What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto thyroiditis is the most common form of thyroid gland inflammation (thyroiditis) and the most frequent cause of decreased thyroid hormone production hypothyroidism. It results from an autoimmune disorder, an attack on the thyroid gland by a person’s own immune system.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ that lies flat against the windpipe in the throat. It produces the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) and plays an important role in controlling the body’s metabolism.
With Hashimoto thyroiditis, the thyroid becomes enlarged, called a goiter. Thyroid gland tissue is slowly destroyed by white blood cells called lymphocytes that move into the thyroid gland and by one or more thyroid autoantibodies. This causes a progressive decrease in the production of thyroid hormones.
About 1 in 1,000 people are diagnosed annually with Hashimoto thyroiditis, and the number has been increasing over time due to improvements in diagnostic techniques. This disorder can affect anyone at any age but occurs most commonly in women who are between 30 and 50 years of age. The ratio of women to men diagnosed with the disease is 20 to 1. People with a family history of thyroid diseases or with other autoimmune diseases, especially type 1 diabetes or adrenal insufficiency are at increased risk.
Those affected by Hashimoto thyroiditis may not have any symptoms for several years, but eventually most will experience some degree of hypothyroidism that worsens over time.

Signs and Symptoms
Constipation
Depression
Dry skin
Fatigue
Forgetfulness
Increased sensitivity to cold
Menstrual irregularities, heavy and excessive bleeding
Muscle and joint pain
Muscle weakness
Sluggishness
Thinning hair
Weight gain
For pregnant women, increased risk of miscarriage

Tests
Testing is done to evaluate the health of the thyroid, diagnose Hashimoto thyroiditis, and monitor treatment.
To determine whether the thyroid is functioning properly and for monitoring thyroid function and hormone production, one or more of the following blood tests may be done:
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) – typically elevated in hypothyroidism
Free T4 – often decreased in primary hypothyroidism
Total or Free T3 – sometimes decreased but may be within the normal reference range, so is not as useful as free T4
Additional tests may be used to detect autoantibodies directed against the thyroid and to help diagnose Hashimoto thyroiditis:
Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody (anti-TPO, see Thyroid Antibodies) – this test detects the presence of autoantibodies against a protein found in thyroid cells. A high value usually indicates autoimmune damage to the thyroid due to disorders such as Hashimoto thyroiditis and Graves disease.
Antithyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) – if positive, may indicate Hashimoto thyroiditis; while thyroglobulin antibodies are often positive, they are not as sensitive or specificas anti-TPO so they are not routinely ordered.
People with a very mild form of Hashimoto thyroiditis may not have thyroid antibodies present in their blood.
Treatment
There is no cure for Hashimoto thyroiditis, but the disorder is manageable. No treatment is required when thyroid hormone concentrations (T4 and T3) are normal and the affected person is not experiencing significant symptoms. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is typically necessary, however, when thyroid hormone production becomes significantly decreased and symptoms begin to emerge or worsen. Those with Hashimoto thyroiditis are closely monitored, and thyroid hormone replacement therapy is initiated and/or adjusted as necessary.

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000371.htm

Understanding Auto Immune disorders

Who understands auto immune disorders and how they affects us and our loved ones?  Here is a brief overview of what it is and a link if you want to research correct information further.

When an intruder invades your body—like a cold virus or bacteria on a thorn that pricks your skin—your immune system protects you. It tries to identify, kill, and eliminate the invaders that might hurt you. But sometimes problems with your immune system cause it to mistake your body’s own healthy cells as invaders and then repeatedly attacks them. This is called an autoimmune disease. (“Autoimmune” means immunity against the self.)

Autoimmune diseases can affect almost any part of the body, including the heart, brain, nerves, muscles, skin, eyes, joints, lungs, kidneys, glands, the digestive tract, and blood vessels. The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain, and swelling. How an autoimmune disease affects you depends on what part of the body is targeted. If the disease affects the joints, as in rheumatoid arthritis, you might have joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function. If it affects the thyroid, as in Graves’ disease and thyroiditis, it might cause tiredness, weight gain, and muscle aches. If it attacks the skin, as it does in scleroderma/systemic sclerosis, vitiligo, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), it can cause rashes, blisters, and color changes.

Many autoimmune diseases don’t restrict themselves to one part of the body. For example, SLE can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, nerves, blood vessels, and more. Type 1 diabetes can affect your glands, eyes, kidneys, muscles, and more.

KEY WORDS

Acquired immune system. The part of the immune system that develops as a person grows. It employs antibodies and immune cells to fight harmful substances.

Antibody. A special protein produced by the body’s immune system that recognizes and helps fight infectious agents and other foreign substances that invade the body.

Antigen. A foreign substance that triggers the production of antibodies when it is introduced into the body.

Autoimmune disease. A disease that results when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues.

Corticosteroids. Potent anti-inflammatory hormones that are made naturally in the body or synthetically (man-made) for use as drugs. They are also called glucocorticoids. The most commonly prescribed drug of this type is prednisone.

Diabetes, type 1. A condition in which the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, making it impossible for the body to use glucose (blood sugar) for energy. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children and young adults.

Graves’ disease. An autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormone. This causes such symptoms as nervousness, heat intolerance, heart palpitations, and unexplained weight loss.

Immune system. A complex network of specialized cells and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.

Thyroiditis. An inflammation of the thyroid gland that causes the gland to become underactive. This results in symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, weight gain, cold intolerance, and muscle aches.

Vitiligo. A disorder in which the immune system destroys pigment-making cells called melanocytes. This results in white patches of skin on different parts of the body.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The Nation’s Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH visit:

https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/

Selenium for your Thyroid Health

Selenium Health Benefits and the Best sources

Do you have an under active Thyroid? Are you getting the vitamins and minerals needed to support the process?  Here is some info on why Selenium is important to the process.  Soaking your nuts and seeds for best absorption will help your already stressed out body.

Antioxidant Protection
Selenium is required for the proper activity of a group of enzymes called glutathione peroxidases. (sometimes abbreviated “GPO” or “GPx” for a glutathione peroxidase enzyme.) These enzymes play a key role in the body’s detoxification system and they also provide protection against oxidative stress. (Oxidative stress is physiological circumstance in which there is excessive risk of oxygen-related damage to the body.) Of the eight known glutathione peroxidase enzymes, five of them require selenium.
In addition to the activity of glutathione peroxidase, selenium-containing enzymes are involved in recycling of vitamin C from its spent form back to its active one, allowing for greater antioxidant protection.

Support Normal Thyroid Function
A selenium-containing enzyme is responsible for transforming a less active thyroid hormone called T4 into the more active T3. As you’ll see below in the Relationship with Other Nutrients section, selenium and iodine work together to keep thyroid function strong and consistent.
Like the antioxidant protection issue, this is not just an esoteric concern. Researchers have been able to induce problems with the thyroid gland in just two months of a low-selenium diet.
Probably, if you’ve read about food sources of selenium, you’ve read about Brazil nuts as a strong source of the mineral. Depending on where they are grown, this is likely to be true—one ounce of Brazil nuts may contain as much as 10 times the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendation for selenium intake.
Other exceptionally selenium-rich foods include oysters, clams, liver, and kidney. Each of these foods is likely to contain double to triple the DRI in a serving.
Fish and shellfish make up an outsized proportion of our excellent and very good sources. After these come other animal meats, many of which fall in the very good category. Close behind are whole grains and seeds, both of which are well-represented in our good selenium sources category.
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