What is it and what helps?
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland that affects women in particular. We explain how you can recognize the disease and how it should be treated.
What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease. The thyroid gland is chronically inflamed because it is being attacked by its own immune system. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis leads to typical symptoms of hypothyroidism, because the thyroid gland can no longer produce enough thyroid hormones due to the disease. These hormones are involved in various functions in the body, such as metabolism and the psyche. The disease can be recognized by certain blood values.
Why is my thyroid getting sick?
The exact causes behind autoimmune diseases are still unclear. The immune system, which is supposed to fight viruses and bacteria, forms antibodies and uses them to attack the body’s own tissue – in the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the thyroid gland. As a result, the organ atrophies and can no longer fulfill its function.
experts suspect that a viral or bacterial infection can trigger autoimmune diseases. But the following factors could also play a role:
- Genetic predisposition
- Diet high in iodine
- Pre-existing chronic conditions such as Addison’s disease and diabetes
What are the symptoms of the disease?
Hashimoto is initially painless, then it can lead to an overactive thyroid which can cause the following symptoms:
- Fast weight loss
- sleep disorders
- muscle weakness
- hair loss
But the overfunction is only temporary – after some time, the production of the thyroid hormone is completely reduced, then the typical symptoms of hypothyroidism appear. The following Hashimoto symptoms exist:
- Rapid weight gain
- hair loss
- Dry skin
- memory and concentration disorders
Treatment: what can be done about Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?
If the diagnosis Hashimoto, the doctor prescribes an artificial form of the thyroid hormone as a tablet. This should be taken every morning on an empty stomach about 30 minutes before breakfast. You usually start with a low dose and gradually increase it. Under optimal settings, the thyroid value TSH should be between 0.5 and 1 mIU/ml.
In many patients, the symptoms regress as a result of hormone administration. The autoimmune disease itself cannot be cured.
You can find out how it feels with an underactive thyroid here: How my thyroid almost drove me into depression.
Reading tip: You can find out everything about the hormone diet here.