Hashimoto’s disease damages the thyroid gland. This autoimmune disease typically affects more women than men, and it is the most common cause of underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism. This condition is treatable with proper medication but if it is left untreated, it can cause a myriad of other health problems. Read on to learn more about Hashimoto’s and what it does to your body.
Many patients will not experience any symptoms of Hashimoto’s for years. Commonly, the first sign is an enlarged thyroid, which is referred to as a goiter. It can cause the front of your neck to appear swollen, and you may feel it in your throat. It can also be difficult to swallow, but in most cases, goiters are not painful. One of the most common symptoms of Hashimoto’s is constant fatigue or the feeling of being tired. You may also feel cold, experience weight gain, or constipation. For women, they often experience heavier than normal menstrual periods. Joint pain is another common symptom. Some patients may also experience feelings of depression.
Hashimoto’s in Women
Hashimoto’s is known to cause problems for women who are attempting to become pregnant. The disease affects women differently than men, and it can cause problems with the menstrual cycle. Since there is too little of the thyroid hormone in patients with Hashimoto’s, women could experience irregular cycles and periods that are much heavier than normal. Many women also experience difficulties conceiving due to these irregular cycles.
Some studies have shown that about half of all women who have Hashimoto’s experience trouble getting pregnant. This typically applies to women who have not begun treatment for hypothyroidism. Another woman-related problem includes serious problems during pregnancy when the unborn baby’s brain and nervous system need thyroid hormones for proper development. If a patient is not being treated for Hashimoto’s, it can lead to birth defects and even potential miscarriage.
Serious Effects of Hashimoto’s
Aside from possible miscarriages in women, Hashimoto’s also causes a myriad of other serious symptoms in both men and women. Many patients will get high cholesterol numbers and if left untreated, the Hashimoto’s can even cause seizures or heart failure. In rare cases, this disease can also cause coma or even death if it is not treated regularly. If you suspect that you may have Hashimoto’s, see the experienced professionals at Revive Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia and call them at 770-214-4281 to schedule your free consultation today.