Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (cont.)
Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C)
Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C) is an Attending Physician with the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Associate Director of Clinical Research, Recruitment and Phenotyping with the Center for Androgen Related Disorders, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Introduction to Hashimoto's thyroiditis
- What causes Hashimoto's thyroiditis?
- What are the symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis?
- How is Hashimoto's thyroiditis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment of Hashimoto's thyroiditis?
- Should I be concerned if I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and want to become pregnant?
- Find a local Endocrinologist in your town
What is the treatment of Hashimoto's thyroiditis?
There is no cure for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. There is no way to know how long the autoimmune process and inflammation will continue. In the vast majority of patients, hypothyroidism results from the inflammatory process.
Thyroid hormone medication can replace the hormones the thyroid made before the inflammation started. There are two major thyroid hormones made by a healthy gland (T3 and T4). Replacing one or both of these hormones can alleviate the symptoms caused by the absolute or relative lack of hormones as a consequence of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Without medication, there is very little chance the thyroid would be able to maintain hormone levels within the normal range, and symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism would occur or worsen.
Should I be concerned if I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and want to become pregnant?
Hashimoto's thyroiditis is not a reason to avoid pregnancy. However, some women with Hashimoto's thyroiditis do have trouble conceiving. In some patients, supplementation with selenium is used to try and decrease antibody levels. (The theory is that lower antibody levels may lead to better success in conception.) Both before and during pregnancy, the levels of thyroid hormones need to be checked to make certain they are in the optimal range for pregnancy. This is usually within the range for nonpregnant women but at the higher end of the range.
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