Posted September 10, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 2 min read
Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease, a disorder in which the immune system turns against the body's own tissues. In people with Hashimoto's, the immune system attacks the thyroid.
Causes of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
People who get Hashimoto’s often have family members who have thyroid disease or other autoimmune diseases. This suggests a genetic component to the disease.
Hashimoto’s affects about seven times as many women as men, suggesting that sex hormones may play a role. Furthermore, some women have thyroid problems during the first year after having a baby. Although the problem usually goes away, as many as 20% of these women develop Hashimoto’s years later.
Research suggests certain drugs and too much iodine, a trace element required by your body to make thyroid hormones, may trigger thyroid disease in susceptible people.
Increased cases of thyroid disease have been reported in people exposed to radiation, including the atomic bombs in Japan, the Chernobyl nuclear accident, and radiation treatment for a form of blood cancer called Hodgkin’s disease.
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Paleness or puffiness of the face
Joint and muscle pain
Inability to get warm
Difficulty getting pregnant
Hair loss or thinning, brittle hair
Irregular or heavy menstrual periods
Slowed heart rate
Diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test
A high TSH level most commonly means the thyroid gland is not producing enough T4 hormone. This lab is usually most consistent with a diagnosis of hypothyroidism or subclinical hypothyroidism.
Free T4 test
A low T4 level suggests that the person has hypothyroidism.
Antithyroid antibody test
Presence of antibodies indicates a higher risk of developing Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Treatments of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
There is no cure for Hashimoto’s, but replacing hormones with medication can regulate hormone levels and restore your normal metabolism.
The pills are available in several different strengths.
The exact dose your doctor prescribes will depend on a number of factors, including
Severity of hypothyroidism
Other health problems
Other medicines that may interact with synthetic thyroid hormones