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Quick Facts

Hashimoto Thyroiditis


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Jul 2020| Content last modified Jul 2020
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Your thyroid is a gland below the Adam’s apple in your neck.

Your thyroid releases thyroid hormones. The hormones control how fast your body’s chemical functions work (metabolic rate). Almost every cell in your body needs thyroid hormones. Among many other things, thyroid hormones help control:

  • How fast you burn calories

  • How fast your heart beats

  • Your body temperature

Locating the Thyroid Gland

Locating the Thyroid Gland

What is Hashimoto thyroiditis?

What causes Hashimoto thyroiditis?

Doctors don't know why your body's immune system attacks your thyroid gland. It's more common in middle-aged women and tends to run in families. Sometimes it happens in people with other autoimmune problems such as rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Arthritis is a group of diseases that makes your joints hurt, swell up, and turn red. There are many different types of arthritis. RA is a type of arthritis in which your body's immune system... read more Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) .

What are the symptoms of Hashimoto thyroiditis?

Early on, you may have no symptoms, or you may notice:

  • Painless, firm, slight swelling of your thyroid gland

  • Feeling of fullness in your neck

  • Feeling tired

  • Getting cold easily

  • Puffy eyes and face, droopy eyelids

  • Thin, rough, dry hair

How can doctors tell if I have Hashimoto thyroiditis?

How do doctors treat Hashimoto thyroiditis?

There's no treatment for Hashimoto thyroiditis itself.

If you have hypothyroidism, doctors will give you:

  • Thyroid hormone pills

Once treatment is started, doctors will gradually adjust the dose of hormone pills based on blood tests.

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