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Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Did you know?

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.

It is also most prevalent in elderly women and tends to run in families.

Hashimoto's thyroiditis occurs eight times more often in women than men.

Certain chromosomal abnormalities include Hashimoto's thyroiditis as a symptom.

What is Hashimoto's thyroiditis?

Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common form of thyroiditis. Classified as an autoimmune disorder, Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the result of an autoimmune reaction, with antibodies attacking the thyroid gland. The cause of Hashimoto thyroiditis is unknown.

What are the symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis?

The following are the most common symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland which may cause a bulge in the neck)
  • Symptoms of other endocrine disorders, such as diabetes, an underactive adrenal gland, underactive parathyroid glands, and other autoimmune disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Cold intolerance
  • Depression

The symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

How is Hashimoto thyroiditis diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for Hashimoto thyroiditis may include blood tests to detect levels of thyroid hormone and thyroid antibodies.

Treatment for Hashimoto's thyroiditis

Specific treatment for Hashimoto's thyroiditis will be determined by your doctor based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the disease
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the disease
  • Your opinion or preference

Hashimoto's thyroiditis usually results in hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), which can be treated with thyroid hormone replacement therapy (the administration of thyroid hormone). Thyroid hormone replacement therapy usually alleviates the goiter condition. However, if goiter does not improve, surgery may be required.

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