What is Hashimotos thyroiditis?
Hashimotos is an autoimmune thyroid disease that leads to destruction of the thyroid gland and hypothyroid symptoms. Signs and symptoms may include brain fog, constipation, weight gain, low blood pressure, dry skin, brittle hair and hair loss, low libido, infertility, depression, lack of motivation, irregular periods, sore achey muscles and fatigue… although some people don’t have any symptoms until the disease has progressed to a late stage.
Hashimotos is characterised by elevated thyroid antibodies on blood test and can be easily missed if the thyroid antibodies specifically anti-thyroperoxidase and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies are not tested. Commonly only TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is tested which can be within normal range in the early stages of the autoimmune disease. As the disease progresses and more of the thyroid tissue is destroyed it becomes harder for the gland to function optimally and symptoms of hypothyroid start to occur.
Sometimes only TSH and thyroid hormones themselves are tested which is also not enough to exclude the diagnosis of autoimmune hashimotos thyroiditis.
Why is this important?
The diagnosis is important to know in order to treat the condition before too much tissue destruction occurs and address the immune system as the cause rather than just the thyroid gland itself. In autoimmune disease the immune system is unregulated and begins to identify the body’s own tissue as foreign signalling the immune system to start an attack on its own tissue. This causes inflammation and oxidative stress on the body and if left untreated over the long term can lead to the triggering of other autoimmune disease such as celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma etc.
Key questions to ask yourself if you suspect you could have a thyroid disorder…
- Do I have any other family members with diagnosed thyroid disease?
- Do I have fatigue, weight gain or weight loss, constipation or diarrhoea, anxiety or depression, high or low blood pressure, insomnia, tremor, heart palpitations, low pulse, a goiter?
- Does anyone in my family have an autoimmune disease?
IF you have a family history of autoimmune disease and symptoms of thyroid dysfunction consult with your health care provider and seek out the appropriate tests.
Getting the diagnosis is the first step to healing.
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In wellness Jean
Australia wide naturopath servicing Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Darwin, Perth, Glen Innes and the New England area, Inverell, Armidale, Emmaville, Uralla, Surry Hills or where ever you are travelling from with online skype consults available.
Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal health advice – consult a qualified professional for personal health advice especially if you are on medications that may interact with complementary and alternative medicines. If anything you have read here raises any questions or concerns consult your healthcare practitioner for personal health advice.