Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. This leads to inflammation and damage to the thyroid, which can result in a decrease in the production of thyroid hormones. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) in the United States.
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can vary, but may include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, and muscle and joint pain. The symptoms may be mild at first, but can become more severe as the condition progresses. In some cases, people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may have no symptoms, or may have symptoms that are mistaken for other conditions.
Diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis typically involves a physical examination, blood tests to measure thyroid hormone levels and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, and sometimes an ultrasound of the thyroid. The treatment of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis usually involves the use of synthetic thyroid hormone replacement therapy, which can help to replace the hormones that are not being produced by the damaged thyroid gland. This treatment is typically lifelong and the dosage needs to be adjusted over time to maintain normal levels of thyroid hormones. Regular monitoring is needed to ensure that the therapy is effective and that thyroid hormone levels remain normal. Other medications, supplements and herbal remedies may be used to help balance the immune system and reduce inflammation. Most importantly it is key to figure out the root causes of why you have an autoimmune disorders in the first place.
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