Hashimoto's thyroiditis - symptoms and diagnosis

What symptoms does the disease show?

Almost always the inflammation begins insidiously - it does not hurt, there are no complaints. After some time, the thyroid gland can slowly increase, which is often not noticed by the affected person. Occasionally it comes in the context of acute "inflammatory attacks" to the sudden release of thyroid hormones into the blood and thus symptoms of hyperfunction. Only later do signs of a hypofunction gradually appear.

Symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis

These symptoms indicate Hashimoto's thyroiditis:

  • Signs of hyperfunction: Typical are a fast and irregular pulse, shaking of the hands, sensitivity to heat and a tendency to sweat. The skin is warm and moist, the stools often and soft, it comes to weight loss despite increased appetite and hair loss. The muscles can hurt, in women often menstrual disorders occur. Those affected are nervous and irritable and suffer from insomnia.
  • Signs of hypofunction: The lack of thyroid hormones leads to hypersensitivity, slowed pulse and heart enlargement, decreased appetite and weight gain. The skin is cool and dry, the nails are brittle, the hair is thin and shaggy, the voice hoarse and rough. The affected people are often slowed down and sluggish or depressed, the libido is diminished. Again, there may be cycle disturbances. Often, blood cholesterol levels are elevated.

Various antibodies and the impaired hormone balance in women of childbearing age can lead to a reduced pregnancy rate and an increased risk of miscarriage.

How is the diagnosis made?

In addition to the medical history and tactile findings of the thyroid, the blood test is the focus of the diagnosis. This can be used to detect hormone changes and determine the specific antibodies against the thyroid tissue. However, hormone levels are not necessarily consistent with current symptoms; antibodies are not always or in varying numbers. With an ultrasound examination, the size and structure of the thyroid gland can be determined.

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