Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (HAIT or HT), also known as autoimmune thyroiditis, is a T-cell mediated (Th-1) autoimmune inflammatory condition (Phenekos et al, 2004), in which the body produces antigens that attack its own thyroid gland.
The symptoms are generally the same as for other forms of hypothyroidism, but if it is left untreated the gland may ultimately be destroyed. It is marked by the presence of autoantibodies and is often associated with other autoimmune conditions. To see a list of symptoms you can visit here
A significant number of those diagnosed with Hashimoto’s are completely asymptomatic, while a small proportion of both men and women are subclinical, meaning that though circulating levels of thyroid hormones are normal, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is rising in response to the attack on the gland (Amino et al, 2003). The disease can eventually cause a depletion of circulating thyroid hormones, creating symptoms of low thyroid function, though not everyone with the auto antibodies goes on to develop hypothyroidism.Who Gets ItHashimoto’s Thyroiditis is the most commonly diagnosed form of hypothyroidism in the United States, with overt symptoms affecting approximately two percent of the population (Chistiakov et al, 2005), but it is generally recognized that it occurs far more frequently than is diagnosed. According to thyroid expert Richard Shames, M.D., non-autoimmune hypothyroidism does exist, but its occurrence in developed countries is rare compared to that of the autoimmune variety (Shames, 2003; p.105). As with most autoimmune conditions, while Hashimoto’s occurs in all age groups, including children, and in both genders, it is most prevalent in women, generally developing between the ages of 30 and 50. By age 60, it is estimated that 20 percent of women are hypothyroid (Blanchard, 2004). Depending on which studies are read, women are anywhere from 10 to 50 times more likely to develop HT than are men. The reason for this appears to be that the same system that regulates immunity also regulates reproductive cycles in women (Plapp, 2002).Symptoms of Hashimotos and Hypothyroidism Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can be asymptomatic, but when symptoms appear, they generally begin as a gradual enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter) and/or the gradual development of hypothyroidism, the symptoms of which include:
Anemia (especially pernicious)
Brain fog (forgetfulness, sluggish thinking, loss of energy for life)
Cold intolerance; cold hands and feet
Dry, coarse skin
Early graying of hair
Exhaustion after exercise
Frequent colds and flu and difficulty recovering from infection
Headaches, including migraines
High cholesterol, especially LDL
Low basal temperature
Restless leg syndrome
Seasonal (cold weather) exacerbation of symptoms
Slowed speech and ankle reflexes
Tired, aching muscles
Weak, brittle nails
The important thing to remember with Hashimoto's Disease is the immune system is the source of the problem, and finding a doctor trained in looking at the specifics of the immune response, familiar with autoimmune triggers, and trained in the application of natural medicine in relation to the immune system, is your best choice to fully turn down the dimmer on your disease.
Dr. Richard Hagmeyer is a leader in Natural Autoimmune Thyroid Recovery. He consults with Hashimoto's patients from all over the country. You can request his Hashimoto's Thyroid Recovery Report by visiting here.
if you would like to contact Dr Hagmeyer, he can be reached here