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Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - Know How To Manage It!

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Parveez Siddiqui 90% (57ratings)
MD - General Medicine
Internal Medicine Specialist, Hyderabad  •  3years experience
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - Know How To Manage It!

The thyroid gland can suffer from various irregularities, and with this, the person either suffers from hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, since the hormones secreted by the gland either increase or decrease. If someone is suffering from Hashimoto's thyroiditis, it means that his immune system has turned against the thyroid gland. This acts upon the gland and the functions of the gland become erratic. However, the problem with this particular thyroid problem is that there is no known causative agent for this problem. It is the body’s own immune system that turns upon the thyroid and makes it function erratically. This is why like other types of thyroid problems, where there is a chance of cure, there is no cure for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. There is a need to manage the hormone levels so that the metabolic activities of the body can go on unhindered.

Symptoms - 

Symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease take years to develop and are mild at the initial stages. The first signs mostly appear as an enlarged thyroid and swollen neck, also known as goiter. It may make swallowing difficult. Other symptoms take hold slowly and may include:

You must visit the doctor when you feel the swelling in the gland.

Causes -

The exact cause of Hashimoto's thyroiditis is still unknown. However, there are many similar causes which include:

  • Genes: If there is a family history of this disease, one is likely to get this disease. One may also be susceptible to this disease if there is a family history of some kind of autoimmune disease.

  • Hormones: The disease affects more women than men. This implies that there is a connection between sex hormones to the problem. Moreover, as many as 20% of women who develop thyroid problems during the first year of giving birth to a  baby, tend to develop Hashimoto's thyroiditis later.

  • Excessive Iodine: Excessive intake of iodine can precipitate this problem. Research suggests that too much iodine may trigger thyroid abnormalities. Certain drugs may also precipitate this problem.

  • Radiation Exposure: Exposure to radiation like in radiation treatment for cancer can also cause this disease.

Management of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - 

Since there is no cure for this disease, medicines to replace hormones may work to regulate hormones and restore metabolism. The dosage of the medicine depends upon a number of factors, which include:-

  • Age

  • Weight

  • The severity of the problem, such as hypothyroidism

  • General health condition

During the course of management of the disease, the doctor may order lab tests for testing the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone and regulate the dose to restore balance.

However, you can never stop taking the medicine since it is actually a synthetic hormone that is used as a replacement of natural thyroid hormones. You may successfully manage the symptoms if you visit the doctor regularly, conduct tests, and take the right dose of medicine without fail.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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