The thyroid gland. Located in the front of your neck, this little gland is responsible for making the hormones that control metabolism – which includes how fast your body uses calories, and controlling your heart rate. But when something goes wrong with the thyroid, it can cause a number of issues, including thyroid diseases. The most commonly known thyroid diseases are hyperthyroidism (over active thyroid) and hypothyroidism (under active thyroid). But a lesser well known thyroid disease is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is when the immune system attacks the thyroid.
Also known as Hashimoto’s disease, when this disease hits, the thyroid is unable to produce the amount of hormones the body needs for proper metabolism. Because of this, people with Hashimoto’s disease develop hypothyroidism, which according to WebMD, lead to symptoms such as:
paleness or puffiness of the face
joint and muscle pain
inability to get warm
difficulty getting pregnant
joint and muscle pain
hair loss or thinning, brittle hair
irregular or heavy menstrual periods
slowed heart rate
The problem with this disease is that all too often it is misdiagnosed as hypothyroidism, and is treated as such. But that doesn’t cure the underlying cause, which of course is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This is why it’s so important for people who are experiencing these symptoms to visit their doctor as soon as possible.
If you have symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease, your doctor will do an initial exam and order one or more tests. Sometimes, routine screening of thyroid function reveals a mildly underactive thyroid in a person with no symptoms. Tests used to find out if you have Hashimoto’s disease include an antibody test and a blood test to see if your body has the right amount of TSH and the thyroid hormone, T4.
First described in 1912 by Doctor Hashimoto Hakaru, Hashimoto’s disease has no known cure. However, with early detection and the right treatment, Hashimoto’s doesn’t have to have a negative effect on your health. So if you are or have been experiencing symptoms like the ones listed above, talk with your doctor and ask for him or her to test your thyroid.
Fortunately, Hashimoto’s disease isn’t hard to diagnose or treat, and in fact there are special thyroid treatment centers all over the country, including one inOrlando. These centers have doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases of the thyroid, and offer both traditional and innovated treatment options to their patients. If you or someone you love has a thyroid disease, and are close to one of these centers, these are often the very best places to get treatment.