What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? Symptoms, Diagnosis

What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? Symptoms, Diagnosis

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is a disorder of the thyroid gland. A person is said to be suffering from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis when their thyroid gland becomes irritated due to the action of the antibodies formed by your immune system. Essentially, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an auto immune disease, which by definition is, a disease which is caused by the mistaken attack of your body’s immune system on some of the organ of your body.

The basic cause behind the occurrence of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is your autoimmune disorder. The intended function of the autoimmune system of your body is to protect you from external agents such as microbes (bacteria, fungi etc.). But talking of the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, the autoimmune system of your body mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland of your body and as a result the thyroid gland starts making less thyroid hormone, thus causing a deficiency of the thyroid hormone in the body.

Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is a small gland which is located in your neck. The basic responsibility of the thyroid gland is to secrete Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine hormones in your blood. The said hormones are essential for the body weight management and must be ensured to be present in sufficient quantity in the blood for proper functioning of the body.

The thyroid gland, like other organs, may fail to work properly and can result in either overproduction or underproduction of Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine. In case the thyroid gland produces too much of Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine, the person suffers from a condition known as Hyperthyroidism. While on the other hand if the thyroid gland produces too little of Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine, the person suffers from a condition known as Hypothyroidism.

Symptoms

The symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis vary from person to person. While some people may show very mild symptoms, others may show severe symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Let us discuss about the symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in detail.

  • Bulge on neck: Some people face the problem of a bulge on their neck, which is often misinterpreted as cancer. But this is the swelling of the thyroid gland and causes problems in swallowing, breathing or speaking.
  • Muscle weakness: Muscle weakness is a very common symptom of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. The person experiences extreme muscle soreness and weakness throughout the duration of the disease.
  • Weight gain: People suffering from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis often experience involuntary weight gain and complain of excessive increase in their weight despite of no change in their dietary routine.
  • Depression: Depression is also a symptom of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, though not very common. The severity of depression depends on the previous mental health of the patient and the nature and care provided by their care takers.
  • Rapid heart rate: An abnormally increased heart rate is another common symptom of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which many a times induces the need of providing with extra medication of rapid heart rate and sometimes angina too.
  • Sweating: The people suffering from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis complain of excessive sweating and this can even become a cause of dehydration in some people. Excessive loss of water and salt (iodine) is observed from the body if the person experiences excessive sweating.

Diagnosis

Going by the nature if symptoms of the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis disease, one must get themselves checked with their medical practitioner and get a diagnosis done if they suspect themselves suffering from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis disease.

In the process to diagnose whether you are suffering from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis disease, your doctor will analyse your symptoms and carry out several blood tests to check the level of Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine. If the doctor observes high fluctuation in the level of Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine then you may be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and get a treatment started for the same.

Footnotes

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis disease, though not fatal, but can cause serious complications in a person’s health if not treated timely. One must resort to health friendly habits and get proper amount of iodine in their food in order to prevent the development of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, but if you’re suffering from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis already, then take proper medication and ensure the disease does not grow in severity.

 

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