Hyperthyroidism is the thyroid problem that causes low white blood cell count. It occurs when the thyroid gland makes too much of the hormone thyroxine. Overproduction of thyroxine increases the body’s metabolism and results in the lower white blood cell count. There are a number of diseases, disorders and medications that cause hyperthyroidism.
Graves’ disease is a type of autoimmune thyroid disease that reduces white blood count. It occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland then becomes overactive and produces an excess of thyroxine. Graves’ disease is the most common form of hyperthyroidism.
Thyroiditis is caused by inflammation of the thyroid gland. Thyroid gland inflammation can occur by a host of causes including infection by bacteria or virus. The body’s immune system mistakenly sees the thyroid gland as a harmful foreign object and attacks it. Thyroiditis can eventually lead to the destruction of thyroid tissue and lead to more threatening health concerns.
Thyroid nodules are either cancerous or noncancerous cysts that produce excess thyroxine. The nodules are cell growths in the thyroid gland. The cyst can be fluid filled or made of thyroid gland cells. These growths are perceived as a threat to the body and are attacked by the immune system.
Amiodarone is a medication prescribed to patients with an irregular hear beat. The drug is similar to thyroxine and has high iodine content. Both characteristics contribute to causing abnormal thyroid functions. Depending on a host of patient variances, the drug my cause hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Patients receiving the medication are checked every six months for thyroid problems.
A small percentage of women deal with postpartum thyroiditis after their pregnancy. Within a year of giving birth, women may experience hyperthyroidism as their body adjusts back to normal. Postpartum Thyroiditis results from the changes the woman’s immune system goes through during pregnancy. The disorder is typically resolves itself.