Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (cont.)

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What is the treatment of Hashimoto's thyroiditis?

There is no cure for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The timeframe of the autoimmune process and inflammation will continue is not predictable. In the vast majority of patients, hypothyroidism results from the inflammatory process.

Thyroid hormone medication can replace the hormones the thyroid made before the inflammation started. There are two major thyroid hormones made by a healthy gland (T3 and T4). Replacing one or both of these hormones can alleviate the symptoms caused by the absolute or relative lack of hormones as a consequence of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Without medication, there is very little chance the thyroid would be able to maintain hormone levels within the normal range, and symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism would occur or worsen.

Should I be concerned if I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and want to become pregnant?

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is not a reason to avoid pregnancy. However, some women with Hashimoto's thyroiditis do have trouble conceiving. In addition to careful obstetric care, management of thyroid hormone replacement by an endocrinologist is helpful. Before conception and during pregnancy, levels of thyroid hormones need to be monitored and optimized. The target goal is usually within the range for nonpregnant women but at the higher end of the normal range.

Conclusions

If you think you may have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, ask your doctor to check your thyroid function and order blood tests to help make a diagnosis. If you know you have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, continue to take medications as directed by your physician, and follow-up regularly with your health care professional for thyroid function tests and optimal care.

Medically reviewed by John A. Seibel, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Endocrinology & Metabolism

REFERENCE: MedscapeReference.com. Hashimoto Thyroiditis.


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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