Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system attacks your thyroid. The inflammation and damage which hashimotos disease can cause can often result in hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid); a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of certain crucial hormones .
As one of the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States, affecting about 5 out of every 100 people, it's important to know what there is to know about this disease.
Symptoms of hashimoto's disease
Hashimoto's disease typically progresses over a long period of time and more often than not, may show little to no noticeable symptoms . As the disease progresses, it's common for the thyroid to become noticeably larger - resulting in the front of the neck to look swollen.
If symptoms do occur, they are mainly ones associated with hypothyroidism, these include:
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Pale, dry skin
- A puffy face
- Brittle nails
- Hair loss
- Enlargement of the tongue
- Unexplained weight gain
- Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
Risk factors of hashimoto's disease
Doctor’s aren’t completely sure what causes your immune system to attack your thyroid gland but there are some risk factors associated with the disorder, these include:
According to Mayo Clinic, while it can affect both genders, hashimoto's disease is more commonly seen in women. In fact, it's estimated that it's at least 8 times more common in women than men.
Although this disease can occur during teenage years, it more often appears between the ages of 40-60.
A persons chances of developing hashimoto's disease increases if they have a family history of the disease or other autoimmune diseases.
You are more likely to develop Hashimoto's disease if you are living with another autoimmune diseases, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Some of these disorders and diseases include:
- Celiac disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Type 1 diabetes
- Addison's disease
The most reliable way to check your thyroid function is with a test - this can be done by taking a trip to your doctor’s office or from home with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetChecked’s range of at-home Thyroid Function Tests measure key hormones and can help identify the presence of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism and thyroid dysfunction or damage. Your online results will be available within 5 days and our medical team will be available to speak with you about the next steps you should take.