What You Should Know About Hashimoto’s Disease

At an endocrine and diabetes care center like Freeman Endocrinology, we deal with a wide range of issues relating to the thyroid.  One of the most unique diseases that diabetes and metabolism specialists have to deal with is Hashimoto’s Disease, AKA Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.   Hashimoto’s Disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.

If you have a history of thyroid issues in your family, it’s important to know the symptoms and risk factors of Hashimoto’s.  Here are the facts.

What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?

Hashimoto’s Disease is an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid.  This disrupts production of vital hormones in the thyroid, leading to hypothyroidism and a range of associated symptoms.

Unfortunately, science has yet to precisely determine what causes Hashimoto’s Disease.  Heredity factors are a large part of it; with roughly 70% of thyroid issues having a genetic basis.  However, research is ongoing to try to more precisely determine its origins.  We also know that it affects women far more often than men and that it tends to manifest in middle age.  Those who have had other autoimmune disorders, or who have been exposed to large doses of radiation, are also at higher risk of developing the disease.

What Are the Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Disease? 

One of the trickiest aspects of Hashimoto is that it can have a wide range of symptoms, making it easy for doctors to misdiagnose.  Sometimes the symptoms are extreme; other times they’re so mild the patient may not even notice.  They include:

  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Extremely dry skin
  • Brittle hair or nails
  • Loss of nails or hair
  • Increased cold sensitivity
  • Sudden unexplained weight gain
  • Swollen tongue
  • Depression
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Memory lapses

Because of the kinds of symptoms that they experience, people who suffer from Hashimoto’s Disease also often describe it as feeling “dissociative”:  They feel like they’ve lost control of their bodies, experiencing life as observers rather than feeling in direct control of their lives.  This often leads to profound detachment, such as a pulling away from friends and family. Getting diagnosed and treated by a trained physician can be a life-changing event – a change for the positive!

Freeman Endocrinology Is Your Endocrine and Diabetes Care Center

If you are experiencing symptoms like those described above, and your regular doctor can’t find a cause, it could be Hashimoto’s Disease.  Contact Freeman Endocrinology to schedule an appointment for an examination.

 

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