Free Shipping on orders over $99

Hashimoto’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Weight loss, Women's Health, thyroid | August 31, 2014 | Author: The Super Pharmacist

women's health, thyroid health

Hashimoto’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Hashimoto’s disease, also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, is a type of autoimmune disease that it caused by the body turning on its own tissues. For people with this disease, their immune system attacks their thyroid specifically, which can lead to a condition known as hypothyroidism; meaning insufficient thyroid hormone production.

The thyroid gland, which is found at the front of the neck, produces the hormones that assist in controlling metabolism. In addition to the speed at which the body uses calories from food, the hormones of the thyroid gland also have a direct effects on other involuntary processes of the body, such as heart rate and blood pressure.

Hashimoto’s Disease Causes

While there is no exact cause known for Hashimoto’s disease, there are a number of factors that increases risks for development of the disorder, such as:

Hashimoto's diseaseExcessive iodine – Studies indicate that some drugs and the consumption of excessive iodine can trigger the disease is those who are susceptible.

Genes/Genetics – Those who develop Hashimoto’s disease usually have members of their family who also have thyroid disease or another type of autoimmune disease.

Hormones – About seven times more women are affected by Hashimoto’s disease than men, which suggests that sex hormones are a contributing factor. In addition, some women experience thyroid issues within the first year following the birth of a child. Even though the problem generally subsides, up to 20% of women will develop the disease again in the future.

Exposure to radiation – Reports indicate an increase in thyroid disease in people who have been exposed to radiation, such as the treatment for certain types of cancer.

Hashimoto’s Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease can be mild in the beginning and may even take a number of years to develop.

The initial sign of the condition is the enlargement of the thyroid, which is referred to as a goitre. This goitre may cause swelling in the front of the neck where the thyroid gland is located. Swallowing may become difficult with a large goitre.

Additional symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease include:

  • Bradycardia, or slow heart rate
  • Conception difficulties
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Paleness
  • Puffiness in the face
  • Thin, brittle hair or hair loss
  • Unappeasable feelings of being cold
  • Weight gain

Keep in mind that the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease can be similar to the symptoms of other medical conditions. Therefore, it is important to obtain a definitive diagnosis normally obtained through blood tests measuring thyroid hormones and hormones that act on the thyroid and radiological images.

Hashimoto’s Disease Treatments

Even though Hashimoto’s disease is an incurable disorder, hormone replacement medication known as thyroxin may be used to help regulate the hormone levels in the body and aid in the restoration of normal metabolism.

Hormone replacement medicine is provided in pill form in varying strengths depending on several factors, such as:

  • Age
  • Hypothyroidism severity
  • Presence of additional health problems
  • Medications that may cause an interaction with the synthetic hormones
  • Weight

Once the treatment has begun, you will need regular blood tests to monitor the function of the thyroid and make certain that the correct dose is being used. Since the action of thyroid hormones are quite slow, it can take a number of months before the symptoms begin to improve. Large goitres may require surgical removal if an improvement is not experienced after the use of medication. The medication will almost always be taken for life, as the medication merely supplement the hormones normally released by the thyroid.

www.superpharmacy.com.au  Australia's best online pharmacy

References

Better Health Channel, Conditions and treatments, Hormonal system (endocrine) - Thyroid gland, Thyroid - Hashimoto's disease

Melbourne Thyroid Centre, Services, Hashimoto’s Disease

Thyroid Clinic, Thyroid Disorders, Hashimoto’s Disease

Mayo Clinic, Patient Care & Health Info, Diseases and Conditions, Hashimoto’s Disease

Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Publications, Our publications, Hashimoto’s Disease Fact Sheet

Wint C, Boskey E; Healthline, Reference Library Hashimoto’s Disease; 2012

FamilyDoctor.org, Diseases & Conditions, Hashimoto’s Disease

Arnott, R; Thyroid Australia LTD, Graves’ and Hashimotos’s Disease as Autoimmune Conditions

MedicinelinePlus, Health Topics, Chronic thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s Disease)

backBack to Blog Home