Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Treating the Most Common Thyroid Disorder
There is a single treatment for Hashimoto's thyroiditis: thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Though it's the only treatment available for this thyroid disorder, it's the only one you'll need. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is highly effective at treating hypothyroidism associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis may impair your thyroid's ability to make a healthy amount of thyroid hormone. What thyroid hormone replacement therapy does is provide your body with the necessary thyroid hormones it needs.
What Is Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy?
The most common form of thyroid hormone replacement therapy is synthetic T4 hormone, which is generally known as levothyroxine.
Your thyroid gland actually produces 2 types of hormones—T3 and T4. The reason you'll likely only take T4 hormone is that most of the T3 in our bodies actually used to be T4. Simply put, when T4 hormones interact with other cells, they let go of one of their 4 iodine atoms. When this occurs, T4 becomes T3.
The benefit of taking only synthetic T4 therapy (and not a combination T4 and T3 therapy) is that it allows your body to perform one of the actions it's meant to do—convert that T4 into T3. Also, T4 lasts longer in the body than T3 so levothyroxine can conveniently be taken once a day.
How Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy Treats Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
If you have hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto's thyroiditis, thyroid hormone replacement therapy will effectively treat it by compensating for the lack of hormones produced by your thyroid. Sometimes, it may be able to decrease the size of a small goiter associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, but a goiter may also need additional medical evaluation.
In most cases, you'll take a daily dose of T4 in an oral pill. But understand that every patient is different. The type of thyroid hormone replacement therapy, your specific dose, and overall treatment plan will be completely specific to you.
Visit these other EndocrineWeb resources to help you learn more about the different types of thyroid hormone replacement therapy:
Thyroid hormone replacement therapy may be the only treatment available for Hashimoto's thyroiditis, but it's highly effective at treating this thyroid disorder. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.