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Hashimoto's Disease

An autoimmune condition of the thyroid gland (a gland located beneath the larynx).

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(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Hashimoto's Disease

Hashimoto's disease, also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the body's own cells and organs. Normally, the immune system protects the body from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances.

In Hashimoto's disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing inflammation and interfering with its ability to produce thyroid hormones. Large numbers of white blood cells called lymphocytes accumulate in the thyroid. Lymphocytes make the antibodies that start the autoimmune process.

Hashimoto's disease often leads to reduced thyroid function, or hypothyroidism....Read more about Hashimoto's Disease NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Selenium supplementation for Hashimoto's thyroiditis

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a common disease in which a form of chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland results in reduced function of the gland. It is an auto‐immune disorder, which means that a person's own immune system attacks the thyroid gland, so that it no longer makes adequate quantities of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism). Common clinical manifestations include feeling cold, depressive mood, dry skin, puffy eyes, constipation, weight gain, slowed heart rate, joint and muscle pain and fatigue. Some but not all people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis have an enlarged gland, also called a goitre. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is more common in women than in men and tends to run in families. Other auto‐immune diseases often occur simultaneously, such as vitiligo, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes type 1. The disease does not always require treatment, but when it does, it is treated with synthetic thyroid hormone replacement (sometimes desiccated thyroid hormone is used, which is not synthetic). Selenium is an essential trace element that is required in small amounts for correct functioning of the immune system and the thyroid gland.

CD40 C/T-1 polymorphism plays different roles in Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis: a meta-analysis

CD40 plays a pathogenic role in various autoimmune diseases. However, studies investigating the association between CD40 C/T-1 polymorphism and autoimmune thyroid diseases risk have reported conflicting results and their relative population effect remains unclear; therefore, a meta-analysis was conducted. The data for this meta-analysis included 14 (4214 cases and 3851 controls) and 4 studies (623 cases and 774 controls) for the association of the CD40 C/T-1 polymorphism with Graves' disease (GD) and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), respectively. Results suggested significant association for CD40 C/T-1 polymorphism (odds ratio 1.267 per C allele, p = 0.000) with GD but without HT. The individuals who carried the C/C or C/T genotype have significantly increased GD risk compared with those who carried T/T genotype (C/C vs. T/T: OR = 1.596, 95% CI, 1.256~2.028; C/T vs. T/T: OR = 1.210, 95% CI, 1.032~1.419; dominant model: OR = 1.366, 95% CI, 1.175~1.587; recessive model: OR = 1.322, 95% CI, 1.147~1.523), while no association was observed in HT. When stratified by ethnicity, the significant association between polymorphism and GD risk of Caucasians was found only in recessive models; but that of Asians was found in all models. In the subgroup analysis of study design, we found thyroid antibody status should be ascertained in controls and euthyroidism subjects with higher levels of thyroid antibody should be excluded from control and included into HT to avoid bias. Our meta-analysis showed that CD40 C/T-1 polymorphism plays different roles in GD and HT. Further studies will be needed to confirm our findings.

Selenium supplementation in the treatment of Hashimoto's thyroiditis: a systematic review and a meta-analysis

BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that selenium (Se) supplementation could be useful as an adjunctive therapy to levothyroxine (LT₄) in the treatment of Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT). To summarize evidence regarding its effect on thyroid autoantibodies' titers, demands in LT₄ replacement therapy, ultrasonographic thyroid morphology, and mood in patients with HT under LT₄ treatment, a systematic review and meta-analysis of relevant literature were performed.

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Summaries for consumers

Selenium supplementation for Hashimoto's thyroiditis

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a common disease in which a form of chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland results in reduced function of the gland. It is an auto‐immune disorder, which means that a person's own immune system attacks the thyroid gland, so that it no longer makes adequate quantities of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism). Common clinical manifestations include feeling cold, depressive mood, dry skin, puffy eyes, constipation, weight gain, slowed heart rate, joint and muscle pain and fatigue. Some but not all people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis have an enlarged gland, also called a goitre. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is more common in women than in men and tends to run in families. Other auto‐immune diseases often occur simultaneously, such as vitiligo, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes type 1. The disease does not always require treatment, but when it does, it is treated with synthetic thyroid hormone replacement (sometimes desiccated thyroid hormone is used, which is not synthetic). Selenium is an essential trace element that is required in small amounts for correct functioning of the immune system and the thyroid gland.

Underactive thyroid: Overview

If you constantly feel unmotivated, have a low pulse and are constipated, you may wonder what the cause is. There are many possible reasons for these sorts of symptoms, but they are all typical of an underactive thyroid. A blood test can help you find out for sure.

Underactive thyroid: Deciding whether or not to treat subclinical hypothyroidism

Subclinical (latent) hypothyroidism means that the thyroid gland is still producing enough thyroid hormones. But some blood values may suggest the early stages of a hormone deficiency. Experts don't agree on whether subclinical hypothyroidism should be treated. It's not clear in which cases treatment would have advantages. If you already have noticeable (“overt” or “manifest”) hypothyroidism, the thyroid is no longer producing enough thyroid hormones. Thyroxine is the most important of the thyroid hormones. It helps regulate many of the body’s functions to balance your metabolism. Too little thyroxine can cause a number of different health problems. The symptoms range from cold hands to physical weakness, difficulty concentrating and depression. Hypothyroidism can be treated easily by taking a tablet containing the thyroid hormone once a day. These tablets act to replace the thyroxine that is not being produced. This usually makes the symptoms disappear completely. Because it doesn't cause any symptoms, subclinical hypothyroidism isn't noticeable. The TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) value is too high, but the thyroid is still producing enough hormones. This hormone is produced in the pituitary gland and acts as a trigger for the thyroid to start producing the thyroid hormones. TSH levels that are just a little too high may be the first sign of the early stages of hypothyroidism: The pituitary gland responds to lower levels of thyroid hormones by increasing TSH production to activate the thyroid. It is estimated that about 5 out of 100 people have subclinical hypothyroidism. Slightly elevated TSH levels are usually detected by accident during a routine examination. But taken on their own they don't pose any health risk. It's also possible that TSH levels are high only temporarily, for example after intense physical activity. Experts don't fully agree on how to decide when subclinical hypothyroidism should be treated.

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Terms to know

Autoimmune Disease
Disease that results when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues. Examples include multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Chronic
Refers to disorders that last a long time, often years. Chronic is the opposite of acute, or brief.
Larynx (Voice Box)
The area of the throat containing the vocal cords and used for breathing, swallowing, and talking. Also called voice box.
Thyroid Gland
A gland located beneath the larynx (voice box) that makes thyroid hormone and calcitonin. The thyroid helps regulate growth and metabolism. Also called thyroid gland.
Thyroid Hormones
A hormone that affects heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight. Thyroid hormone is made by the thyroid gland and can also be made in the laboratory.
Thyroiditis
Inflammation of the thyroid gland.

More about Hashimoto's Disease

Photo of an adult woman

Also called: Autoimmune lymphocytic chronic thyroiditis, Autoimmune thyroiditis, Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, Hashimoto thyroiditis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Lymphocytic thyroiditis, Struma lymphomatosa, Struma lymphomatosis

See Also: Hypothyroidism

Other terms to know: See all 6
Autoimmune Disease, Chronic, Larynx (Voice Box)

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