What is Hashimoto’s disease?
Brazilian endocrinologist Rosália Padovani , from the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology, explains that Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease , in which the body produces antibodies against the thyroid itself.
This gland, located in the neck, is responsible for the production of hormones that regulate metabolism, fertility, sense of well-being, growth, among other essential functions.
Is it transformed into hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism?
The problem creates a chronic thyroiditis , or inflammation of the thyroid, which over time can jeopardize the production of thyroid hormones and turn into hypothyroidism.
On the other hand, the aggression to the thyroid by the antibodies can destroy the follicles and generate a transitory hyperthyroidism, which is the excess of the thyroid substances. Among its symptoms are weight loss without apparent explanation, irritability, hyperactivity, changes in heart rate, among others.
It is not yet known exactly the mechanism that causes the emergence of thyroiditis , but there are indications that the genetic factor contributes to its appearance, which explains why it may be present in more than one person in the same family.
The excess of iodine mineral can also help, triggering the problem in those who already have genetic predisposition, as well as environmental factors such as stress, infections, high levels of estrogen and radiation.
Despite occurring in people of both sexes and at any age, the doctor Rosália Padovani says that Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is more common in women and people over 50 years.
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Because it is a disease of slow progress, it is often asymptomatic. The most intense symptoms occur when the disease progresses to hypothyroidism. Then, you can experience:
- Weakness, drowsiness and fatigue
- Dry skin and hair
- Brittle nails
- Excessive cold
- Hearing reduction
- Joint pains
- Abnormalities in menstruation
- Production of milk without being linked to postpartum or breastfeeding, even in men
- Lack of libido
- Swelling in the body and face
- Memory problems and attention
- Irritation and constant sadness, similar to depression
- High cholesterol
Is it fattening?
In some cases, there is an impression that the Hashimoto produces weight gain by promoting the storage of fat but, in fact, it does so by favoring fluid retention .
However, the change in the balance only occurs when there is already a lack of the thyroid hormone, that is, when hypothyroidism occurs.
Do you have a cure?
“Unfortunately, the process is irreversible because the immune system fails to recognize the thyroid as part of the body definitely,” says the specialist.
Treatment of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
The specialist may indicate hormone replacement when Hashimoto’s thyroiditis begins to manifest symptoms. Each patient receives a dose of medication based on their weight, but it can be regulated throughout the treatment.
Hormone replacement will not prevent the immune system from creating antibodies to destroy the thyroid, it will only alleviate the lack of the hormone.
- See more: « 7 natural alternatives to treat Hashimoto’s thyroiditis »
Some sites and professionals indicate the follow-up of a gluten-free diet and even with low amounts of carbohydrates for those who have thyroid disorders.
However, there are still no concrete scientific bases that support such treatments.