Hashimoto’s disease is one of a group of diseases known as autoimmune disorders. An autoimmune disorder occurs when, instead of protecting itself, the body’s immune system actually starts to attack the body’s own organs. In the case of Hashimoto’s the body attacks the thyroid gland. This causes white blood cells to accumulate inside the thyroid gland and eventually they begin to prevent the thyroid from producing hormones that are essential for proper bodily functions.
For this reason, dealing with Hashimoto’s disease requires medical thyroid treatment. Learning a bit about the thyroid gland will help those looking for more answers about Hashimoto’s disease.
The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid can be found on the front part of the neck and is shaped like a butterfly. The wings (or lobes) are located on either side of the windpipe just below the voice box (larynx).
The endocrine system is comprised of glands that produce hormones which have an important role to play in how the body works. These hormones are stored and then released into the bloodstream as needed. The thyroid makes thyroxine, known as T4, which in turn makes another hormone; triiodothyronine or T3.
A condition called hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is unable to produce an adequate supply of hormones. There’s more than one possible cause for hypothyroidism but one of the most common causes is Hashimoto’s disease. Many of the body’s functions slow down when thyroid hormone levels drop. The symptoms are varied but here is a list of the most common effects associated with this disease:
- Gaining weight
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- An inability to tolerate colder temperatures
- Brittle hair
- Thin hair
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Having trouble becoming pregnant
- Pain in muscles
- Joint discomfort
- Heart rate that is slower than normal
It is important to seek help from an expert in thyroid treatment, and that is hard to come by! Finding a doctor familiar with the subtleties of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis treatment is also like trying to find a unicorn, as it is not only a disease that affects thyroid and causes low functioning as the gland gets attacked, but can also cause a number of other autoimmune related issues that frustrate patients and elude doctors. It’s hard to know which supplements, diets and medications can help for Hashimoto’s. Be sure to consider adrenal function and the sex hormone balance as well, to be sure there are no issues in those areas of hormone health. It’s important to treat both the hypothyroidism AND the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis aspect.
Inflammation of the thyroid causes swelling and an enlarged thyroid, known as a goiter, can develop, along with nodules that can also be present. If left untreated the thyroid will eventually stop functioning altogether. If experiencing the above symptoms, connect with a professional at earliest convenience for proper testing to decide how treatment should play out. Interview your potential doctors carefully to see if this is an area of expertise!
About Maturo Medical: Maturo Medical is a Tempe, Arizona-based Thyroid treatment center, where Dr. Lisa Maturo specializes in the testing and treatment of thyroid disorders. For more information on thyroid treatment visit: maturomedical.org today!