Hashimoto's disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam's apple. The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, which produces hormones that coordinate many of your body's activities.
The resulting inflammation from Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, often leads to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It primarily affects middle-aged women but also can occur in men and women of any age and in children.
Doctors test your thyroid function to help detect Hashimoto's disease. Treatment of Hashimoto's disease with thyroid hormone replacement usually is simple and effective.
Jan. 02, 2014
- Davies TF. Pathogenesis of Hashimoto's thyroiditis (chronic autoimmune thyroiditis). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 7, 2013.
- Frequently asked questions: Hashimoto's disease. Office on Women's Health. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/hashimoto-disease.cfm. Accessed Oct. 7, 2013.
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. http://www.thyroidawareness.com/hashimotos. Accessed Oct. 7, 2013.
- Ross DS. Disorders that cause hypothyroidism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 7, 2013.
- Garber JR, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for hypothyroidism in adults: Cosponsored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association. Endocrine Practice. 2012;18:988.
- Ross DS. Treatment of hypothyroidism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 7, 2013.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. October 7, 2013.
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