Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common form of inflammation of the thyroid and affects about 14 million Americans in the United States (1). Hashimoto’s symptoms are also often overlooked which is just one reason why it’s crucial to know the symptoms of this condition so that it can be addressed.
The symptoms linked to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis could easily be misdiagnosed. You will want to be your own advocate here and also see a functional medicine practitioner who has extensive experience in working with those with thyroid conditions.
Let’s dive in and talk about what Hashimoto’s is and the five Hashimoto’s symptoms everyone should know about!
What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune thyroid condition that was discovered in 1912. This is a condition in which immune cells attack healthy tissue. With this thyroid condition, the immune cells will directly target the thyroid. As a result, inflammation of the thyroid can occur.
While Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can affect anyone, women are seven times more likely to develop this condition. Women are also more likely to suffer from other autoimmune conditions.
When you suffer from a thyroid condition such as Hashimoto’s, your thyroid may be unable to make enough thyroid hormone which can lead to hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s is often to blame when it comes to developing hypothyroidism.
There are many complications associated with Hashimoto’s. It’s important to get this condition under control as soon as possible and address the cause at its source. Not only can this condition lead to hypothyroidism, but it can also cause so much inflammation that a goiter develops.
If you think you may suffer from this condition and want to learn more about the symptoms and warning signs, keep reading.
The Top 5 Signs of Hashimoto’s
Here are five Hashimoto’s symptoms everyone should know about. Knowing about these symptoms will help address the issue at the source.
Goiters can develop due to inflammation of the thyroid which is why they are often present with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Not all goiters cause symptoms so you may not know you have one unless you get checked by your physician. Other goiters may cause symptoms. Common symptoms include throat tightness, coughs, and even difficulty breathing depending on the size of the goiter. This is one of the telltale signs of Hashimoto’s, if you notice swelling around your thyroid, it’s important to get this checked out.
This is one of the most common symptoms of this autoimmune thyroid condition. Fatigue can often be brushed off if you don’t go to a practitioner who has experience in thyroid health. Fatigue that is linked to thyroid dysfunction usually means you are so fatigued that you do not have the energy to do the things you used to do. It just becomes too difficult to sustain your energy. (2)
#3 Weight Gain
This is one of the most frustrating symptoms associated with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Many people try everything and do all the right things to lose weight but just can’t seem to shed a pound. If you struggle with weight loss despite putting in lots of effort, it may be time to check your thyroid. The reason behind this is that our thyroid plays a major role in the health of our metabolism. When our thyroid function is impaired, so is our metabolism. Thyroid issues can make it much more difficult to burn calories. While medications are usually always an option with Hashimoto’s, there are also diets such as the Paleo diet and exercise as well as lifestyle changes that can significantly help improve your chances of weight loss and improve Hashimoto’s at the same time.
#4 Increased Sensitivity to Cold
If you notice that you are always colder than everyone else around you and have a hard time adjusting to cooler temperatures, your thyroid may be to blame. The thyroid is referred to as the thermostat of the body because it helps the body regulate heat. Those with thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism often have cold intolerance and lower body temperatures. (3) Checking your thyroid function at your routine wellness visit and discussing any concerns of being too cold all the time is an important step in ruling out thyroid conditions.
While not something anyone likes to talk about, addressing it is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle. If you suffer from constipation, you may be surprised to find out that the thyroid does play a role here. Hypothyroidism which is often caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can cause body systems to slow down. This includes both digestion as well as elimination which can lead to constipation. Many people with thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism may suffer from this unwanted symptom. With diet modifications, this too can be remedied, but it’s important to also address the cause of the disease at its source.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, getting your thyroid checked is important as all of these are potential symptoms of Hashimoto’s. Getting to the root cause of the condition is also the only way to reverse it long term. While medications may help, they aren’t addressing the problem at its source. With a specific Hashimoto’s diet, and lifestyle changes many people find they can reduce their Hashimoto’s symptoms without taking medications.
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- Kresimira (Mira) Milas MD. Endocrine Web. Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Mercola (2008) What is Thyroid-Related Fatigue?
- Izabella Wentz (2015) Thyroid and Cold Intolerance!