HASHIMOTO’S DISEASE

Hashimoto’s disease is also referred to as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, and chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disease that destroys the thyroid gland and leaves it unable to generate adequate hormones, resulting in hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid. 

Furthermore, although Hashimoto’s disease may affect anybody, it is more frequent among middle-aged women.

SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease may include:

  • Muscle soreness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Indigestion
  • Fatigue
  • Face/eyes puffiness
  • Weight gain
  • Memory problems, such as having difficulties in concentrating and thinking
  • Hair thinning
  • Hair loss
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Dry skin
  • Difficulties becoming pregnant
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Depression

DIAGNOSIS

To diagnose Hashimoto’s disease, your healthcare professional will begin by taking your medical history and conducting a physical checkup. They will then examine your thyroid gland and feel it to see whether it is swollen or not. Blood testing is also recommended. The following tests may also be requested:

  • Free T4 Test. This test indicates if the individual has hypothyroidism.
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Test. A high TSH result usually indicates that the thyroid gland is not releasing enough T4 hormone. Moreover, this lab test is generally most associated with subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism diagnosis.
  • Antithyroid Antibody Test. This test indicates antibodies that suggest a greater likelihood of developing Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.

TREATMENT

Hashimoto’s disease has no cure; however, it may be treated with medicine and lifestyle adjustments. Treatment usually consists of taking synthetic thyroid hormone to replace hormones that the thyroid can no longer generate. Furthermore, most individuals with Hashimoto’s disease live regular, healthy lives with therapy.

  • T-3 Hormone Replacement Therapy. A doctor may also give a synthetic T-3 hormone (Cytomel) or a synthetic T-4 and T-3 combination for those who require improved symptom management. T-3 hormone replacement might cause a fast pulse, sleeplessness, and anxiety. These therapies might be tried for three to six months.
  • T-4 Hormone Replacement Therapy. Levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid), a synthetic hormone, is used to treat hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto’s disease. The synthetic hormone functions similarly to the T-4 hormone generated naturally by the thyroid. Moreover, this therapy is to restore and maintain appropriate T-4 hormone levels while also improving hypothyroidism symptoms. 

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