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Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease is primarily defined as the condition of the body, when the defense mechanism of the human body cannot differentiate between the foreign cells and the tissue or the cells of the body. The antibodies of the body attack the thyroid gland of the body of the Autoimmune Thyroid Disease or the disorder. It can progress to the Hashitoxicosis, the Hashimoto’s thyroids and the Grave’s disease.

Autoimmune Thyroid DiseasePresently, the diagnosis of the Autoimmune Thyroid Disease is done by checking the patient’s symptoms, the result of the physical check-up on the patient and the results of the lab tests. In the early course of the Autoimmune Thyroid Disease, it is difficult to diagnose. Also, the symptoms of the Autoimmune Thyroid Disease differ from individual to individual.

Often, the Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases are chronic and the patients require lifelong monitoring and care, even if the affected person feels well or look good. Although, the scientific research is going on, there are only few autoimmune diseases which can be cured completely. But, if the people who are affected with the Autoimmune Thyroid Disease gets the proper medical care, they can live a normal life.

Interesting Questions about Thyroid:

What About Women and Thyroid Disease?

Hyperthyroidism

  • means too much thyroid hormone
  • affects 2.5 million people in the United States
  • affects 2% of all women in the United States
  • affects women 5 to 10 times more than men
  • can cause infertility and miscarriage

Graves’ disease

Hypothyroidism

  • means too little thyroid hormone
  • affects 5 million Americans
  • affects women 10 times more than men
  • affects 1 out of every 4,000 infants born
  • can cause infertility and miscarriage

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

Postpartum thyroiditis

  • occurs in 5% – 9% of women after giving birth
  • is usually temporary but can recur with future pregnancies

Thyroid nodules

  • affect 4% – 7% of the population
  • are benign 90% of the time
  • are less likely to be cancerous in women

*Autoimmune diseases run in families and are 5 times more common in women than men.

What are the Facts for People Given Radiation (X-ray) Treatments as Children?

Between one and two million Americans received radiation treatments in childhood or adolescence between 1920 and 1960. The most common reasons for these treatments were:

  • enlarged thymus gland
  • acne
  • ringworm
  • enlarged tonsils and adenoids
  • various chest conditions

The risk factor for developing thyroid cancer if you had childhood radiation treatments is between 2% and 7% as compared to .004% in the general population.

There have been cases of side effects from radiation treatments (not radioactive iodine treatments) reported as long as 45 years after treatment.

Most physicians agree that the thyroid gland of these patients should be checked annually.

Some physicians rely solely on physical (manual) examination of patients treated as children with radiation. Others prefer to perform scans or ultrasounds for nodules too small to detect manually that might be cancerous.

A person treated as a child with radiation can request that their medical records be sent to them by writing the hospital or clinic where they had the treatments. Ask for a record of how much each dose of radiation was as well as how often and over what period of time treatments were given.

Does Everyone with Thyroid Disease Experience Hair Loss?

One of the more psychologically unpleasant and frustrating side effects that can occur with either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism is hair loss. There is no way to predict which patients will experience hair loss and which will not. Similarly, there is no way to predict who will be severely affected and who will have only minimal hair loss.

Because each person is unique, responses to thyroid disease and treatment will vary. This can be disturbing to patients who have lost a great deal of hair and want to know exactly when this will stop and when their hair will be normal again.

Here are a few facts to remember if you experience hair loss because of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism:

  • Hair loss from thyroid disease is usually reversible with proper treatment of the thyroid condition.
  • Typically hair loss does not immediately stop when the blood work becomes normal. Most people stop losing their hair and begin replacing lost hair a few months after the thyroid hormone levels become normal. In some cases, it can take longer.
  • Stress can contribute to hair loss. Because of the nature of thyroid disease, it can have a direct impact on the psychological well-being of patients, particularly on the coping mechanisms that deal with stress. Unfortunately, as patients become more and more concerned about their hair loss, their stress levels increase, making the situation worse.
  • It is advisable to take caution when considering chemical treatments of the hair-for example, coloring or permanent waves. If at all possible, avoid such treatments until the hair loss has stopped.
  • Cutting the hair shorter, using moisturizing and conditioning hair products, and avoiding back combing are other methods to decrease stress on the hair.

The most important things you can do to minimize further hair loss are to faithfully take prescribed thyroid medications and to be calm and patient.

Can High Cholesterol Be an Indication of Thyroid Disease?

How does thyroid disease affect my cholesterol level?

One of the observed side effects of hypothyroidism is an elevation of LDL cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol.” Elevated LDL levels have been associated with heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease, and peripheral vascular disease. Elevated triglycerides also pose a serious medical problem. However, only in the most severe cases of hypothyroidism does the disease cause a marked elevation in triglyceride levels.

The “good cholesterol” is called HDL cholesterol. Scientific studies are inconclusive about the effects of hypothyroidism on HDL levels. Some have shown a decrease; others have shown no change; and a few have shown a minimal increase.

All patients with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) should have tests of their thyroid function since a small percentage of these patients will have hypothyroidism contributing to their cholesterol problem. Treatment with thyroid hormone will lower cholesterol levels in those patients with an abnormal cholesterol from hypothyroidism.

The overall effect of hypothyroidism is a significant increase in the bad cholesterol. Long-standing, untreated hypothyroidism can lead to permanent damage to the coronary arteries and other blood vessels. Therefore, it is important to treat hypothyroidism and monitor cholesterol levels closely.

Have more questions? Need more answers? Check our Full Thyroid FAQ

About the Hashitoxicosise

It can be defined as the transient thyroid disorder which is spreading among the people who are suffering from the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In this disorder, the patient suffers from the sessions of the hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism simultaneously. The session happens due to the defense mechanism of the body attacking the thyroid gland. Due to the attack, the hormones which are stored in the gland are released in the bloodstream which causes havoc in the blood stream.

Autoimmune ThyroidHashimoto’s thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis disorder can be defined as the swelling of the thyroid gland due to the attack of the antibodies on the thyroid gland. Due to the attack, the thyroid gland starts producing less quantity of the thyroid hormone. Sometimes this disorder can also be caused due to the viral infection or the bacterial infection. Some of the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis symptoms are as follows. They are dry skin, hoarse voice, puffy face, and gaining weight without any reason, depression, muscles ache and the enlarged thyroid gland

Grave’s disease

When the thyroid gland starts producing more thyroid hormones after the getting the stimulation from the antibody attack on the regular basis, the patient starts suffering from the Grave’s disease. The symptoms of this disease include the anxiety, excessive perspiration, sleeping problems etc.

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease can be defined as the stage of the body when the defense mechanism of the body gets confused between the foreign cells and the cells of the body and start attacking the thyroid gland for the safety of the body.  There are various reasons like the genetic factor or the environmental factor which play a leading role in the people who are vulnerable to it. The Autoimmune Thyroid Disease leads to the three disorders of the thyroid glands which are Hashitoxicosis, Grave’s disease or the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

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