What is Hashimoto’s Disease?Hashimoto’s disease, also known as “Hashimoto’s thyroiditis,” is an autoimmune disease, a disorder in which the immune system rebels against the body’s tissues it is meant to protect. In this disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, a small gland at the base of your neck, below Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system, which produces hormones that regulate most of the body’s functions. In Hashimoto’s disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid, resulting in an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). As a result, the thyroid does not produce enough hormones for the body’s needs. Hashimoto’s disease is also medically known as “chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis.”
Risk FactorsRisk factors of Hashimoto’s disease include:
- Hereditary or Genetics
- Other Autoimmune Diseases
- Radiation Exposure
- Excessive iodine intake
Complications of Hashimoto’s DiseaseHashimoto’s disease causes the underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). If left untreated, hypothyroidism can result in several complications, such as:
- Heart problems
- Mental health issues
- Congenital disabilities
- Sexual and reproductive dysfunction .
Hashimoto’s Disease DiagnosisYou need the following to conduct Hashimoto’s disease test:
- Medical history.
- Physical examination.
- On physical examination, the doctor palpates the thyroid gland to check if the gland is enlarged or not. Blood tests, including:
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test.
- Free T4 test.
- Anti-thyroid antibody test.
- An ultrasound of the thyroid gland.
- Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC)
Hashimoto’s Disease TreatmentIf Hashimoto’s thyroidism progresses to hypothyroidism, you will require the following treatment:
- T4 hormone replacement therapy: A synthetic form of thyroid hormone called levothyroxine (Synthroid, Tirosint, Levoxyl, Levothroid, Unithroid, etc.).
Hashimoto’s Disease DietThere is no special diet for Hashimoto’s disease. However, some foods, medications, and supplements may likely affect your ability to absorb levothyroxine (thyroid medication). These include:
- Iron and calcium supplements.
- The ulcer medicine is sucralfate, cholestyramine, and aluminum hydroxide (found in some antacids).
ConclusionHashimoto’s disease cure is undetermined. However, you can manage the disease by using medications. You do not require surgery. Eating well and having a healthy lifestyle (sleeping well, exercising, and controlling stress) is the best way to help your immune system. Nevertheless, keeping to your daily dosage of hypothyroidism medications is the management control for those diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
HASHIMOTO’S DISEASE SYMPTOMS
The symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease may be mild initially or take years to develop. These symptoms may include:
- Dry skin.
- Paleness of the face.
- Joint and muscle pain.
- Weight gain (obesity).
- Hair loss or brittle hair.
- Enlarged thyroid (goiter).
- Fatigue and sluggishness.
- Slow heart rate.
- Memory lapses.
- Sensitivity to cold.
- Muscle weakness.
- Inability to get warm.
- Tongue enlargement.
- Unable to get pregnant.
- Irregular or heavy menstrual periods.
HASHIMOTO’S DISEASE CAUSES
The exact Hashimoto’s disease cause is not known, but scientists believe that some factors might have played a role. They include:
People with Hashimoto’s disease often have family members who suffer from thyroid disease or other autoimmune diseases.
Hashimoto’s disease affects about seven women to one man (7:1), indicating that sex hormones might have played a role. Most women also develop thyroid problems during the first year of having a baby, and about 20% of them develop Hashimoto’s disease years later.
- Radiation Exposure
Many thyroid diseases have been reported in people who have been exposed to radiation, the atomic bombs in Japan.
- Excessive Iodine
Research suggests that excess iodine can trigger thyroid disease in susceptible people.
- What is the cause of Hashimoto’s disease?
Doctors do not know the exact cause of Hashimoto’s disease. However, a combination of factors including sex, age, and heredity may determine your likelihood of developing this disorder.
- What does a Hashimoto’s disease attack feel like?
When Hashimoto’s thyroidism flares up, you may begin to feel some symptoms of hypothyroidism, including fatigue, aching, and pain in the muscles and joints.
- How severe is Hashimoto’s disease?
Hashimoto’s disease can be fatal. If left untreated, it can cause coma or heart problems. However, the general outlook of Hashimoto’s patients is good.
- What triggers Hashimoto’s disease?
The cause of Hashimoto’s disease is not precisely known, but factors such as genetics, exposure to radiation, sex, and age seem to play a significant role.
- What is the best treatment option for Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism?
A man-made thyroid hormone can restore the function of the thyroid gland. This hormonal thyroid medication called levothyroxine can be found in Synthroid, Tirosint, Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid.