About 14 million Americans have Hashimoto’s disease today. The disease usually affects women between the age of 45 and 65. It develops over many years, and the symptoms are not that bad. The problem is it can lead to other health problems such as heart disease and depression. It can also lead to birth defects in children whose mothers have the disease. Experts from RedRiver Health and Wellness Center share the things you must know about it.
What is it?
Hashimoto’s is a problem with the immune system. The body produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. Nobody knows why this happens, but some researchers think it has something to do with genes while others think an infection triggers the response. Whatever the cause, it affects the thyroid function. The thyroid produces fewer hormones than it should, causing imbalances that can affect some functions of the body.
What are the signs?
The thyroid is a small gland at the back of the throat that looks a bit like a butterfly. When you have Hashimoto’s disease, you might develop a goiter or swelling of the front of the throat. You may gain weight, develop dry skin, feel tired all the time, and become constipated in the early stages. You may develop other symptoms in later stages such as unusual sensitivity to the cold, depression, joint pains, puffiness, memory loss, and hair loss.
Left untreated, Hashimoto’s can lead to infertility, heart failure, and lower cognitive function. In rare cases, it can lead to myxedema coma. Avoid complications by undergoing a thyroid-stimulating hormone test to get a diagnosis as early as possible.
What is the treatment?
Thyroid hormone replacement is the standard treatment for the condition. It will not cure Hashimoto’s disease, but it can restore the hormonal balance of the body. The thyroid gland may have to go if large goiters remain despite replacement therapy. Wellness centers and other natural remedies can help support the treatment.
Hashimoto’s disease is a chronic health problem that can lead to serious complications. If you notice any of the symptoms above, go to your doctor. Ask for diagnosis and get treatment.