Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

  • Medical Author:

    Robert Ferry Jr., MD, is a U.S. board-certified Pediatric Endocrinologist. After taking his baccalaureate degree from Yale College, receiving his doctoral degree and residency training in pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), he completed fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Quick GuideThyroid Anatomy, Symptoms, and Disorders

Thyroid Anatomy, Symptoms, and Disorders

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.

The treatment of choice for Hashimoto's thyroiditis is typically synthetic T4 or thyroxine (levothyroxine). Brand names for this medication include Synthroid, Levothroid and Levoxyl. The medication must be taken indefinitely, and successful treatment alleviates the symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism. 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. The dosage of levothyroxine may need to be modified after checking TSH levels once yearly. Adjustment of the dose may also be required in pregnant women.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/3/2015
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