One of the most common thyroid problems is Hashimoto's disease, often known as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an autoimmune illness when your own body turns against itself and attacks the thyroid gland.
Any person suffering from this thyroid disorder will face severe immunity challenges. The immune system just reverses its process from being a shield to breaking the shield to work against the tissues. This makes this condition also called Chronic Immune Thyroiditis.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can also lead to a condition for the thyroid gland to not produce adequate hormones. This condition is commonly known as Hypothyroidism and lack of hormones in the body leads to other severe symptoms and impacts dysfunction to various parts of the body.
What Exactly is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
As already defined briefly above, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune system assaults the thyroid gland, mainly caused by excess iodine from drugs, radiation, genetics, and other factors that are thought to play a role in this illness.
However, the causes differ from person to person.
The symptomatic pattern for Hashimoto’s disease is quite different as it might take a longer duration to exhibit its complete symptoms. It is this reason why it is beneficial for you if your physician could diagnose it as early as possible so that the treatments are administered early.
One of the most common symptoms in patients with Hashimoto's disease is goitre, which is a condition in which the neck swells as the thyroid enlarges. This is frequently regarded as the primary symptom or the first sign of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. It starts mild and progresses to severe.
Some of these common symptoms include fatigue, swelling of the face, weight gain, joint pains, constipation, hair loss, menstrual disorders, depression, and slow heart rate.
Though both hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease have several similarities like impact on the thyroid gland and the symptoms, the treatment required to cure them is different, and therefore differentiating them from a diagnostic perspective is critical.
Having said that, there is also another interesting link between these two conditions which is that Hashimoto’s becomes a cause for hypothyroidism in most cases. Patients with hyperthyroidism happen to have high chances that they have Hashimoto’s disease.
Though both the above conditions have an impact on thyroid glands, the source of both is different as one is an underactive thyroid while the other is a self-reactive immune condition.
How to Treat Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
As the name suggests “Chronic Immune Thyroiditis” does not have any cure. However, the right action can bring things in better balance. The primary part of an action for this thyroid condition is to have a solid treatment plan customized for the patient considering various health and lifestyle factors.
One of the most basic medication methods is to replace hormones with medications that help in the regulation of hormone levels.
This helps in regaining the metabolic imbalances that were impaired due to the hormone imbalances in the thyroid gland.
The administration of drugs is again different based on your specific factors as a patient such as age, gender, weight, history of thyroid, other hormonal disorders, and overall health condition.
Monitoring of thyroid level will be controlled by your physician through the aid of TSH tests, Since the impact of hormonal medications is relatively slow and may take a month or almost a year to show results, regular and periodic monitoring of hormone levels is very critical during treatment.
Along with monitoring, progress tracking is also important. This is purely based on the physical improvements of the symptoms like shrinking of swollen neck or goitre. In some cases when the swelling is very severe and there are no improvements shown after the medications, the next step is the surgical process to remove the thyroid gland.
Apart from the treatment methods mentioned above, other alternative methods that we at Jeevam Health practice is a functional medicine approach i.e lifestyle-changing actions which include proper diet, exercising regularly, and all-in-all healthy living coupled with proper medication based on the patient.
Personalized diet plans and physical workouts are created which significantly improve the health condition in terms of thyroid dysfunction.
Though Hashimoto’s disease is treatable and has multiple ways of treating it, unfortunately, there are no known preventive mechanisms. Therefore, the key focus in the life cycle of this condition is to keep a watch on the symptoms and the early diagnostic detection.
Having mentioned different kinds of medications and treatment methods, it is important to understand that curing Hashimoto’s disease is well observed to be impactful and meaningful for many patients to regulate their hormone levels and get back to normal conditions.
Hashimoto’s disease being an autoimmune disorder is often confused and clubbed with hypothyroidism. Both are two different conditions that require a unique set of curative mechanisms. The former is an immune disease whereas the latter is a thyroid disease. However, both tend to impact hormonal imbalances within the body to exhibit similar symptoms.
If the condition can be diagnosed appropriately at an early stage differentiating it from hypothyroidism, then the treatment plans can be set early and can show results early.