Cases of hypothyroidism are becoming more and more common nowadays. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism. And, it is an autoimmune condition. Normally, the body’s immune system protects it from bacteria and viruses by producing antibodies to attack them. In Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the immune system cells of the body mistakenly attack the thyroid gland cells and cause inflammation. It causes a decrease in the number of functional thyroid gland cells and symptoms similar to an underactive thyroid.
This is a progressive condition and it progresses very slowly to total damage to the thyroid gland.
Who Is At Risk of Getting Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
- Women are more prone to developing Hashimoto’s thyroiditis than males.
- If you have a family history of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, there are chances that you may get it too.
- It is commonly observed in middle-aged women. It is commonly noticed that females develop Hashimoto’s after their pregnancies. However, children can get it too.
- Having one autoimmune condition makes you prone to develop another autoimmune condition. So, if you have Rheumatoid arthritis or Lupus or any other autoimmune disease, it is likely that you could also develop Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
- The patients of Hepatitis C could develop Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
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What Are the Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Initially, the patient experiences symptoms of hyperthyroidism followed by sub-clinical hypothyroidism and then full-blown hypothyroidism.
- Hashitoxicosis: In the initial stage of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the immune system cells attack the thyroid gland cells causing inflammation. This causes damage to the thyroid gland cells, thereby making them release thyroid hormones in the blood. The levels of thyroid hormones in the blood increases and the patient experiences symptoms of mild to moderate hyperthyroidism. The symptoms include:
- Heat intolerance
- Increased sweating
- Increased appetite
- Increased frequency of the stools or loose motions
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Weight loss
- Palpitations and increased heartbeats
- Changes in the mood
This stage lasts from a few weeks to a couple of months as the patient gradually goes to sub-clinical hypothyroidism and then to hypothyroidism.
- B. Sub-Clinical Hypothyroidism: In sub-clinical hypothyroidism, the TSH levels are slightly raised but the thyroid hormone levels are in the normal limits. The patient might not experience any symptoms at this stage.
- C. Hypothyroidism: As the inflammation and damage to the thyroid gland cells continue, the person gradually develops hypothyroidism. The symptoms of hypothyroidism resulting due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are the same as that caused by an underactive thyroid. The patient may experience:
- Weight gain
- Cold intolerance
- Tiredness and lethargy
- Dryness of the skin
- Hair loss
- Slow heart rate
- Hoarseness of the voice
- Puffiness of the face
- Enlargement of the tongue
- A loss of appetite
- Menstrual irregularities and heavy menses
- Swelling over the legs
- Mood changes, particularly depression
- Increase in cholesterol levels
- It may cause goiter in the later stages.
How Does the Doctor Diagnose Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
- Your doctor will take a detailed history from the time of the onset of your symptoms, the history of illness, and a family history of thyroid problems or any other autoimmune condition.
- Also, the doctor will suggest certain blood tests like thyroid profile which includes T3, T4 and TSH, thyroid antibodies, and lipid profile.
- An ultrasound scan of the thyroid gland may also be recommended.
What Is the Treatment for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Conventional treatment depends on the stage in which the patient visits the doctor for the treatment, whether it is Hashitoxicosis, sub-clinical hypothyroidism, or hypothyroidism.
- Hashitoxicosis is treated according to the symptoms that the patient complains of.
- The patients with sub-clinical hypothyroidism are only monitored for developing hypothyroidism
- Thyroid replacement therapy with synthetic thyroid hormone is started as soon as the patient develops hypothyroidism.
The symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis develop gradually. Hence, by the time the person develops symptoms of Hypothyroidism, it is very late, and, hence, it becomes a lifelong condition and the treatment has to be taken throughout the lifetime.
Homeopathy and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis:
Homeopathy is very helpful for treating the cases of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis if the condition is in the initial stages. If one has a family history of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, one can get the thyroid checkup once a year to check the levels of antibodies. As mentioned earlier, in the conventional form of treatment, the thyroid medications are not started if there are no changes in T3 and T4 levels, even though the antibodies are present. Homeopathy, if given at this stage will help to correct the underlying autoimmune phenomenon, thus reducing the inflammation, and preventing further damage to the thyroid gland cells. The medicines will also help to reinstate the function of the thyroid gland cells.
Homeopathic Remedies for Hypothyroidism in Hashimotos Thyroiditis:
Below are the homeopathic medicines commonly used for hypothyroidism.
- Thyroidinum: This homeopathic remedy is indicated for hypothyroidism resulting after acute diseases. When the patient gets tired very easily, has a weak pulse with low blood pressure, hands and feet are cold, and develops intolerance to the cold, this medicine is recommended.
In hyperthyroidism, the patients experience symptoms of anemia, weakness, tremors of the face, hands, and legs, sweating, headache, and an increased heart rate. It is a good remedy for myxedema and cretinism. The patient experiencing a craving for sweets, great weakness, and hunger, yet the patient loses muscles indicate this remedy.
- Calcarea Carb: This remedy is indicated in the cases of hypothyroidism where the patient is inclined to become fat. The patient is usually a woman in her forties, fair, and flabby muscles. Sour sweating, the coldness of the hands and feet as if wearing a damp stocking, tiredness, sluggishness to act, profuse menses in women, and constipation indicate this remedy.
- Iodum: This homeopathic medicine is indicated for cases of goiter. Hyperthyroidism, an increased metabolic rate, and a loss of flesh despite increased appetite and eating well indicate this remedy When the patient gets anxious if he does not eat, experiences a throbbing sensation in the pit of the stomach, palpitations, from least exertion, goiter with the sensation of constriction in the throat, and intolerance to the warmth, this medicine may help.
I hope this article gives you a brief insight into Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In case you have queries, feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We shall be glad to reply to your queries.