Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Signs and Symptoms of Goiter and Hypothyroidism

It's possible to have Hashimoto's thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland for years without experiencing a single symptom. But there are hallmark signs and symptoms of this common disorder, and it's important that you know what they are. The sooner you recognize the symptoms, the sooner you can receive effective treatment.

If you have symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, they will be associated with the disorder's 2 primary complications—goiter and hypothyroidism.

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Signs and Symptoms Associated with Goiter
When you have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, your immune cells mistakenly attack your healthy thyroid tissue. When this occurs, your thyroid can become inflamed and enlarged to the point that you develop a goiter.

The primary sign of a goiter is visible swelling in the front of your neck. At first, the bulge may be painless. But if left untreated, it can put pressure on your lower neck. In advanced stages, a goiter can interfere with proper breathing and swallowing.

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Signs and Symptoms Associated with Hypothyroidism
Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism because it impairs the thyroid's ability to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone.

Without enough thyroid hormone, your body cannot function properly. If you have hypothyroidism, you may experience:

  • fatigue
  • weight gain
  • increased sensitivity to cold
  • difficulty concentrating
  • dry skin, nails, and hair
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • muscle soreness
  • increased menstrual flow

To learn more, please read our article all about the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

If you notice any of the signs and symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, do not hesitate to see your doctor. He or she will prescribe thyroid hormone replacement therapy, a treatment that will eliminate your symptoms and allow you to enjoy a better quality of life.

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Sources

  • Chronic thyroiditis (Hashimoto's disease) page. Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia Web site. A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. Available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000371.htm. June 17, 2008. Accessed May 4, 2010.
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: Frequently Asked Questions page. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Women's Health Information Center Web site. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/hashimoto-thyroiditis.cfm#a. January 1, 2006. Accessed May 3, 2010.
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: Information for Patients page. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Web site. Available at: http://www.aace.com/pub/thyroidbrochures/pdfs/Hashimoto.pdf. 2005. Accessed May 3, 2010.