The Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the thyroid cells, causing an inflammation of this gland, which often results in a hyperthyroidism passenger which is then followed by hypothyroidism.
In fact, this type of tiroidite is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism, especially in women, causing symptoms such as excessive tiredness, hair loss, brittle nails, and even loss of memory.
Most often, the disease begins with a rise in painless thyroid and, therefore, can only be identified during a routine examination at the doctor, but in other cases, thyroiditis can cause a sensation of a ball in the neck, which does not cause no pain to palpation. In any case, treatment with an endocrinologist should be initiated as soon as possible to regulate the functioning of the gland and prevent the emergence of complications.
The main symptoms
The most common symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are exactly the same as hypothyroidism, so it is common to present:
- Increase easy weight;
- Excessive fatigue;
- Skin cold and pale;
- Low tolerance to cold;
- Muscle or joint pain;
- Slight swelling of the front part of the neck, in the place of the thyroid;
- Hair and nails are weaker.
This problem is more common in women, and its discovery is usually made between 30 and 50 years of age. Initially, the doctor can diagnose only a hypothyroidism and, after to do other tests to identify inflammation of the thyroid getting in the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
How to confirm the diagnosis
The best way to diagnose Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is to consult a endocrinologist and carry out the blood test that evaluates the amount of T3, T4 and TSH, in addition to the survey of the antibodies gland (anti-TPO). In the case of thyroiditis, the TSH is usually normal or increased, never decreased.
Some people may experience the antibodies gland but does not exhibit any symptoms, being considered as having autoimmune thyroiditis subclinical and therefore not in need of treatment.
What causes Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Still do not know the specific cause for the emergence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, however, it is possible that it is caused by a genetic change, since it is possible that the disease appears in multiple people from the same family. Other studies indicate that this type of tiroidite can be started after infection by a virus or bacteria that ends up causing a chronic inflammation of the thyroid.
Although there is no known cause, tiroidite de Hashimoto seems to be more frequent in people with other endocrine disorders such as type 1 diabetes, a malfunction of the adrenal gland or other autoimmune diseases such as pernicious anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, Addison’s disease or lupus, and others as deficit of ACTH, breast cancer, hepatitis, and the presence of H. Pylori.
How is it treated
The treatment is usually only indicated when there are changes in the values of TSH or when there are symptoms, and is usually started with the hormone replacement made with the use of Levothyroxine for 6 months. After this time, it is often necessary to go back to the doctor to re-evaluate the size of the gland and to perform new tests to find out if you need to change to another medicine or adjust the dose.
If the person has pain or there is a rapid growth of the thyroid may be indicated and the use of corticoids such as Prednisolone, for 3 to 4 weeks for relief of symptoms.
In addition, the power supply can also greatly affect the health of the thyroid and, thus, it is recommended to make a healthy diet with foods rich in nutrients that are good for the functioning of the thyroid as iodine, zinc or selenium, for example. See a list of the best foods for the thyroid.
How should be the diet
Possible complications of thyroiditis
When the thyroiditis causes change in the production of hormones and is not treated properly, it can lead to some health complications. The most common include:
- Heart problems: people with hypothyroidism not controlled have higher chances of presenting LDL levels high in the blood, which increases the risk of heart problems;
- Mental health problems: decreased production of thyroid hormone, the body loses energy, so the person feels more tired, contributing to mood changes and even the emergence of depression;
- Myxedema: this is a rare condition that usually arises in cases very advanced of hypothyroidism, leading to swelling of the face, and even more severe symptoms such as complete lack of energy and loss of consciousness.
Thus, the ideal is that always be wary of hashimoto’s if you look for a endocrinologist to do the necessary tests and start the treatment as soon as possible.