06/15/2009 - Questions and Answers

Hashimoto's disease

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Question

My aunt has been told she's got Hashimoto's disease. It's something to do with the thyroid gland in her neck. Can you tell me more about it?

 

Answer

The thyroid gland, which is situated in the base of the neck, is concerned with the regulation of the metabolic rate by the secretion of thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is very important in controlling many of the basic functions of the body, and keeps the body running well. It puts out a chemical called thyroid hormone that circulates in the blood and helps the body keep control of itself. Too much thyroid hormone will speed things up too much, like giving you a very fast heart rate (hyperthyroidism). Not enough thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) is like trying to run an engine without gas, the body just doesn't work well.
 

When you have Hashimoto's disease, your immune system begins to attack your thyroid gland, causing it to become swollen, inflamed, and irritated. It's what is known as an autoimmune disease. When this happens, your thyroid can't make hormones as it should. Hashimoto's disease can therefore cause hypothyroidism.
 

The links below will tell you much more about this condition

 

Related Links
FamilyDoctor.org: Hashimoto's Disease
MedlinePlus: Chronic Thyroiditis (Hashimoto's Disease)
University of Maryland: Hypothroidism

Created on: 11/15/2004
Reviewed on: 06/15/2009

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