Hashimoto’s Auto Immune Thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune condition. Where your body sees thyroid as “foreign” or “not self.” This stimulates production of antibodies against to your own thyroid. There are a host of auto immune conditions including Sjogren’s (Sicca Syndrome). Lupus, Scleroderma, CREST Syndrome and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
[Important note: It is vital to recognize that the TSH test is being used as a screening test. See previous blog. It will not diagnose Hashimoto’s. It will totally miss this condition for years.]
We measure two antibodies. Anti-thyroglobulin (matrix of the thyroid gland) and TPO (thyroid peroxidase). TPO is essential to the conversion of T4 to T3. Either of these can rise with Hashimoto’s. It is more common to see a rise in the TPO. This condition usually results in Hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) by interfering with the normal conversions. The normal flow is T4 converts to the active form T3. The more technical term is Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis. It can occasionally result in the opposite. That is, hyperthyroidism (over active thyroid) during a more acute or sub acute inflammatory phase. Thyroiditis means inflammation of the thyroid.
What causes Hashimoto’s? This is not really well known. There are various theories. You will read that there are genetic factors. And, it is far more common in women than men. It is quite unusual in men.