What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?

Greenville Thyroid Clinic Answers – What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?

Hashimoto’s disease causes chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis affects approximately 15 million women in the United States. This disease is seven times more common in women than men. It usually appears between the ages of 40 and 60. It tends to run in families and research is currently being conducted to try to identify the gene or genes that cause it to be passed down.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It is named after the first doctor who described this condition, Dr. Hakaru Hashimoto, in 1912.  Hashimoto’s disease is a disease, whereas hypothyroidism or low thyroid is a condition. Hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimotos’s disease.  It is also called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, autoimmune thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis.

It is an autoimmune disease, which means the body attacks the thyroid gland, treating it as a foreign tissue. With Hashimoto’s, antibodies react against proteins in the thyroid gland, which destroy the gland itself, leaving it unable to produce hormones that are key to the body functioning properly. Thyroid hormones affect metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, cholesterol levels, skin moisture levels, menstrual cycles, to name a few.

This disease can progress slowly with some patients not having any symptoms at first. However as the disease progresses these symptoms may be present: fatigue, depression, constipation, dry brittle hair, joint and muscle pain and a slowed heart rate, among other things. Low thyroid or an enlarged thyroid caused by Hashimoto’s disease often progresses in people affected with it. Symptoms can worsen over time. Because symptoms of low thyroid can be confused with the natural aging process, it is a good idea to have your thyroid tested if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

If you’re between 40 and 60 and just don’t feel as healthy as you used to, it might be time to have your thyroid evaluated. You may have already visited your family doctor and he or she sent you on your way with a platitude or two like, “Well you know most of what you’re feeling is just part of the natural aging process.”  Or, he or she might brush you off with,  “You know if you’re depressed and sluggish we can prescribe an anti-depressant and you should be fine.”

This indifferent manner of care won’t help you if you have been suffering with any or all of the symptoms of low thyroid. It would be in your best interest to find someone who focuses in helping those with low thyroid function. When it comes to your health, it is always best to find the best in the industry to help you evaluate and get help for your condition properly. With the help of a specialist, you can get to the root cause of why you’re not feeling as good as you used to. Someone who focuses on thyroid function will be able to dig deeper to find the answers to your low thyroid questions.

If it turns out that low thyroid is the cause of your discomforts and frustrations options for help and support can be tailored to your needs. It can’t be stressed enough that one should never ignore these symptoms, as they can lead to further complications further down the road. When it comes to one’s health procrastination is never the answer, finding a provider to help detailed advice is the first step to helping you feeling like your vital, active self again.

Schedule your thyroid consultation today and learn how we may be able to help your thyroid symptoms.