Autoimmune Thyroiditis Or Hashimoto’s Disease-Know All About It!
Today I am here to discuss autoimmune thyroiditis also known as Hashimoto’s disease. The disease is related to the thyroid gland which is a part of the body’s endocrine system. The gland produces hormones that coordinate the activities of the body.
Hashimoto’s disease is a medical condition in which it is the immune system that attacks the thyroid gland. The disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism especially in the US. The disease affects middle-aged women but can occur in men and women of all ages and even kids.
Autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s disease progresses at a slow pace over the years and causes chronic manage to the thyroid, which leads to a drop in the levels of thyroid hormone levels in the blood. The signs are similar to that of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) and they are:
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Hoarse voice
- Unexplained weight gain
- A puffy face
- Pale, dry skin
- Muscle aches in shoulders and hips
- Pain in joints
- Muscle weakness
- Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding
When to pay a visit to the doctor?
You need to visit the doctor when you see the following signs and symptoms:
- Tiredness for no apparent reason
- Pale, puffy face
- Hoarse voice
- Dry skin
The doctor will guide you with the tests and treatment. I am not getting into the medical details.
Autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder. As already mentioned above, it is the immune system that creates antibodies that damage the thyroid gland. It is still not known to doctors what causes the immune system to attack the thyroid gland.
Risk factors of Hashimoto’s disease
Gender- Women are more likely to get this disease.
Age- This disease can occur at any age but it usually affects people in middle age.
Heredity- The risk of getting Hashimoto’s disease is more if it is already running in the family.
Autoimmune diseases- Your chances of getting Hashimoto’s disease is more if you already have other autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes.
What would happen if the condition is left untreated?
If left untreated, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) caused by Hashimoto’s disease can lead to a lot of health problems and they are as follows:
When constantly stimulated, the thyroid releases more hormones and this causes the gland to get enlarged. This condition is termed as goiter. One of the most common causes of goiter is hypothyroidism. A large goiter can affect your physical appearance and make swallowing and breathing difficult.
Hashimoto’s disease can be linked with an increased risk of heart disease probably because there can be high levels of bad cholesterol in people with hypothyroidism. If left untreated it will lead to heart issues.
Depression can occur when one has this disease and with time it can get severe. The disease also causes a decrease in sexual desire in both the sexes.
It is a rare condition that requires immediate medical attention. It develops due to long-term hypothyroidism as a result of not treating Hashimoto’s disease. Signs are cold intolerance, drowsiness and finally unconsciousness. The patient needs to be rushed to the hospital.
If hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s disease is left untreated in women, babies born have higher chances of having birth defects.
It will be better that you get your condition treated to avoid complications!
Hope this post has been useful!
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