Hashimotos Syndrome is a chronic disorder that affects your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck. In Hashimoto’s disease, aka chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, your immune system attacks your thyroid gland. The resulting inflammation often leads to an underactive thyroid gland.
The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary widely, depending on the severity of hormone deficiency. These symptoms can be:
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Pale, dry skin
- A puffy face
- Hoarse voice
- An elevated blood cholesterol level
- Unexplained weight gain — occurring infrequently and rarely exceeding 10 to 20 pounds, most of which is fluid
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in your shoulders and hips
- Pain and stiffness in your joints and swelling in your knees or the small joints in your hands and feet
- Muscle weakness, especially in your lower extremities
- Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
There is no cure for Hashimotos Syndrome. The time frame of the autoimmune process and inflammation will continue is not predictable. In the vast majority of patients, hypothyroidism results from the inflammatory process. Treatment typically consists of hormone therapy to replace the missing hormones produced by your thyroid gland. Replacing one or more of these hormones can alleviate the symptoms caused by the absolute or relative lack of hormones as a consequence of Hashimotos syndrome.