Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder, so the main risk factor for developing this thyroid disorder is having a pre-existing autoimmune condition.
Autoimmune disorders occur when the body's immune cells attack healthy tissue instead of protecting it. In the case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, immune cells attack the thyroid gland causing it to become inflamed and impairing its ability to produce enough thyroid hormone. You can read more about this in our article about what causes Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
If you have an autoimmune disorder, your immune system is malfunctioning in some way. That's why you are at a higher risk of developing Hashimoto's thyroiditis than someone who does not have an autoimmune disorder.
Below are examples of common autoimmune disorders:
If you have an autoimmune disorder, that is a risk factor for developing Hashimoto's thyroiditis. That's why you should get checked for Hashimoto's thyroiditis every once in a while (your doctor will determine exactly how often you should get tested). That way, you will have the best chance of getting the disease detected early on. To learn more about the exams and tests you may need, read our article about diagnosing Hashimoto's thyroiditis.