Hashimoto's Disease

When a person thinks of the name Hashimoto one immediately thinks of its association with something Japanese. You won’t be far mistaken in guessing that the name Hashimoto in origin is in actual fact Japanese. It was first supposedly discovered by a doctor called Hashimoto Hakaru who resided in Germany at the time in 1912. More commonly know as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or medically known as chronic lymphocytic, Hashimoto Hakaru stumbled upon a disease that was certainly harmful to any person who should unfortunately suffer from this disease.

What is Hashimoto disease?

It is a pretty straightforward disease to get to grips with in terms of understanding it. Should a person get Hashimoto disease, what they will experience is their thyroid gland being attacked antibodies and cells. In medical terminology, it is labelled as an autoimmune disease because your body’s thyroid glands are attacked by more than one thing.

For those unsure of what a thyroid gland is and where it is located; only have to look at the Adam’s apple region of your neck, just underneath it, is your thyroid gland. The job of your thyroid gland is to create hormones, which enable your metabolism to burn calories. Your metabolism controls your heart rate amongst other things, so should your thyroid gland become exposed to attack via your immune system, you are bound to suffer more than a swollen gland. The Hashimoto disease can affect your heart and if you have an underactive thyroid gland, you are susceptible to weight gain as your metabolism does not have the hormones to carry out it processes that include burning calories.

What causes Hashimoto disease?

The simple fact is that nobody for sure understands what is the primary cause behind anybody who getting Hashimoto disease. What we do know is that only when the thyroid gland becomes inflamed are we pretty certain that you could have it. Other autoimmune conditions are closely linked with possible candidates of Hashimoto disease. For instance should you have type one diabetes or celiac disease, you could also have Hashimoto. You are likely to get Hashimoto’s disease by the time you have reached adulthood and according to some medical experts, women are at least five to ten times more likely to get it then men.

Studies have demonstrated the process involved when regarding Hashimoto disease. After taking blood samples, the level of level of antibodies compared to that of the enzyme increases slightly. This is again the case when thyroid peroxidase is increased compared to enzymes within the body. For those of you who are unaware of what an enzyme is, it is basically a protein designed to help break down foods. If inflammation develops to great levels within the thyroid gland, it will ultimately be left decimated.

What are the symptoms of Hashimoto disease?

Hashimoto is fairly indifferent to your typical disease in the sense that it does not actually display any symptoms. What happens with Hashimoto disease, if you do have it, the illness gradually gets a hold of you, rather then you being made aware of it immediately. Sometimes when assessing the symptoms of Hashimoto disease, you can be forgiven for mistaking it for a disease that is fairly similar in nature. Hyperthyroidism is a disease that medically describes thyroid glands that are underactive.

The symptoms that may display aspects of Hashimoto disease after a certain period of time cover a broad spectrum. Fatigue and forgetfulness are very common especially in men. Unexpected weight gain and muscle aches is something you will eventually become accustomed to if the disease is unnoticed at first, but if cramps and aches become frequent you will start to think something is wrong. Other symptoms include having a hoarse voice, your thyroid can become visibly inflamed and depression is also a common trait. In women constipation and periods which may be heavier and more painful also are stern indicators of people who have Hashimoto disease.

How is Hashimoto disease diagnosed?

Like most diseases, the Hashimoto variant is diagnosed after a physical examination, which includes taking a sample of your blood, as is a brief check of your medical records. This is done in order to help develop a correlation between various symptoms to help narrow down and rule out certain diseases that may be similar in nature to Hashimoto like having a hyperactive thyroid disease.

There are really two stand out tests that are performed on you in order to determine whether or not you have Hashimoto disease. The first is the ultra TSH examination, which precisely measures the amount of thyroid that is on the go within your body. The TSH reading then determines that if the reading produces result than  is above normal, then you have hyperthyroidism.  The second test that is carried out on you is the T4 test. This ultimately seeks how much of the thyroid hormone is going around in your body. The final test performed is antithyroid peroxidise antibody examination. This tries to locate thyroid autoantibody in order to conclude if you have Hashimoto’s disease or not. If there are an abundant amount of antibodies then it is clear you have Hashimoto’s disease.

Is Hashimoto disease treatable?

Treatment of Hashimoto’s disease is very much dependent on how far it has progressed within you. If it has progressed to the point where your thyroid gland is damaged, you are generally prescribed a synthetic thyroid hormone. Doses will vary upon your weight and age as it is pertinent to maintain hormonal balance within your body.

If the case is not as severe as first thought, general practitioners will take a wait and see approach in order to decide what the best course of action is. In minute cases, sometimes the subsiding of symptoms will lead to the overall improvement of health. If the disease looks progressive to the point of hyperthyroidism, then again it will be tackled with doses of synthetic thyroid hormones.