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Hashimoto's thyroiditis

Hashimoto's thyroiditis
Classification & external resources
ICD-10 E06.3
ICD-9 245.2
OMIM 140300
DiseasesDB 5649
eMedicine med/949 
MeSH D050031

Hashimoto's thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease where the body's own antibodies attack the cells of the thyroid.

This disorder is believed to be the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism in North America. It occurs far more often in women than in men (10:1 to 20:1), and is most prevalent between 45 and 65 years of age.

In European countries an atrophic form of autoimmune thyroiditis (Ord's thyroiditis) is more common than Hashimoto's thyroiditis.



A family history of thyroid disorders is common, with the HLA-DR5 gene most strongly implicated conferring a relative risk of 3 in the UK.

The genes implicated vary in different ethnic groups and the incidence is increased in patients with chromosomal disorders, including Turner, Down's, and Klinefelter's syndromes.

The underlying specifics of the immune system destruction of thyroid cells is not clearly understood. Various autoantibodies may be present against thyroid peroxidase, thyroglobulin and TSH receptors, although a small percentage of patients may have none of these antibodies present. A percentage of the population may also have these antibodies without developing Hashimoto's thyroiditis.


In many cases, Hashimoto's thyroiditis usually results in hypothyroidism, although in its acute phase, it can cause a transient hyperthyroidism thyrotoxic state known as hashitoxicosis.

Physiologically, antibodies against thyroid peroxidase and/or thyroglobulin cause gradual destruction of follicles in the thyroid gland. Accordingly, the disease can be detected clinically by looking for these antibodies in the blood. It is also characterised by invasion of the thyroid tissue by leukocytes, mainly T-lymphocytes. It is associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis include symptoms of hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and a goiter. Weight gain, weight loss, depression, mania, fatigue, panic attacks, low pulse, fast pulse, high cholesterol, reactive hypoglycemia, constipation, migraines, memory loss, infertility and hair loss are a few possible symptoms.


Hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is treated with thyroid hormone replacement. A small pill taken once a day should be able to keep the thyroid hormone levels normal. This medicine will, in most cases, need to be taken for the rest of the patient's life.


  Also known as Hashimoto's disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis is named after the Japanese physician Hashimoto Hakaru (1881−1934) of the medical school at Kyushu University,[1] who first described the symptoms in 1912 in a German publication[2].

Noted sufferers

  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Anna Nicole Smith
  • Claire Moler


  1. ^ Hakaru Hashimoto at Who Named It
  2. ^ H. Hashimoto: Zur Kenntnis der lymphomatösen Veränderung der Schilddrüse (Struma lymphomatosa). Archiv für klinische Chirurgie, Berlin, 1912, 97: 219−248.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hashimoto's_thyroiditis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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