Causes of Hashimoto's Disease

What Are the Common Causes of Hashimoto’s Disease?

Did you know that as many as 50 million people in the US have Hashimoto’s? Hashimoto’s disease is also one of the leading causes of an underactive thyroid. 

Your thyroid is one important gland, so you need to know if it isn’t functioning right. Sometimes the symptoms of Hashimoto’s are hard to detect right away, but the more you know about the symptoms and causes of Hashimoto’s disease, the sooner you can take action.

Luckily you’re in the right place, so keep reading to learn everything you need to know!

What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?

The thyroid gland makes thyroid hormones that control your body’s metabolic functions. It affects everything, from your heart rate to how quickly you digest food. Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disease that affects your thyroid gland, causing it to become inflamed and produce less thyroid hormone. 

Causes of Hashimoto’s Disease

Hashimoto’s disease occurs when your immune system creates antibodies that start to attack the thyroid cells as if they were bacteria or a virus. It’s not entirely known what triggers your immune system to attack your thyroid, but it’s thought to be related to factors like:

  • Stress or infection
  • Radiation exposure
  • Genetic factors

Hashimoto’s disease causes in women include recent pregnancies or hormone fluctuations during menopause.

Signs of Hashimoto’s Disease

Hashimoto’s typically progresses slowly over a few years, and you may not notice any symptoms initially. Once your thyroid function declines enough, you’ll start to notice symptoms that include:

  • Fatigue and depression
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Muscles aches and stiffness
  • Hair loss
  • Brittle nails
  • Constipation
  • Swelling of the thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Problems with memory and concentration
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Hashimoto’s Disease Diagnosis

You’ll need to see your doctor so they can do a physical exam, check your thyroid for swelling, and review your symptoms.

You’ll also need to have thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4) blood tests to check your thyroid hormone levels. An elevated TSH and a decreased T4 typically mean you have hypothyroidism.

Your doctor also may order a thyroid scan to evaluate any swelling or thyroid nodules they find during your physical examination.

Hashimoto’s Disease Treatment

The first step to treating Hashimoto’s disease is usually thyroid replacement medications. Over time, these medications restore your thyroid hormone levels to normal. It’s common to take these medications for the rest of your life.

Other treatments include lifestyle changes like regular exercise and eating well. Since stress can trigger inflammation in your body, you should also take steps to reduce the amount of stress in your life.

If you’re looking for natural ways to reduce stress and treat your Hashimoto’s disease, an excellent place to start is

Talk to Your Doctor Today

If you already have Hashimoto’s, understanding more about the treatments, symptoms, and causes of Hashimoto’s disease will allow you to manage your health in a better way.

If you’re experiencing symptoms, don’t delay making an appointment with your doctor to check your thyroid levels.

If you’re ready to learn more health tips, check out our blog for healthy living articles that will inspire you to change your life!