Thyroid disorders

Hashimoto thyroiditis

Thyroid disorders
Related glands
Thyroid gland
Related Hormones

What is Hashimoto thyroiditis?

Hashimoto thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease.
It can cause:

  • Euthyroidism (autoimmunity without dysfunction)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Or hyperthyroidism (= hashitoxicosis)

What causes Hashimoto thyroiditis?

This form of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease. The immune system slowly destroys the thyroid cells, causing them to make less and less thyroid hormone. It is not clear why the immune system targets the thyroid cells. It is known to be more common in people who have other autoimmune diseases, and there is also a familial tendency to develop Hashimoto thyroiditis 

How is Hashimoto thyroiditis diagnosed?

Hashimoto thyroiditis is diagnosed via blood tests that screen for antithyroid antibodies known as thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO), which almost all people with Hashimoto’s disease have. 

A blood analysis shows that thyroid hormone (T4 or free T4) levels are too low and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level are too high. Antibodies (usually thyroid peroxidase antibodies) are present. 

What are the signs and symptoms of Hashimoto thyroiditis?

Thyroid gland destruction is slow and symptoms usually develop very gradually. The most common symptoms in children are: 

  • growth retardation with weight gain at the same time 
  • fatigue 
  • a cold feeling 
  • constipation 
  • delayed puberty 
  • menstrual disorders 
  • hair loss and dry skin 

How is Hashimoto thyroiditis treated?

The treatment is supplemental thyroid hormone in tablet form. The dose varies from person to person and is adjusted according to blood test results during treatment. 

If thyroid function remains normal and the thyroid is not enlarged, no therapy is required. 

Contact a specialist

This website is not intended to provide advice or a diagnosis. This website is only intended to provide information. Do you have questions? Talk to your doctor or contact a specialist