Pathology

What is Hashimotos Disease



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What is Hashimoto's Disease?

When somebody is diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease, it means they have a thyroid disorder. This disease is also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, and is also an autoimmune disease type. What the problem is connected with overall, is the immune system going out of order, launching attacks on the thyroid gland. This is the underlying reason that people have hypothyroidism.

Hashimoto's Disease makes slow progress over time. Your symptoms that you experience all depend on how quickly the problem progresses. The most general symptoms a person commonly has include (1) raspy or hoarse voice, (2) cholesterol levels that are high, (3) putting on a lot of fluid weight, (4) tiredness, (5) intolerance to any cold weather, (6) pallor to the skin which is usually too dry, (7) depression, (8) very heavy menstrual cycles, and (9) joint pain and stiffness. Over time and as this thyroid condition is left untreated, the symptoms become much worse, and you will also likely have a goiter.

The medical complications that can start with Hashimoto's Disease number several. Heart disease is a great risk in Hashimoto's Disease. The reason for this is what I first mentioned that high cholesteral levels are common. As those levels remain high, coronary arteries clog up, and can cause heart problems leading to a heart attack.

People with Hashimoto's Disease also can experience many mental health issues. Severe depression is not so uncommon in these people. Along with that is loss of sexual drive and a decrease in overall cognitive abilities.

One of the first things a doctor will do after an initial examination is several blood studies where Hashimoto's Disease is shown. A hormone test is done to determine the number of hormones your pituitary gland, and thyroid gland are putting out. Abnormalities will show hypothyroidism which means that the thyroid is underactive, while your thyroid stimulating hormone is high.

There is also an antibody test that picks up on thyroid peroxidase. The thyroid peroxidase enzyme is something that we all have which plays a big role in helping the thyroid hormones function correctly. In Hashimoto's Disease, this level is found to be abnormal since antibodies attack this enzyme type.

Once this is found out, then you will be placed on some synthetic thyroid hormones. One example of such a replacement drug is Synthroid. This replacement hormone acts as thyroxine, which is your own hormone you should have enough of.

After you are on the drug, you will need return follow-up with your doctor to test your levels of TSH again. They should indicate more normal levels after taking this drug.

In people that have been experiencing hypothyroidism to a large degree or for those with heart problems, your endocrinologist will start you out slowly on therapy until he or she feels they can gently raise the dosages. When you are taking Synthroid, which doesn't have many side effects or problems, you will have to watch iron supplements you are taking with ut as well as antacids containing aluminum hydroxide. Talk to your doctor about other things to avoid while taking Synthroid.

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