What is Hashimoto?
Traditional medicine describes Hashimoto as an autoimmune disorder. Thus, a condition in which the body attacks its own healthy tissue, in particular the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is not just involved in hormone production as part of the endocrine system. It is also coordinating many of our body activities, such as maintaining the body temperature, stimulating the metabolism, growth, and development of the nervous system.
Hashimoto’s increases the risk of having other autoimmune diseases as type 1 diabetes mellitus, celiac diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.
Women are much more often suffering from Hashimoto thyroiditis.
- brain fog
- joint pain and stiffness
- sensitivity to cold
- dry skin
- weight gain
- muscle weakness
- thining hair
- nail splitting
- fertility problems
Our immune system is designed to protect us against harmful invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. The immune system of a Hashimoto patient is making a mistake by recognizing normal thyroid gland cells as harmful, foreign tissue and attacks them.
Experts are not sure why the immune system becomes activated in such a way. Some suggest that perhaps a virus or bacteria may play or role, maybe it is a genetic fault. Others are suggesting that a combination of factors as heredity, gender and age may determine the likelihood of developing Hashimoto.
Often during the early stages of the Hashimoto thyroiditis, it is not diagnosed properly or misdiagnosed as a chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, bipolar disorder, fibromyalgia, anxiety disorder, pre-menstrual syndrome or cyclothymia.
In order to diagnose Hashimoto, the following tests are recommended:
- T4 (thyroxine) test- thyroxine is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. This blood test measures how much thyroxine there is in the blood. If levels are low, there might be problems with the thyroid gland.
- Serum TSH test- thyroid-stimulating hormone (thyrotropin). TSH is produced in the pituitary gland. When the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone blood levels of TSH rise.
- Antithyroid antibody test- increased antithyroid antibodies provide the most specific laboratory evidence of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. However, the antibodies are not present in all cases.
- In order to get information about the body available hormone, the free hormone levels should be checked: Free T3 and Free T4