What is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is also referred to as Hashimoto's Disease, is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system of the body attacks the thyroid gland(1).

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This leads to a medical condition called hypothyroidism in which the thyroid gland is not able to make enough hormones as required by the body for functioning(1).

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What is the Function of Thyroid Gland?

The function of the thyroid gland is to make hormones that regulate metabolism in the body(2). The thyroid gland also controls the heart rate, and the rate at which the body burns up calories from the ingested food(2).

What Causes Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?

The root cause for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis remains a mystery, but there are certain risk factors which contribute to the development of Hashimoto Thyroiditis; including but not limited to, genetic makeup(1). It is seen in many cases that an individual with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis tends to have a direct family member also having Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis(1). This by itself proves that there is a genetic link to the development of autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto Thyroiditis(1).

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Hormonal issues also play a significant role in many autoimmune disorders including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis(3). However, hormonal affect is seen more in females than males. In some cases, thyroid issues arise immediately after the delivery of the child leading to a condition called postpartum depression, which is quite common. Excessive intake of iodine also leads to thyroid issues. There are also certain medications, which increase the risk of an individual developing Hashimoto Thyroiditis.

Is There a Cure for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?

As of now, there is no cure for a condition like Hashimoto Thyroiditis(4); however, the hormonal levels can be regulated with regular intake of medications and normalizing the metabolic rate of the body(4). A consultation with a physician is must to get the best dose for treatment of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which depends on the age, weight, severity of the condition or any intercurrent illness.

For the treatment for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis to be initiated, a TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone test is done to take a look at the functioning of the thyroid and determine the best possible treatment for the individual(4). Due to the slow nature of the thyroid hormones, a benefit from the medications can only be observed after a few weeks of treatment initiation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, as of now there is no cure for Hashimoto Thyroiditis and treatment is aimed at managing the symptoms of this disease(4). This is done with regular intake of medications. Rarely is a thyroid surgery required to treat a condition like Hashimoto Thyroiditis.

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: May 16, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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