Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (cont.)
Robert Ferry Jr., MD
Robert Ferry Jr., MD, is a U.S. board-certified Pediatric Endocrinologist. After taking his baccalaureate degree from Yale College, receiving his doctoral degree and residency training in pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), he completed fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
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. The timeframe of the autoimmune process and inflammation will continue is not predictable. 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 addition to careful obstetric care, management of thyroid hormone replacement by an endocrinologist is helpful. Before conception and during pregnancy, levels of thyroid hormones need to be monitored and optimized. The target goal is usually within the range for nonpregnant women but at the higher end of the normal range.
If you think you may have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, ask your doctor to check your thyroid function and order blood tests to help make a diagnosis. If you know you have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, continue to take medications as directed by your physician, and follow-up regularly with your health care professional for thyroid function tests and optimal care.
Medically reviewed by John A. Seibel, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Endocrinology & Metabolism
REFERENCE: MedscapeReference.com. Hashimoto Thyroiditis.
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