Thyroiditis is when your thyroid gland becomes irritated. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common type of this health problem. It is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when your body makes antibodies that attack the cells in your thyroid. The thyroid then can’t make enough of the thyroid hormone. Many people with this problem have an underactive thyroid gland. That’s also known as hypothyroidism. They have to take medicine to keep their thyroid hormone levels normal.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder. Normally, your autoimmune system protects your body by attacking bacteria and viruses. But with this disease, your immune system attacks your thyroid gland by mistake. Your thyroid then can’t make enough thyroid hormone, so your body can’t work as well.
Things that may make it more likely to you for to get Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are:
Each person’s symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:
This is an enlargement of your thyroid gland. It causes a bulge on your neck. It is not cancer. But it can cause problems like pain or trouble with swallowing, breathing, or speaking.
When your thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone, it can cause these symptoms:
When the thyroid is attacked by antibodies, it may at first make more thyroid hormone. This is called Hashitoxicosis. It does not happen to everyone. But it can cause these symptoms:
These symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history and give you a physical exam. You will also have blood tests. These can measure your thyroid hormone levels and check for some antibodies to proteins in the thyroid.
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:
You will not need treatment if your thyroid hormone levels are normal. But Hashimoto's thyroiditis often looks like an underactive thyroid gland. If so, it can be treated with medicine. The medicine replaces lost thyroid hormone. That should stop your symptoms. It can also ease a goiter if you have one. A goiter can cause problems like pain or trouble swallowing, breathing, or speaking. If these symptoms don’t get better, you may need surgery to remove the goiter.
Tell your healthcare provider if your symptoms get worse or you have new symptoms.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
The University of Chicago Medicine
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637 | 773-702-1000
Appointments: Call UCM Connect at 1-888-824-0200