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Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Case Study

Decent Essays
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks and destroys cells of the thyroid gland and is the most common thyroid disorder in the United States for those over 6 years old. The main risk factors are having another autoimmune disorder or a relative with the disorder. The peak age of onset for women is between 30 and 50 years old, but for men is about 10-15 years late. Women are 10-15 times more likely than men to suffer from Hashimoto’s and it has no prevention and no cure. Fortunately, diagnosis is a simple blood test and clinical evaluation and treatment requires only an inexpensive synthetic thyroxine (T4) thyroid hormone.
While the symptoms of Hashimoto’s may be noticeable, is not always easy to recognize as a disease so diagnosis and treatment are often delayed by years. Why is that? The early symptoms are fatigue, weight gain, constipation, and dry skin. As it progresses, additional symptoms include depression, mental fogginess, memory loss, joint pain, peripheral neuropathy, cold intolerance, and muscle cramps. A goiter, a lump in the neck from an enlarged thyroid, may or may not be present and visible (even a doctor may miss it during an exam). A patient may have hair loss and
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For young women this may be the inability to get pregnant. It is this infertility which often leads to the diagnosis as a couple tries to understand why they have not conceived. With treatment, pregnancy and healthy delivery are possible. Many older women suffer secondary infertility in which they are unable to conceive after a successful pregnancy or they suffer miscarriages. For this population, the symptoms and complications are difficult to recognize as being separate. Women think,” I’m depressed because I miscarried; or, I miscarried because I’m too old and/or overweight to have a
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