What are the causes of secondary and tertiary hypothyroidism?

Updated: Mar 03, 2021
  • Author: Philip R Orlander, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Hypothyroidism can also be secondary—that is, the thyroid gland itself is normal, but it receives insufficient stimulation because of low secretion of thyrotropin (ie, thyroid-stimulating hormone [TSH]) from the pituitary gland. In tertiary hypothyroidism, inadequate secretion of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) from the hypothalamus leads to insufficient release of TSH, which in turn causes inadequate thyroid stimulation.


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