Today, we are going to talk about Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto’s Disease.
What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
This is a very common problem here in Houston, Texas. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid tissue, trying to destroy it. Hashimoto’s is a common illness that endocrinologists encounter and treat in their practices. Many people think treatment is as simple as giving the right thyroid hormone replacement. In some cases, patients will see improvement when we replace their thyroid hormone.
But, despite giving the right thyroid dose, some patients continue to be symptomatic. This is another common problem in managing patients with a disease where their immune system is attacking the thyroid. The thyroid cells are trying to rejuvenate and grow but this inflammatory process continues day and night. This causes a cycle where new cells continue dying and releasing toxins into the bloodstream. Similar to an untreated tooth abscess, patients feel like they are having constant, mild flu-like symptoms. The reason for this is because of the inflammatory process and these kinds of patients need a special treatment where we need to decrease the substrate for the inflammation which, in this case, is the thyroid tissue.
How do we treat?
As an endocrinologist in the Houston area, we like to treat those cases by suppressing and shrinking the thyroid tissue. It’s not just about treating their thyroid hormone, it is also about finding ways to suppress the inflammatory response and shrinking the thyroid so that less inflammatory toxin can be released into the bloodstream which, in turn, will cause the patient to feel better. The other component of Hashimoto’s is the antibodies and how they affect other organs in the body. For example, sometimes those antibodies can affect the brain and cause symptoms like dizziness, light headedness, and difficulty concentrating, commonly known as Hashimoto Brain Disease.
If you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, the best way to remedy it will be to find a thyroid specialist and endocrinologist in the Houston area who can verify where your symptoms are coming from, whether from inflammatory symptoms or lack of thyroid hormone, and treat it appropriately.
For more information on this disease and more, you can visit our website at www.endocrinecenterhouston.com.
– Dr. Amer Al-Karadsheh