What is Hashimoto Thyroiditis?
At first, what is Thyroiditis?
Thyroiditis is inflammation (swelling) of the thyroid gland. It is caused by either unusually high or low levels of thyroid hormones in the blood. The thyroid gland lies at the front of the throat, below the larynx (Adam`s apple). It is made up of two lobes that sit on either side of the trachea (windpipe). The thyroid gland makes chemicals called hormones that regulate many metabolic processes, including growth and the rate at which your body burns up energy. Hypothyroidism means the thyroid gland is sluggish or underactive
And what exactly is Hashimoto Thyroiditis disease?
Hashimoto thyroiditis is caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland, making it swell and become damaged. It is autoimmune disease – a disaster in which the immune system turns against the body`s own tissues.
As the thyroid is destroyed over time, it becomes unable to produce enough thyroid hormone. This leads to symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) such as tiredness and dry skin.
As an autoimmune disease means the immune system attacks the thyroid. This can lead to hypothyroidism – a condition that the thyroid does not make enough hormones for our body needs.
Located in the front of your neck, the thyroid gland creates hormones that control metabolism. The thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism, growth, temperature, and energy, so it is incredibly important to keep thyroid hormones in balance. This is includes your heart rate and how quickly your body uses calories from the foods you eat.
When you have Hashimoto`s thyroiditis, your immune cells mistakenly attack your healthy thyroid tissue. When this occurs, your thyroid can become inflamed and enlarged to the point that you develop a goiter.
The most common and easily recognized symptoms of Hashimoto are goiters, fatigue, weight gain, and constipation.
The primary sign of a goiter is visible swelling in the front of your neck. At first, the bulge may be painless. But if left untreated, it can put pressure on your lower neck. In advanced stages, a goiter can interfere with proper breathing and swallowing.