Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

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Introduction to Hashimoto's thyroiditis

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism (having too low levels of thyroid hormones) in the United States. The condition was named after Dr. Hakaru Hashimoto, the doctor who described it in 1912.

What causes Hashimoto's thyroiditis?

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a condition caused by inflammation of the thyroid gland. It is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body inappropriately attacks the thyroid gland - as if it was foreign tissue. The underlying cause of the autoimmune process remains unknown. Hashimoto's thyroiditis tends to occur in families. It can be associated with other autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes or celiac disease. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is 5 to 10 times more common in women than in men and most often starts in adulthood. Blood drawn from people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis typically reveals an increased number of antibodies against thyroid-specific proteins, including thyroperoxidase and thyroglobulin. T lymphocytes, a type of cell involved in the inflammation process, invade the thyroid gland cause silent, painless inflammation that destroys it; ultimately, the individual produces little or no thyroid hormone and becomes hypothyroid.

Illustration of the Thyroid Gland
Illustration of the Thyroid Gland
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/9/2014

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Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
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Hypothyroidism Symptoms

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

Hypothyroidism is most commonly a result of an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, in which the body's own immune cells attack and destroy the thyroid gland.

symptoms of hypothyroidism in adults are:

  • Cold intolerance
  • Sleepiness
  • Memory loss
  • Decreased libido

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