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hashimoto's disease

What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?

Hashimoto’s Disease, a common autoimmune thyroid disease, affects millions of people in the U.S. and is diagnosed in women more often than men. The immune system makes antibodies to attack the thyroid, and when damaged, it cannot make essential thyroid hormones necessary for nearly every organ function in the body. Another name for it is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and we’ll be discussing some of the symptoms and causes, how we test for it, and how we can help you manage and treat this disease. 

Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Disease

Thyroid issues can progress undetected for years, and if you already have an autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, or lupus, you’re more likely to be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease as well. While you may start out with minimal symptoms, typically, you’ll begin to notice one or several of these common Hashimoto’s symptoms:

  • doctor examining patientFatigue
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Thin and dry hair
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Brain fog
  • Slowed heart rate

Some can also experience swelling in the neck area where the thyroid resides, as it can get larger and form a goiter. While usually not painful, you may feel a fullness in your throat. It’s important to tell your healthcare provider about any of these symptoms as soon as possible so that you can begin treatment and prevent further damage to your thyroid. 

How We Test For Hashimoto’s Disease

At Elite Personalized Medicine, we go above and beyond conventional testing by running a full thyroid panel, including  TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3, RT3, and TPO antibodies. These blood tests ensure we’re getting the most accurate and detailed results. In addition to your medical history and a physical exam, this gives us the clearest diagnosis of Hashimoto’s, and from there, we can discuss treatment options with you. Regular testing is vital if you’re diagnosed so that treatment can be adjusted over time if your thyroid levels change. 

Treatment for Hashimoto’s Disease

thyroidThe good news about Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is that it’s completely manageable and treatable. In order to restore proper levels of thyroid hormones, prescription medication and hormone replacement therapy are two forms of treatment available, and there are also a variety of thyroid supplements we can recommend for supporting healthy thyroid function. Also, diet, lifestyle, and exercise are important factors in maintaining overall wellness, and with the help of our health coaching services, you can get the support you need. 

We hope you’ve found this information on Hashimoto’s Disease helpful. Learn more about thyroid testing at our functional medicine center! We’re here to help you take the first step toward healing.  

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