Health A-Z

Hashimoto’s Disease

Clinical Definition

Hashimoto’s disease, or chronic thyroiditis, is a common thyroid gland disorder triggered by an autoimmune reaction against the thyroid gland, which can prevent it from producing sufficient amounts of thyroid hormone. Signs and symptoms of thyroid deficiency include poor concentration, temperature intolerance, and weight gain. Diagnosis is aided by blood tests that measure thyroid function. Thyroid replacement therapy is one treatment option.

In Our Own Words

Hashimoto’s disease is a common cause of an underactive thyroid gland, or hypothyroidism. It typically develops slowly and is caused by the immune system acting against the thyroid gland. If this results in hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone), symptoms can include difficulty with concentration, fatigue, intolerance to cold, mild weight gain, facial swelling and joint stiffness.

Symptoms and Side Effects

  • Enlarged or shrunken thyroid gland
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Mild weight gain
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