Hashi... WHAT? Hashimotos is an autoimmune disease.
An autoimmune disease is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs. Normally, the immune system protects the body from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances. In Hashimotos disease, the immune system decides first to attack the thyroid gland, causing inflammation and interfering with its ability to produce thyroid hormones, leading damage to other organs. Large numbers of white blood cells called lymphocytes accumulate in the thyroid. Lymphocytes make the antibodies that start the autoimmune process. Hashimotos disease often leads to reduced or overproduction of hormones with a roller coaster of debilitating symptoms. With hypothyroidism, or under active thyroid, the thyroid gland doesn't make enough thyroid hormone for the body's needs. With hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, the thyroid makes too much. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, the way the body uses energy! and affects nearly every organ in the body. Without enough thyroid hormone, many of the body’s functions slow down, and imagine what happen when there is too much! Hashimotos is difficult to diagnose as is very symptomatic. Common doctors treat your symptoms only! and diagnose based in your actual circle of concerns. With Hashimotos your symptoms can increase, decrease change suddenly and be mentally and physically exhausting.
Hashimotos disease tends to run in families. Possible environmental factors are also being studied. For example, researchers have found that consuming too much iodine may inhibit thyroid hormone production in susceptible individuals. Chemicals released into the environment, such as pesticides, along with certain medications or viral infections may also contribute to autoimmune thyroid diseases. People with other autoimmune diseases are more likely to develop Hashimotos disease. The opposite is also true—people with Hashimoto’s disease are more likely to develop other autoimmune diseases. These diseases include vitiligo, a condition in which some areas of the skin lose their natural color. rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the joints when the immune system attacks the membrane lining the joints. Addison’s disease, in which the adrenal glands are damaged and cannot produce enough of certain critical hormones. Type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas is damaged and can no longer produce insulin, causing high blood glucose, also called blood sugar. Pernicious anemia, a type of anemia caused by not having enough vitamin B12 in the body. Extreme fatigue and celiac disease and gastrointestinal gluten sensitivity, an autoimmune disorder in which people cannot tolerate gluten because it will damage the lining of the small intestine and prevent adsorption of nutrients. Autoimmune hepatitis, or nonviral liver inflammation, a disease in which the immune system attacks liver cells.
How is Hashimotos disease diagnosed? Diagnosis begins with a physical exam and medical history. A goiter, nodules, or growths may be found during a physical exam, and symptoms may suggest hypothyroidism. Health care providers will then perform blood tests to confirm the diagnosis. A blood test involves drawing blood at a health care provider’s office or a commercial facility and sending the sample to a lab for analysis. Diagnostic blood tests may include the TSH, T4, T3 TG antibodies, TPO antibodies.