What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s disease, also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or simply Hashimoto’s, is commonly and incorrectly treated as a thyroid issue when it is really an autoimmune disorder. It occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and damage.
This damage can cause the gland to become enlarged and can lead to decreased thyroid function and hypothyroidism, a condition in which the gland produces insufficient hormones.
Hashimoto’s disease affects ~5 in 100 Americans. It is more common in women than men and tends to progress in middle age. It is also more common in people with a family history of thyroid disease or other autoimmune disorders.
In this article, we’ll explore Hashimoto’s disease & its symptoms, how to test for the condition, and popular Hashimoto’s disease treatment options.
Who is More Likely to Have Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s disease is more common in women than in men. Although the disease may occur in young females, it more often develops in middle-aged women.
The chance of developing Hashimoto’s disease increases with a family history of Hashimoto’s or in the presence of other autoimmune disorders, such as:
- Celiac disease: A digestive disorder that damages the small intestine
- Lupus: A chronic disorder that can affect many parts of the body
- Rheumatoid arthritis A disorder that affects the joints
- Type 1 diabetes: A disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Hashimoto's Disease?
Many people with Hashimoto’s may not experience any Hashimoto Disease symptoms for years. However, as the disorder progresses, symptoms may begin to develop.
One common first sign of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis occurs when the thyroid increases in size. This eventually causes the front of the neck to look swollen. The enlarged thyroid, or goiter, is not painful but it may create a feeling of fullness in the throat.
Some other common symptoms of Hashimoto’s are: fatigue, weight gain, a puffy face, insomnia, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, joint pain, and muscle weakness. Common Hashimoto’s disease symptoms in females may include heavy or irregular menstrual periods or fertility problems, thinning hair, and changes in mood.
How Serious is Hashimoto's Disease?
If left untreated, Hashimoto’s can lead to several dangerous conditions including high cholesterol, heart disease and heart failure, high blood pressure, and a rare condition called myxedema that causes the body’s functions to slow to life-threatening levels.
Hashimoto's Disease Test
Testing for Hashimoto’s Disease typically involves a hormone blood test to measure thyroid hormone levels and the presence of antibodies that indicate an autoimmune reaction.
How to Treat Hashimoto's Disease
Hashimoto’s Disease Treatment with Forum Health
At Forum Health, we take a functional medicine approach to identify the root cause of your Hashimoto’s disease and use customized treatment plans to fight inflammation in the thyroid and throughout the body, strengthening the immune system, and decreasing the thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO) load.
Treatments are designed to effectively restore normal thyroid function and alleviate symptoms. This could include hormone replacement therapy, IV therapy, supplement support, and lifestyle changes.
Forum Health Treatment Highlights
Testing for hormonal imbalances and implementing hormone-balancing therapies such as bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
Hormone replacement therapies, IV therapy and supplement support.
Dietary changes and lifestyle changes are essential to treating hashimoto’s disease.
Forum Health can help you on your journey towards well-being.