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Autoimmune Disorder, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Essay

948 words - 4 pages

Hashimoto's disease, also known as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disorder first discovered in 1912 Germany by Hakara Hashimoto and is one of the first autoimmune disorders identified. It has become of the most common autoimmune diseases and is 7-10 times more prevalent in middle age to older women than in men. It is an organ specific T-cell mediated disease that affects the thyroid1. It begins when the antigen-specific T-cells are activated by some environmental factor causing the B cells to secrete thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb). The antibodies accumulate in the thyroid, destroying the tissue and associated follicles causing it ...view middle of the document...

He goes on to suggest that the breakdown of the immune system might be a result of a deletion of autoreactive T-cells in the thymus, T-cell death, and/or the expression of the above mentioned MHC Class II molecules. 1
Signs and Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
People who suffer from Hashimoto's disease can often alternate between hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) due to fluctuating TSH, T4 and T3. Many of the symptoms presented in classic Hashimoto's disease can also be present with other autoimmune disorders, particularly Grave's disease, which can make diagnosis difficult. Grave's disease occurs when the thyroid overproduces thyroid hormones similar to hyperthyroidism in Hashimoto's. However, it is more common for Hashimoto's suffers to be diagnosed with hypothyroidism. It is important to note that Hypothyroidism, also an underactive thyroid, is categorized as a separate disorder from Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Hypothyroidism is not an autoimmune disease and can be traced to or caused by other issues.
The thyroid is vital in the support of many of the body's primary functions such as heart rate, brain function, and metabolism and they are the first functions to slow down at the onset of the disease. When presented, a classic sign of Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the appearance of a goiter, which is defined as an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Additional symptoms may include fatigue or sluggishness, weight gain, pale skin and/or puffy face, increased sensitivity to cold or feeling cold, joint and muscle pain, tenderness, and stiffness in shoulders and hips, swelling in knees or hands, constipation, dry thinning hair, heavy or regular menstrual cycle, infertility, depression, slow heart rate and hoarse voice.
To confirm the presence of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, blood draw to determine thyroid function, a physical exam, and possible biopsy of the thyroid can be used. A blood test will consist of two parts; a hormone or thyroid...

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