What is Hashimoto's disease?

Hashimoto's disease that is associated with the immune system. The immune system identifies your thyroid as something foreign and it attacks it. This disease can result in an underactive thyroid gland. Middle-aged women are most affected by the disease, however, the disease can impact men women and children. 
 
Risk factors
 
  • Sex: Women are more likely to develop the disease
  • Age: common during middle ages but can occur at any age 
  • Heredity: There is a higher risk if there is a family history of thyroid disease or other autoimmune diseases
  • Radiation exposure: excessive exposure to environmental radiation makes an individual more at risk. 
 
 
Diagnosis
Since the disease is associated with hormone levels in the thyroid, there are several tests that need to be performed in order to diagnose the disease. A doctor will typically test you if you experience feeling:
 
  • Tired
  • Sluggish
  • Constipated
  • Dry skin 
  • History of thyroid problems
  • Goiter
 
 
The doctor will typically request a blood test that is used to measure the hormone levels of the thyroid hormones and thyroid stimulating hormone.  A hormone test may be given to determine the amount of hormones that your thyroid and pituitary glands are producing.  If you have the disease results will show that the amount of thyroid hormone being produced will be low while the level of the thyroid stimulating hormone will be high as the pituitary gland is trying to stimulate the production of the thyroid hormone. In addition, since Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder a blood test may be helpful for identifying abnormalities in the production of antibodies. This is to search for antibodies that attack the enzyme, thyroid peroxidase, that helps aid in the production of the thyroid hormones. 
 
Treatment 
The goal of treatment is to regulate the disease with the use of hormone therapy.
 
 
 
# HASHIMOTO'S DISEASE BY THE NUMBERS #
  • The disease affects 5 out of 100 Americans 
  • It is 8x more common in women than men 
 
 
 
human thyroid gland
 
 
 

Sources: 
  • "Hashimoto's Disease." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 3 Mar. 2018. Web 30 May 2018. 
  • "Hashimoto's Disease." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Sept. 2017. Web 30 May 2018. 

 

 

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