What is Hashimoto’s?

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Hashimoto’s is a type of thyroid disease that will start to affect your immune system. This disease is also referred to as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is a type of autoimmune disease where your immune system begins attacking the thyroid. It usually leads to hypothyroidism where you aren’t producing enough of the thyroid hormone for your body’s various systems to function properly. Here are some things to know about Hashimoto’s.

What causes Hashimoto’s?

There is not a known single cause of Hashimoto’s, though doctors have found some risk factors that might increase your risk of developing this autoimmune disorder. Here are some of the more common risk factors leading to the condition:

Genetics – One of the most common risk factors that can cause Hashimoto’s disease are genetics. If you have someone in your family with this or any other autoimmune disease, particularly a sibling, parent, or grandparent, you are a lot more likely to develop it. It doesn’t have to be the same disease either; if your mom had lupus, you could develop Hashimoto’s.

Iodine – There have been some studies that show having too much iodine in your body can actually lead to having problems with your immune system. This may lead to Hashimoto’s, which can then also lead to hypothyroidism. 

Hormones – The other hormones in your body can also lead to autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s. This is often from sex hormones, such as those that develop following puberty or hormones that occur when you are pregnant or nursing.

Radiation – Excessive radiation exposure can lead to a lot of different medical conditions and ailments, including Hashimoto’s disease. This may be from being near radiation at your job or getting radiation treatment for cancer.

How do you know you have Hashimotos?

There are several symptoms you should be aware of when you think you might have this autoimmune disease. This includes having skin changes, including pale and dry skin, a puffy face, and a voice that suddenly becomes deep and hoarse. Other symptoms include sensitivity to the cold, fatigue, sluggishness, unexplained weight gain, and constipation. Many of these symptoms are the same if Hashimoto’s ends up developing into hypothyroidism.

What can be done about it?

If your doctor runs tests and finds out that you have Hashimoto’s disease, you will then be recommended a few different treatment options. Some treatment options for this autoimmune disorder include taking synthetic hormones, lifestyle changes, and taking certain supplements.

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