Handling Hashimoto’s: What You Need To Know

Hypothyroidism is an endocrine disorder in which the thyroid gland makes insufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone. When this happens, the sufferer often has many bouts of exhaustion, weakened immune system and significant weight gain. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. The condition was named after Dr. Hakaru Hashimoto, the doctor who discovered the syndrome back in 1912.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a condition caused by inflammation of the thyroid gland. Not only does inflammation occur with Hashimoto’s but the body also attacks itself within the thyroid gland at the same time. Unfortunately there is no known cause for Hashimoto’s, but it is triggered by other health issues such as type 1 diabetes and celiac disease.

The ailment is is almost 10 times more likely to occur in women than in men, and presents itself with an increased number of antibodies against thyroid-specific proteins, including thyroperoxidase and thyroglobulin. Inflammation is one of the tell tale signs of the illness because when it occurs, T lymphocytes, a type of cell involved in normal inflammation processes, invade the thyroid gland. From there, because the affected individual produces little or no thyroid hormone, hypothyroidism generally occurs.

Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto thyroiditis appear to be very similar in their symptoms. Those with mild hypothyroidism may have no signs or symptoms; the symptoms generally become more obvious as the condition worsens, and the majority of these complaints are related to a metabolic slowing of the body which is why many attribute their symptoms to aging, and are not diagnosed until the condition is quite severe.

Hard to self diagnose or detect, thyroid issues come with fatigue, depression, constipation, increased cholesterol, aches and pains, to name but a few. As hypothyroidism becomes more severe, there may be puffiness around the eyes, a slowing of the heart rate and a drop in body temperature.

If caught early through proper diagnosis, hypothyroidism can be easily and completely treated with thyroid hormone replacement. Adversely, if untreated it can lead to serious health issues such as heart failure.

People with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis often initially experience a hyperthyroid phase, called hashitoxicosis where much of their thyroid hormone leaks out of the damaged gland, and then over time they eventually become hypothyroid. Thyroid hormone medication can replace the hormones the thyroid made before the inflammation occurred and eventually leaked.

Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.

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