What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?

Our team at Freeman Endocrinology has great experience in diagnosing and treating endocrine issues and in our latest post we explain more about the issue of Hashimoto’s disease.   Hashimoto’s disease is also known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and it is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the US.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease can be very subtle and hard to detect. Often patients go undiagnosed because they don’t notice one of the more visible symptoms – the swelling of the thyroid – for several months after onset.  Those who have the disease may experience any combination of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Pale, dry skin
  • Puffy face
  • Brittle nails
  • Slow heart rate
  • Irregular or heavy menstrual periods
  • Muscle weakness
  • Memory lapses
  • Depression

Causes

It’s not clear why people develop Hashimoto’s disease, although it could be combination of factors.  In this disease, your immune system  creates antibodies that attack your thyroid gland.

While there is no firm theory on what causes the antibodies to attack your thyroid gland in this way, some believe that viruses are to blame for the switch in immune behavior. While others believe that there is a genetic cause for the disease. Still others, point to excessive iodine levels or radiation exposure.

The rationale for a genetic basis for this disease may be related to the finding that a person is more likely to be at risk for Hashimoto’s disease if they have a family member who also has it.  Hashimoto’s may be 8 times more common in women than in men.  And while the disease can appear at any age, onset of the disease occurs most commonly between the ages of 40 and 60.

If you feel you’re experiencing the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease, it’s important you work with an endocrinologist to be properly diagnosed.

Treatment Options

It’s important to recognize that there are effective treatment options for those with Hashimoto’s disease. Most important is the need for observation and management by an endocrine specialist,and the use of appropriate hormone therapy to balance hormonal changes that have occurred due to the condition. If you feel that you may be suffering from Hashimoto’s disease, it’s imperative to see an experienced medical professional who can examine you and evaluate your symptoms properly.

Our clinical team at Freeman Endocrinology can respond to your broad range of health care needs. Because we specialize in endocrine conditions, we  are very experienced in working with patients who have Hashimoto’s. To book an appointment with Dr. Freeman, call us today!

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