Hashimoto disease is basically a disease associated with the thyroid gland located at the base of our neck. In this medical condition,the immune system of your body attacks your thyroid gland. What the thyroid gland does in our body? Well, it serves a crucial role in our endocrine system responsible for metabolism and coordinating among various physical activities.
The underactive thyroid gland, a medical condition referred commonly as hypothyroidism is caused often by Hashimoto disease. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones needs by the body.
In the US, it is cited as the principal cause of hypothyroidism in the majority of cases. Though the disease is mostly found in middle-aged women but also be observed in men and women of other age groups and in children.
Here below we discuss the causes, symptoms, risk factors and medication of Hashimoto disease.
Causes of Hashimoto disease
Hashimoto is basically an autoimmune disorder and like many other diseases related to the underperforming immune system, the exact cause is still not known, though several contributing factors have been identified. Let us have a look at some of these factors.
Family members and ancestors of the diseased are often detected to have suffered from any kind thyroid disorder or another autoimmune disease.
Hashimoto disease mostly occurs in Women are at least seven times more susceptible to this disease than men. This suggests female sex hormone has a role to play in this.
Excess intake of iodine
Iodine is essential for the functioning of thyroid gland but an excess of this element can make the gland suffer as well. Excess intake of iodine and certain drugs are responsible for triggering thyroid disease in some people.
Exposure to radioactive materials
People suffered from the exposure to radioactive materials is more likely to develop this disease.
Symptoms of Hashimoto disease
The symptoms of Hashimoto disease can be mild or non-perceptible in the initial stage but over time can manifest symptoms like enlarged thyroid gland and other symptoms. Some symptoms may be common to other physical conditions and so it is advised to seek medical advice after identifying them. An underactive Hashimoto disease may have the following symptoms.
- Gaining weight
- Numbness and fatigue
- Pale face skin
- Joint and muscle pain
- Constipation and irregular bowel syndrome
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Difficulty during pregnancy
- Thinning hair or increased hair loss
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Mood disorder and depression
- Slower pulse and heart rate
Treatment and medication
Hashimoto is an autoimmune disorder the conclusive treatment of which is not found yet. But the thyroid hormone deficiency caused by this disease is treated through the use of the synthetic hormone. The hormone replacement medication helps to maintain the required hormone levels and restoration of metabolism.
Synthetic levothyroxine which is used in the treatment of such condition is identical to Thyroxine, the hormone produced by our thyroid gland. The medication in different strengths is provided orally to maintain the adequate levels of hormones needed by our body.