Hashimoto’s Disease – The Most Common Thyroid Problem
There are a number of thyroid disorders that can wreak havoc on the body’s normal functioning. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common among these disorders and can occur in individuals of any age. However, this thyroid problem is most common among middle aged women.
As an autoimmune disorder, Hashimoto’s disease occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. As a result, the thyroid gland becomes inflamed and typically causes hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland).
Unfortunately, the detection of Hashimoto’s disease often takes place well after the problem sets in. This is because the disease progresses slowly before noticeable symptoms begin to arise. The symptoms of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease overlap. These symptoms include:
- Feeling of sluggishness
- Cold sensitivity
- Pale, coarse skin
- Increased blood cholesterol level
- Unexplained weight gain
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Muscle aches
- Problems with ability to concentrate
- Muscle weakness
- Irregular menstrual bleeding
- Puffy face
When left untreated, this thyroid disorder will eventually worsen causing more severe signs and symptoms. The thyroid gland may become enlarged forming a goitre. If you are showing signs of hypothyroidism, it is important to see your doctor.
Professionals in the field of medicine are unsure of the exact reasons why the immune system attacks the thyroid gland in some individuals. Some believe that genetics plays a role, while others believe that bacterium or a specific virus may be at the root of the problem.
The good news is that the disease usually responds well to treatment methods provided by ENT specialists. Thyroid hormone replacement is commonly used to treat this problem. After beginning such therapy, it is imperative to schedule follow-up appointments with your doctor so that your medication dose can be adjusted as needed. Once your hormone levels are back to normal, you will only need to visit your ENT doctor about once a year for checkups. ]