What is Hashimoto's thyroiditis?
Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common form of thyroiditis. Classified as an autoimmune disorder, Hashimoto's thyroiditis causes an autoimmune reaction, with antibodies attacking the thyroid gland. The cause of Hashimoto thyroiditis is unknown.
What are the symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis?
The following are the most common symptoms. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently:
- goiter (enlarged thyroid gland which may cause a bulge in the neck)
- other endocrine disorders such as diabetes, an underactive adrenal gland, underactive parathyroid glands, and other autoimmune disorders
- muscle weakness
- weight gain
The symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult a physician for diagnosis.
How is Hashimoto thyroiditis diagnosed?
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for Hashimoto thyroiditis may include blood tests to detect levels of thyroid hormone and thyroid antibodies.
Treatment for Hashimoto's thyroiditis:
Specific treatment for Hashimoto's thyroiditis will be determined by your physician based on:
- your overall health and medical history
- extent of the disease
- your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- expectations for the course of the disease
- your opinion or preference
Specific treatment is currently not available for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Hashimoto's thyroiditis usually results in hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), which can be treated with hormone replacement therapy (the administration of thyroid hormone). Hormone replacement therapy usually alleviates the goiter condition. However, if goiter does not improve, surgery may be required.
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013