Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid, leading to its destruction. It is typically caused by the body’s immune system inadvertently attacking healthy thyroid tissue. The answer to whether Hashimoto’s develops or you are born with it is not a clear cut answer.
While several studies have shown a genetic component to the disorder, there is not a single known cause. What is known is that certain factors, both genetic and environmental, can cause the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack the thyroid.
In some cases, the body may be pre-destined to develop the disorder due to a genetic predisposition. For example, people with a family history of autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s, may be more likely to develop it themselves.
Additionally, women are more likely to develop the disorder than men.
When it comes to environmental factors, past infections can increase an individual’s risk of developing the disorder. Additionally, exposure to toxins or stress may also increase risk. Genetics and environment both play a role in whether or not someone will develop Hashimoto’s, but it is likely that a combination of these factors influences an individual’s risk level.
Can you suddenly develop Hashimoto’s?
No, you cannot suddenly develop Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disease, which means that it develops over time as your immune system gradually damages your thyroid. If you suddenly have symptoms of Hashimoto’s, it is likely that roots of the disease were present for some time before it became clinically detectable.
Hashimoto’s can remain asymptomatic for many years, or even decades, before the first signs or symptoms appear. Therefore, it is not possible to suddenly develop Hashimoto’s.
How quickly can hashimotos develop?
The time span for developing Hashimoto’s varies depending on the individual. In some cases, Hashimoto’s can be present for years before diagnosis. Other times, signs and symptoms may manifest within a few weeks or months.
However, some individuals note that their symptoms begin to manifest as early as childhood, as symptoms such as fatigue and weight changes can be attributed to Hashimoto’s. If concerns arise, individuals should consult with their doctor.
Early diagnosis and timely treatment can help to lessen the severity of symptoms and reduce the risk of further complications.
What triggers Hashimoto disease?
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body is attacking its own tissue instead of recognizing it as its own. It is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States, meaning that thyroids are not producing enough hormones.
The autoimmune response is triggered by the body recognizing the thyroid cells as foreign and attacking them. In other words, Hashimoto’s is thought to be triggered due to the body’s immune system attacking the thyroid cells as it sees them as invading agents and responds to them as such.
Additionally, genetic factors may increase a person’s risk of developing Hashimoto’s disease; if someone in the family has it, other family members may be more likely to also have it.
Environmental triggers, such as stress, poor nutrition, and certain medications, can also play a role in triggering Hashimoto’s disease in individuals who are at a high risk of developing this condition.
Additionally, viral infections have been linked to the development of Hashimoto’s.
What age does Hashimoto’s start?
Hashimoto’s disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland. It is the most common form of hypothyroidism. The age at which someone might start to experience Hashimoto’s varies.
While it can affect people of any age, it is generally more common in middle-aged women. According to the Office on Women’s Health, it affects 5 out of every 100 women ages 30 to 60. On the other hand, Hashimoto’s is much less common in men and is estimated to affect 1 in every 1000 men over the age of 45.
However, it can affect people of any age and is often first diagnosed during childhood or adolescence. Symptoms vary, but could include fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, and muscular pains.
Can you get Hashimoto’s from stress?
No, you cannot get Hashimoto’s from stress alone. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder caused by an underlying genetic predisposition or an environmental trigger, such as an infection, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland.
Stress could, however, exacerbate existing Hashimoto’s symptoms, including fatigue, muscle and joint pain, difficulty sleeping, headaches, depression, and weight changes, as the thyroid is responsible for controlling the body’s metabolism and energy production, and high levels of stress can interrupt those functions.
Therefore, those living with Hashimoto’s may experience an increase in symptoms when their stress levels are high.
It is important to note, however, that managing stress is an important part of managing symptoms of Hashimoto’s, but it should not be thought of as a cure. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management techniques such as relaxation, deep breathing exercises, and visualization can help manage stress levels and, in turn, help manage the symptoms of Hashimoto’s.
Additionally, those living with Hashimoto’s should consult with a healthcare professional to create a comprehensive treatment plan based on the individual’s medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle. This may include medication and/or additional therapeutic interventions to help manage the condition.
How long can you have Hashimoto’s and not know it?
It is possible to have Hashimoto’s and not know it for a long period of time. In many cases, Hashimoto’s can be present for years without any symptoms, as it is a slowly progressing autoimmune disorder.
Mild cases of Hashimoto’s may never exhibit any obvious symptoms, and can go undetected for extended periods until a comprehensive thyroid panel is administered. Symptoms of Hashimoto’s can vary considerably, and some people may experience very subtle symptoms that are easy to overlook or mistakenly attribute to other causes.
Additionally, when symptoms do begin to appear, they can be easily confused with symptoms of other disorders, making it more difficult to diagnose Hashimoto’s. As a result, it is possible to have Hashimoto’s and not know it for a long time.
How do I know if my Hashimoto’s is acting up?
If you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, it is important to pay attention to any changes in your body and any potential warning signs that your Hashimoto’s is acting up. It is important to educate yourself on the symptoms of Hashimoto’s and be aware of any changes that could indicate your condition is worsening.
Common symptoms of Hashimoto’s becoming active include:
• Fatigue – feeling tired, weak or exhausted even after normal levels of rest or sleep
• Hair loss
• Mood changes – including depression, anxiety and irritability
• Abdominal bloating or discomfort
• Paleness of skin or nail beds
• Dry skin or rash
• Intolerance to cold
• Muscle and joint pain
• Weight gain
• Heavy periods
• Brain fog – difficulty thinking or concentrating
If you notice any of the symptoms above or any other changes in your body, it is important to speak to your doctor or healthcare practitioner to get the appropriate testing done to determine if your Hashimoto’s is becoming active.
Your doctor can also provide further advice on managing and treating your Hashimoto’s condition.
What are the symptoms of Hashimoto’s flare up?
Hashimoto’s flare up can cause a range of symptoms, some of which are specific to the thyroid gland, while others can be felt throughout the body. Depending on the severity of the flare up, symptoms range from mild to severe and can include changes to mental and physical health.
Hashimoto’s flare up can cause thyroid gland-specific symptoms such as an enlarged thyroid (goiter), an increase in blood test results measuring thyroid malfunction (like an increase in TSH), and an increase in the physical size and thickness of the thyroid gland due to an accumulation of fluid.
It can also lead to fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, feeling cold all the time, hoarseness of voice, muscle weakness, and aching muscles and joints.
In addition to these symptoms, a flare-up can also cause difficulty with concentration, difficulty sleeping, irritability, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. It can also cause swelling in the lymph nodes, fever, hair loss, and low libido.
Additionally, some people may experience a blocked or irregular heartbeat and other heart-related issues.
What not to do if you have Hashimoto’s?
If you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, there are certain things you should avoid to help manage your condition. First and foremost, you should avoid gluten and dairy, as these are common triggers for Hashimoto’s.
Additionally, it’s important to limit your intake of processed foods, as well as food that is high in sugar. Consuming too much sugar can result in inflammation, which can worsen Hashimoto’s symptoms.
It’s also important to stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Additionally, avoiding alcohol and cigarettes is recommended, as this can worsen the condition.
Moreover, it’s important to avoid stress, as this can affect your immune system and may worsen your Hashimoto’s symptoms. Taking daily supplements, like vitamim D and vitamin B12, can be beneficial. Also, if you do any exercise, it’s important to stay within your limits; too much exercise can actually lead to inflammation, leading to a worsening of symptoms.
Additionally, it’s important to be careful with other medications, supplements, or herbal products, as they may not be suitable for Hashimoto’s. Lastly, it’s important to be aware of any emotional triggers that may cause a flare-up of your symptoms, and actively try to avoid them.
What labs are abnormal with Hashimoto?
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can cause lab results to look abnormal, particularly for thyroid hormones and antibodies. Common abnormal lab results include an increased TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) level, low T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) levels, and increased thyroglobulin antibody and thyroid peroxidase antibody.
These results can be seen on blood tests and typically point to an autoimmune condition impacting the thyroid. Other labs that can be abnormal in Hashimoto’s include a low white blood cell count, a low platelet count, and mildly elevated bilirubin levels.
Additionally, people with Hashimoto’s often tests positive for antinuclear antibody, which indicates underlying inflammation in the body. Overall, labs can be used to help diagnose and monitor Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, although some lab results may remain ‘normal’ even when Hashimoto’s is present.
How do you rule out Hashimoto’s?
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder that can cause hypothyroidism, but it can be difficult to diagnose. In order to rule out Hashimoto’s, it is important to speak with your doctor and provide a detailed medical history that outlines any symptoms you may be experiencing.
Blood tests such as thyroid autoantibody testing or a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test can be used to accurately detect the presence of antibodies that are indicative of Hashimoto’s. Additionally, imaging scans can be utilized to detect any physical irregularities of the thyroid gland.
If Hashimoto’s is still suspected, biopsies may be performed to detect any pathological changes. The biopsy will provide a tissue sample that can then be examined under a microscope and results compared to a normal tissue sample.
Ultimately, it is important to speak with a doctor to discuss all of the available options and determine the best way to move forward with regards to rule out Hashimoto’s.
Can you have a normal thyroid test and still have Hashimoto’s?
Yes, it is possible to have a normal thyroid test result and still have Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack the thyroid, resulting in inflammation and damage to the thyroid gland.
This can eventually lead to low levels of thyroid hormone, or hypothyroidism.
However, in the early stages of Hashimoto’s, the thyroid may still be able to produce normal or high levels of thyroid hormone in response to the body’s attack. This means that a thyroid test may still show normal or even high levels of thyroid hormones.
It is important to keep in mind though that even if a thyroid test shows normal results, it does not necessarily mean that the person does not have Hashimoto’s. If there is any suspicion of Hashimoto’s, further testing may be done to confirm the diagnosis, including an anti-thyroid antibody test which can detect antibodies elevated in people with Hashimoto’s.
Can MS be mistaken for Hashimoto’s?
Yes, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Hashimoto’s Disease can easily be mistaken for one another because they both affect the thyroid. MS is a neurological disorder while Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder.
MS is caused by damage to the nerves in the central nervous system, specifically the myelin sheath which surrounds and protects the nerve fibers. Symptoms of MS include blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the arms and legs, muscle weakness, difficulty walking, and mental changes.
Hashimoto’s, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s own immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland, leading to an underproduction of thyroid hormones. Symptoms of Hashimoto’s include fatigue, depression, muscle and joint pain, weight gain, and constipation.
In extreme cases, Hashimoto’s can lead to an enlarged thyroid, known as a goiter.
Some of the signs and symptoms of MS and Hashimoto’s are similar, so it is easy for them to be mistaken for one another. A definitive diagnosis will require a combination of blood tests and imaging tests to determine whether it is MS or Hashimoto’s.
If the diagnosis is uncertain, a specialist in MS or endocrinology should be consulted.
What causes hypothyroidism Besides Hashimoto’s?
Besides Hashimoto’s, there are several other causes of hypothyroidism. These include thyroid surgery, thyroiditis, radiation exposure, iodine deficiency, pituitary disorders, excess intake of iodine, some medications, pregnancy, tumors, and congenital issues.
Thyroid surgery can cause hypothyroidism when all or part of the thyroid gland is removed. This can lead to an abrupt decrease in the production of thyroid hormones.
Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of the thyroid gland. This can lead to decreased hormone production.
Exposure to radiation can damage the thyroid gland and decrease its ability to produce hormones. Radioactive iodine therapy can be used to treat some types of thyroid cancer, and this can also lead to hypothyroidism.
Iodine deficiency can cause the body to be unable to produce enough thyroid hormones, leading to hypothyroidism.
Some medications can also lead to hypothyroidism, such as lithium, interferon alpha, and amiodarone.
During pregnancy, some women naturally produce lower levels of thyroid hormones. This can cause hypothyroidism during and after pregnancy.
Tumors in the thyroid gland can cause decreased hormone production.
Congenital issues can also cause hypothyroidism when the thyroid gland either fails to develop or is malformed.