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Thyroid Disorders in Women: Why Women Are More Susceptible to Thyroid Issues

Jul 2, 2024 | Functional Medicine, Functional Wellness, Thyroid Health, Yuma, Arizona

Thyroid disorders are a significant health concern, especially among women. The thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism, energy levels, and overall health.

Unfortunately, women are more likely to experience thyroid issues than men. But why? In order to understand why this vulnerability exists, let’s examine the factors contributing to it.

Women’s Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders affect millions of people worldwide, with women being disproportionately impacted. According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), women are five to eight times more likely than men to develop thyroid problems. Thyroid health in women needs to be better understood and managed proactive.

Common Thyroid Disorders in Women

Women can experience a range of thyroid disorders, including:

1. Hypothyroidism: This condition occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, depression, and cold intolerance. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder.

2. Hyperthyroidism: In contrast, hyperthyroidism is characterized by an overactive thyroid gland, leading to excessive production of thyroid hormone. Symptoms include weight loss, anxiety, irritability, and heat intolerance. Graves’ disease, another autoimmune disorder, is a leading cause of hyperthyroidism.

3. Thyroid Nodules: These are lumps that can develop in the thyroid gland. While most nodules are benign, some can be cancerous. Regular monitoring is essential for managing thyroid nodules effectively.

4. Thyroid Cancer: Although less common, thyroid cancer is a serious condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. Women are three times more likely than men to develop thyroid cancer, particularly during their reproductive years.

Why Are Women More Susceptible?

Women are more likely to suffer from thyroid disorders due to several factors:

1. Hormonal Fluctuations

Women experience significant hormonal changes throughout their lives, including during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. These fluctuations can impact thyroid function and contribute to the development of thyroid disorders. For example, pregnancy increases the demand for thyroid hormone, which can lead to thyroid dysfunction if the gland cannot keep up with this increased need.

2. Autoimmune Disorders

Women are more prone to autoimmune diseases, which occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues. Autoimmune thyroid disorders, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease, are more common in women. Researchers believe that genetic and hormonal factors contribute to this increased susceptibility.

3. Estrogen’s Role

Estrogen, a key female hormone, can influence thyroid function. Studies suggest that estrogen may affect the regulation of thyroid hormone levels and the immune system’s response to thyroid tissue. This interaction may partly explain why women are more likely to develop thyroid disorders.

4. Family History

A family history of thyroid disorders increases the risk for both men and women. However, the risk is more pronounced in women due to the combination of genetic predisposition and the other factors mentioned above.

Managing Thyroid Health in Women

It’s imperative that women take proactive steps regarding thyroid health given the increased risk. The following tips will help you take action:

1. Regular Screenings: Schedule routine thyroid function tests, especially if you have a family history of thyroid disorders or are experiencing symptoms.

2. Balanced Diet: Eat a diet rich in iodine, selenium, and zinc to support thyroid function. Foods like fish, nuts, and dairy products are excellent sources of these nutrients.

3. Stress Management: Chronic stress can negatively impact thyroid health. Practice stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, and regular exercise.

4. Consult a Specialist: If you experience symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, seek advice from an endocrinologist or healthcare provider specializing in thyroid health. Just to remind you, Regener8 Wellness + Performance can absolutely assist you as well.

Women are commonly affected by thyroid disorders because of hormonal changes, autoimmune predispositions, and genetics. By understanding these risks and taking proactive steps to manage thyroid health, women can reduce the impact of thyroid disorders on their lives.


1. American Thyroid Association (

2. Rupa Health (,hormones%20like%20cortisol%20and%20aldosterone.)

3. National Library of Medicine (

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