The thyroid gland, or simply the thyroid, in vertebrate anatomy, is one of the largest endocrine glands and consists of two connected lobes. The thyroid gland is found in the neck, below the thyroid cartilage. The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones.
Hashimotoâs thyroiditis (HT) is one of the most common autoimmune disorders and is the most prevalent cause of subclinical or overt hypothyroidism in areas with sufficient iodine intake. Over the last three decades, its incidence has increased substantially, regardless whether it was defined by laboratory, clinical and ultrasonographic features or histological characteristics. Moreover, various characteristics of HT have changed over the decades. Affected patients had become younger and the incidence of clinically diagnosed HT in males had increased.
Apart from its substantial impact on thyroid function, HT also influences general health independent from hypo-or hyperthyroidism. It is associated with decreased quality of life levels as well as a wide range of organ-specific and non-organâspecific autoimmune disorders, as well as other diseases, including neuropsychological/ psychiatric deficits, disorders of the gut, fibromyalgia, and reproductive health issues, among many others.
Thus, one of the main questions is whether HT patients who suffer from impairment in quality of life and HT-related symptoms can find medical help. Evidence suggests that both levothyroxine replacement and selenium supplementation are associated with reduce in concentrations of thyroid peroxidase antibodies. However, no improvements in thyroid function have been observed with these approaches. Thyroidectomy, on the other hand, will only lead to a relief of mechanical symptoms including a feeling of compression, voice problems and tightness in the neck.
Johannes Ott, Hashimotoâs Thyroiditis â the Need for a Specific Therapy
Last date updated on June, 2014