Autoimmune thyroid disease is a disease of the thyroid gland due to autoimmunity in which the patient’s immune system attacks and damages their thyroid.
Hashimoto thyroiditis is a form of autoimmune thyroid disease. With this disease, your immune system attacks your thyroid. In this disease, thyroid-reactive T cells are formed that infiltrate the thyroid gland.
There are also specific cells called plasma cells that produce proteins that can attack the thyroid cells called autoantibodies.
Thyroid antibodies attack thyroid cells and hormones are leaked from the damaged thyroid. Thyroid inflammation can occur leading to chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis and an underactive thyroid.
Thyroid hormones control how your body uses energy, so they affect nearly every organ in your body—even the way your heartbeats.
The antibodies detected in Hashimoto’s Disease are:
- Thyroglobulin Antibodies
- Thyroid peroxidase Antibodies
Other risk factors for thyroid disease include:
- Prior thyroid surgery
- Radiation to your head, neck, chest region
- Treatment with radioactive iodine
CONNECTION TO RHEUMATIC DISEASES
People living with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are also at higher risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis and there is an association with Sjorgren’s Syndrome and Celiac Disease. Thyroid autoantibodies have also been found in individuals with Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus and Scleroderma. Autoimmune thyroid disease has also been associated with Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia. Joint pain and swelling may develop as metabolism slows down in this condition.
Some symptoms of Hashimoto Disease specifically are:
▶Modest weight gain.
▶Dry,thin coarse hair.
▶Slow heart rate
▶Enlarged non tender thyroid (goiter, which may disappear over time)
▶Joint and Muscle pain or weakness
▶Depression, memory problems
▶Brittle nails, tongue enlargement
If untreated, coma, and heart problems can occur. There is no cure but treatment with synthetic hormone T4(Levothyroxine) or Armour Thyroid is usually prescribed with a good prognosis.
It is so important to contact a medical professional if you see any signs or symptoms of this disease.