Hashimoto’s disease is a medical condition where one’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. This results in thyroid gland inflammation, which causes damage and often leads to hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland.
This medical condition affects both men and women alike of any age including children but more common in the middle-aged women.
The hard part about this disease is that there are no unique signs and symptoms that will point the disease right away. This condition progresses slowly over the years until there is a sudden drop in the thyroid levels. This means there is already a chronic damage in the thyroid.
Being the most common cause of hypothyroidism, their signs and symptoms are almost the same. Here are some of the signs and symptoms that should never be ignored:
- Increased fatigue, sleepiness, and sluggishness
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Unexplained weight gain
- Pale and dry skin
- Dry, coarse hair
- Hair falling out
- Elevated cholesterol level
- Hoarse voice
- Decreased concentration
- Muscle cramps
- Menorrhagia or prolonged or excessive menstrual bleeding
- Puffiness of the face especially around the eyes.
As soon as one notices some of these symptoms, one should already consult a doctor. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is treatable. Without treatment, symptoms may slowly become more severe that might lead to goiter or an enlarged thyroid gland.
What Causes Hashimoto’s Disease
There is still no definite medical answer as to why one’s immune system would attack its own thyroid gland. Doctors and researchers think it can be some type or bacteria triggering such response from the thyroid.
Hypothyroidism is the most known and common cause of Hashimoto’s disease. There are several causes of hypothyroidism. It could be as simple as not enough iodine intake or could be a result of being treated with hyperthyroidism as the body’s system tries to bounce back.
The Complications From Hashimoto’s Disease
Every disease left untreated will seriously lead to a number of complications. It is always best to catch medical conditions at an early stage. This gives higher chances of responding to treatment, better prognosis, and a higher percentage for recovery.
If Hashimoto’s disease remains untreated for a long period of time, here are just some of the complications that might arise:
- Goiter – The most common complication arising from Hashimoto’s disease. A condition where enough damage has been made to the thyroid gland making it severely enlarged.
- Heart Problems – Because of the elevation in cholesterol levels in a person with Hashimoto’s disease or with hypothyroidism, this increases the chance for heart diseases.
- Mental Health Issues – As depression is one of the major symptoms in this ailment, it can grow more severe as time goes by it is untreated. This can lead to complications with sexual desire both for men and women.
- Myxedema – This most severe form of hypothyroidism can be a life-threatening condition.
- Birth Defects – This is why pregnant women are checked for thyroid hormone imbalances.