Home ENT What is Hashimoto's disease?

What is Hashimoto’s disease?

Hashimoto affects the functioning of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is present at the base of your neck, and its function is to maintain the body’s metabolism. It secretes thyroid hormones into the bloodstream that helps to regulate various body functions.

What causes Hashimoto’s disease?

It is an autoimmune disease known as Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis or Autoimmune Thyroiditis. The improper functioning of the thyroid gland occurs when your immune system erroneously attacks the thyroid gland. This leads the immune system to produce antibodies that destroy the thyroid cells.

Consecutively, this leads to the failure of thyroid hormone production. People diagnosed with Hashimoto disease tend to develop this problem over several years.

What are the risk factors involved in Hashimoto’s disease?

The risk factors associated with Hashimoto’s disease are:

  • Sex: Women are more prone to be affected by Hashimoto’s disease than men.
  • Age: Hashimoto’s disease usually occurs during middle age. It can occur at any age, though.
  • Heredity: If anyone in your family has thyroid issues or any other autoimmune disorders, then you are at a higher risk of getting Hashimoto’s disease.
  • Other autoimmune diseases: Suffering from other autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, arthritis, lupus, or rheumatoid, puts you at a higher risk of Hashimoto’s disease.
  • Radiation exposure: People that are exposed to extreme environmental radiation levels are more likely to get Hashimoto’s disease.

What are the common symptoms of Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis?

As mentioned above, Hashimoto’s disease takes several years to form. Thus, the symptoms can be minimal at the initial stage. The first sign may be a goiter (that is an enlarged thyroid gland).

Other than goiter being a major symptom, there are  other common symptoms such as:

  • Sudden weight gain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Swollen, pale, or puffed face
  • Excessive pain in joints and muscles
  • Chronic or severe constipation
  • Cold hands, feet, and other parts of the body
  • Issues of infertility or trouble in getting pregnant
  • Hair loss or fragile hair
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual cycle
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Reduced heart rate

What is the diagnostic test for Hashimoto’s disease?

Hashimoto’s disease is diagnosed according to the symptoms and the results of blood test is conducted to measure thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormone levels that are produced in the pituitary gland. These include:

  • A hormone test: Blood tests can measure the level of hormones produced by your pituitary and thyroid glands. The thyroid level is said to be low if you have an underactive thyroid. Simultaneously, your TSH level will be high. This happens because your pituitary gland attempts to stimulate the production of the thyroid hormone in your thyroid gland.
  • An antibody test: Because Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder, the cause involves the production of abnormal antibodies. A blood test may confirm the presence of antibodies against thyroid peroxidase (TPO antibodies).

With the help of these tests, your physician can confirm your diagnosis.

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

What is the treatment for Hashimoto’s disease?

Hashimoto’s disease causes thyroid hormone deficiency, so you may need replacement therapy with thyroid hormone. This usually involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine. Synthetic levothyroxine is identical to thyroxine, the natural version of this hormone produced by your thyroid gland. The oral medication restores adequate hormone levels and reverses all the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Remember

If you feel that you might be vulnerable to the disease, you need not have to wait for the major symptoms to show. If you have any of the symptoms, you should book an appointment right away with having all the possible questions ready that you need to ask regarding your susceptibility.

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

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