Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is the most prominent thyroid disease in America. It is a genetically inherited disease that is nearly seven times more common in women than in men. Hashimoto’s Disease is expressed by the production of autoantibodies and immune cells by the body’s immune system, which can damage the thyroid cells and impair their ability to create thyroid hormone resulting in hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland may also become larger in some patients, forming nodules and a goiter.
Many patients with Hashimoto’s disease may not show any symptoms for many years and the diagnosis is made incidentally when abnormal blood tests or an enlarged thyroid gland are discovered during a routine examination.
However, patients with Hashimoto’s disease who develop hypothyroidism are likely to develop symptoms such as:
Your physician at Palm Beach Diabetes and Endocrine Specialists, who is experienced in the treatment and diagnosis of thyroid disease, will be able to detect a goiter by performing a physical examination and can recognize hypothyroidism by identifying characteristic symptoms and performing the appropriate laboratory tests. These tests may include the measurement of your thyroid function and antithyroid antibodies. TSH, produced by the pituitary gland is the most accurate indication of thyroid function. It will rise dramatically even before the levels of thyroid hormone (T4 and T3) circulating in the body become low in someone with impending hypothyroidism.
Patients with hypothyroidism must take a pill containing thyroid hormone every day to replace the thyroid hormone they lack. Synthetic T4, called levothyroxine, is exactly the same as the T4 made by the body. Some patients may also require T3 therapy, which is another thyroid hormone that circulates in our bodies. This can be achieved by adding liothyronine or by taking Armour Thyroid or Nature-Thyroid, which has T4 and T3 in it. It is important that your physician bases appropriate treatment not only on blood tests but on symptoms, due to the broad normal range of thyroid levels.
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