What Is Hashimoto Thyroiditis?
posted: May 11, 2022.
Feeling sluggish, lethargic, and riddled with brain fog all the time is no way to go through life. Hashimoto thyroiditis can cause all of these symptoms and more. It is an autoimmune disease. What happens when someone is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease is that the immune system mistakes structures or systems within its own body as foreign invaders and launches an attack to defend itself. In the case of Hashimoto thyroiditis, this attack by the immune system is targeted at the thyroid gland. Dr. Tipu Sultan, MD leads a team of providers at the Environmental Health Center in St. Louis, MO, where Hashimoto thyroiditis is a frequent diagnosis that we treat.
What is Hashimoto thyroiditis?
Simply put, it is a dysregulation of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis refers to an inflammation of the thyroid gland, which can cause a multitude of symptoms. This disease will cause your thyroid gland, in most cases, to be underactive. Rarely, however, will it result in overactive functioning of the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland produces the hormones that regulate your metabolism. Dysfunction of this gland and its effects on metabolism can impact not only the processing of the calories you eat from food, but can also affect nearly every other organ or system in your body that uses energy. This includes the heart.
What causes Hashimoto thyroiditis?
As with most autoimmune disorders, it is not fully understood why an individual acquires this disease. Familial genes seem to be the biggest factors that can lead to Hashimoto thyroiditis. Some other correlations and risk factors to be aware of that may lead to Hashimoto thyroiditis in St. Louis, MO include:
- Exposure to certain viruses, particularly hepatitis C.
- Females are more likely to develop thyroiditis, indicating that sex hormones may be a factor in acquiring this condition.
- Certain drugs that contain excessive iodine may trigger thyroiditis.
- Radiation exposure, particularly radiation treatment for the blood cancer Hodgkin's disease.
- Correlations with other conditions have been observed, including rheumatoid arthritis, gluten sensitivity, B12 deficiency, some liver conditions, type 1 diabetes, lupus, and Addison's disease.
What are the symptoms associated with Hashimoto thyroiditis?
The symptoms of this disease progress at a very slow rate. Symptoms may not be apparent for years after developing the disease. When they do show up, a goiter is commonly the first sign of Hashimoto thyroiditis. It involves an enlarged thyroid gland in the neck. This may cause swallowing difficulties. Other symptoms you may experience are:
- Extreme fatigue and brain fog
- Weight gain
- Muscle and joint pain
- Intolerance to cold and trouble getting warm
- Heavy and irregular menses
- Dry skin and thinning, dry hair
- Slower than normal heart rate
Contact us for more information
Dr. Sultan, MD, and his staff at the Environmental Health Center aim to treat these problems holistically through nutritional and environmental means. Treat your Hashimoto thyroiditis in St. Louis, MO holistically. Schedule a consultation with us by calling (314) 921-5600.