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Causes of the Autoimmune Disorder Known as Hashimotos Disease


Hashimoto’s Disease Causes

Hashimotos disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder in which antibodies are created by the immune system. These antibodies attack the thyroid gland resulting in the underproduction of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism).

Researchers do not yet know why the immune system attacks the thyroid glands in some individuals. Some believe that the underlying cause may be a genetic flaw. Other researchers believe that the response is triggered by a bacterium or virus.

Whilst the exact causes of the autoimmune disorder known as Hashimotos Disease are not clear, the disease is most common among middle-aged women. In addition, individuals who have family members with thyroid disorders also tend to be at higher risk.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Whatever the cause, it is imperative to seek treatment as soon as symptoms are detected so that complications associated with Hashimoto’s disease can be minimized or eliminated. These complications may include the development of a goiter (thyroid gland enlargement, compromised mental function, heart problems, and higher risk of birth defects in babies born to women with untreated Hashimoto’s disease.

Hashimoto’s Symptoms

While the disease itself does not have any distinct symptoms, it does typically lead to an underactive thyroid gland. Therefore, the symptoms of hypothyroidism may be a sign of Hashimoto’s disease. These symptoms include fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, skin that is pale and dry, constipation, increased blood cholesterol level, hoarse voice, unexplained weight gain, a puffy face, depression, muscle weakness or stiffness, and prolonged (or excessive) menstrual bleeding.

Treatment for patients with Hashimotos Disease

If you develop any of these symptoms, it is best to play it safe by visiting a doctor for a checkup. In particular, a throat specialist will be able to provide a proper diagnosis, which is important when it comes to thyroid issues since many thyroid disorders have similar symptoms and must be treated according to the precise underlying condition. For instance, both Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s disease are characterized by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland. However, while Hashimoto’s disease causes the underproduction of thyroid hormones, Graves’ disease causes hyperthyroidism (excess production of thyroid hormones) and must be treated differently.

If you have any questions about hashimoto’s disease, thyroiditis or thyroid symptoms, you should speak to your local doctor, who will arrange to contact your thyroid surgeon