Hashimoto's Disease

Hashimoto's Disease

Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. Hashimoto's disease was described by a Japanese doctor named HakaruHashimato in 1912. For this reason, it has been named hashimato disease. Hashimoto disease is seen in 2% of the population and is more common in women compared to men.

In any autoimmune disease, the immune system is designed to attack germs and heal the body, but in Hashimoto's disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks itself.

Hashimoto's disease occurs when the body attacks the thyroid cell as if it were threatened by a virus. This leads to a decrease in thyroid function and hormone production.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland attached to the front of the windpipe. It is part of the endocrine system responsible for the production, storage, and use of hormones. Inflammation from Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, often leads to a weakened thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).

Hashimoto's Disease Symptoms

Many people with Hashimoto's disease do not experience any symptoms at first. One of the most obvious signs of Hashimoto's disease is goiter, an inflamed and enlarged thyroid that makes the front of the neck appear swollen.

The most common and easily recognized symptoms of Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism are:

In the early phase:

- Weakness

- Decrease in mental activities (forgetfulness, tendency to sleep)

- Muscle aches and cramps, joint pains,

-Feeling extremely cold


-Dry skin, thinning of hair strands, thinning and easy breakage of nails

- Menstrual irregularity and maybe infertility / miscarriage ...

In the late phase:

- Drawly and slow speech, deepening of the voice

-Edema (swelling) in the hands, face and feet

- Decrease in taste and smell

-Weight gain (weight loss may also occur very rarely)

-Pale/yellow skin color

- Thinning or hair loss on the sides of the eyebrows

-Thickening of the tongue

-Slow heart rate

Causes of Hashimoto's Disease

The exact cause of Hashimoto is unknown, but it is believed that many factors play a role. Some scientists think that a virus or bacteria can trigger the disease, while others think there may be a genetic defect. The following factors can increase your risk of getting Hashimoto's disease:


People with hashimatosis often have family members with thyroid disease or other autoimmune diseases. This suggests that the disease is caused by a genetic component.


Women are much more likely to get Hashimoto's disease.


Hashimoto's disease can occur at any age, but more often occurs in middle age.


Pregnancy can increase the risk of Hashimoto's disease. Another cause that is thought to be triggering Hashimoto's disease is pregnancy. After birth, many women may experience different forms of hypothyroidism and this situation can pass spontaneously. However, in 20% of such cases, Hashimoto's disease may occur years later. Accordingly, it is thought that pregnancy may cause Hashimoto's disease.

Iodine Excess

Studies show that certain medications needed for the body to produce thyroid hormones, and too much iodine can trigger thyroid disease in susceptible people.

Exposure to radiation

People exposed to excessive environmental radiation are more prone to Hashimoto's disease.

Other autoimmune diseases

Having another autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, or lupus increases your risk of getting Hashimoto's disease.

Treatment of Hashimoto's Disease

There is no known cure for Hashimoto's disease. However, with the necessary interventions, the hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto's disease can be kept under control and the complaints can be alleviated. However, in cases such as goiter and thyroid failure, thyroid hormone supplements are used. Thyroid hormone supplement given in addition to the diet is used for life. 

Spec. Dr. İlkerAltun