October 14, 2008 - 8:53am
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My mom had thyroid issues for years and ultimately had it removed and is on thyroid medicine now for the rest of her life.

Are thyroid conditions genetic? Do I need to be worried, or learn what to watch for? What are the first signs that someone might be having thyroid issues that need to be checked out by a doctor?

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Alison, my mom ended up having a goiter on her thyroid and that's why it was removed. I need to ask her about her symptoms before then and see what it is that I might need to watch for. I'll check out the Mayo Clinic site about goiters and see what it says.

She's doing awesome. She's 80 and is more active than I am! My sister jokes that it's harder to keep up with our mom than it is to keep up with her three kids!

Thanks for your info. When I find out more about my mom's earlier symptoms I may be back.


October 15, 2008 - 9:51am

hi Anne,

It looks like you may need to check-in with your doctor, and talk about your mom's thyroid disease. Thyroid autoimmune diseases and cancer have a strong genetic component. What type of thyroid issues did your mom have?

Depending on what type of thyroid issues, there are many symptoms...some developing slowly that may go unnoticed until become more severe. First signs can be fatigue, weight gain, weakness, brittle hair/nails, depression...the list goes on for hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). For hyperthyroidism (overactive), you can have sudden weight loss, feelings of irritability, fatigue, and more. As you can imagine, a gland that effects the hormone and endocrine system will have an effect on an individual's mood, sleep habits and the entire body.

The Mayo Clinic has a complete list of thyroid conditions, including Grave's disease/hyper- and hypo- thyroidism, as well as thyroid cancer, thyroiditis, goiter and nodules.

What did you learn from your mom's experience about her symptoms with her thyroid disease? That could be a better indicator of what you may expect (plus, the range of symptoms are so different, depending on what type of issues she was having, that it is difficult for me to provide more detailed information).

I hope to hear from you soon, and I can provide more information and resources. How is your mom doing?

October 14, 2008 - 2:01pm
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