Hashimoto's disease

Synonyms: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, Autoimmune thyroiditis

Medical Specialties: Endocrinology, Family practice, Internal medicine


Clinical Definition

Hashimoto's disease, or chronic thyroiditis, is a common thyroid gland disorder triggered by an autoimmune reaction against the thyroid gland, which can prevent it from producing sufficient amounts of thyroid hormone. Signs and symptoms of thyroid deficiency include poor concentration, temperature intolerance, and weight gain. Diagnosis is aided by blood tests that measure thyroid function. Thyroid replacement therapy is one treatment option.


In Our Own Words

Hashimoto's disease is a common cause of an underactive thyroid gland, or hypothyroidism. It typically develops slowly and is caused by the immune system acting against the thyroid gland. If this results in hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone), symptoms can include difficulty with concentration, fatigue, intolerance to cold, mild weight gain, facial swelling and joint stiffness. 

Relevant Conditions
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Graves’ disease
Side Effects
  • Enlarged or shrunken thyroid gland
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Mild weight gain
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sources
  • Harvard Medical School. "Medical Dictionary of Health Terms." 2013. http://www.health.harvard.edu. Accessed Sept. 2013.
  • University of Maryland Medical Center. "Chronic thyroiditis (Hashimoto's disease)" Medical Encyclopedia. May 2013. http://umm.edu. Accessed Sept. 2013.
  • The Cleveland Clinic. "Thyroid Disease Description.'' Diseases & Conditions. 2013. http://my.clevelandclinic.org. Accessed Sept. 2013.
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