What happens when you have Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s Disease earned its name from a Japanese doctor named Hakaru Hashimoto from Kyushu University. Originally, this disease was classified under: struma lymphomatosa which tackled how the lymphocytes invaded the thyroid. After sometime, the disease then gained another name of its own. Other than Hashimoto’s Disease, this is also known as Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis or what is also called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
What is Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s Disease is a disease of thyroid and is commonly associated with hypothyroidism. However, Hashimoto’s Disease is also known as an autoimmune disease which gradually destroys the thyroid gland. When this happens, people suffer from a metabolic problem which becomes visible. Some people suffer from sudden weight gain, fatigue, and a variety of mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and heightened irritability.
When testing for Hashimoto’s Disease, people test it through the amount of T3, T4, and anti-thyroid autoantibodies. However, the symptoms of Hashimoto’s Disease also sometimes appears as nontoxic goiter or Grave’s Disease.
What happens when someone has Hashimoto’s Disease? (Symptoms)
Often times, people who suffer from thyroid-based diseases often have visible results. Some result in extreme weight gain; others suffer from losing weight. This is because the destruction of the thyroid gland leads to a hormonal imbalance in which T3 is now reduced. T3 is one of the thyroid hormones that are produced to control metabolism. And because of the erratic control of one’s metabolism, it can become problematic and result to other problems. Such problems also include fatigue because there’s not enough energy going into the body. The hormonal imbalance caused by the malfunctioning of the thyroid can also cause emotional instability. Most emotional instability takes the form of heightened levels of irritability. And if the person already has a psychiatric record and mental illness then, Hashimoto’s Disease would make it worse.
The hormonal imbalance can also cause other things such as irregular menstrual flow and muscle pains.
Risk Factors for Hashimoto’s Disease
>Risk factors are things that increase one’s chances of being afflicted with Hashimoto’s Disease. Some are from genetic problems making a person more predisposed to being infected with the disease. However, other risk factors include an overdose of iodine and selenium deficiency. While Iodine does improve thyroid health, overdosing it could cause problems and lead to the development of a hyperactive thyroid. Or worse, a formation of thyroid lymphoma.
Treatment and Management of Hashimoto’s Disease
Unfortunately, curing it isn’t entirely possible unless one completely removes the thyroid. But even then, the patient would have to be on hormonal treatment depending on how long the doctor needs them to be. Some patients are stuck taking the hormone treatment for the rest of their lives as the thyroid gland plays a large role in managing their metabolism.
Other treatments can include CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). While psychiatric in nature, having psychiatric treatments can help the patient be more aware of their emotions and their behavior. Since thyroid disease commonly causes psychological imbalances, having a psychiatrist monitor also the behaviors of the patient can help.
What if I’m the one with Hashimoto’s Disease?
Dealing with Hashimoto’s Disease can be quite bumpy like any other disease. Unfortunately, Hashimoto’s Disease is similar to cancer. It goes into remission and it can only be managed even with the removal of the thyroid gland. However, Hashimoto’s Disease can be dealt with also via diet. Most would recommend one going on a Paleo diet or eating foods that are rich in Iodine, Selenium or, Zinc. This would ensure that your thyroid and immune system would be healthy instead of having them attack each other.
As for the psychiatric help, doing mindfulness exercises can help. Horticulture therapy is soothing and relaxing, allowing you to bask in the silence to be aware of your emotions. Meditation, drinking tea, or anything that allows you to be able to analyze your emotions instead of unleashing it on people can help you gain emotional stability.
How do I deal with a family member who has Hashimoto’s Disease? Help!
Hashimoto’s Disease, like any thyroid disease, can make a person’s personality turn an instant 180-degree turn. From one moment, they can enjoy your presence. The next moment, they would rather throw you out of the house. However, it takes a bit of patience and empathy also to understand people who have emotional instability. There’s a good chance they themselves are not aware of their emotional outbursts and need to be talked to.
However, there are kinds of patients who can be manipulative and use the disease as their crutch. This then would make your relationship toxic especially when they refuse to admit when they’re wrong. Often times, a disease like this can put a strain on family life and/or married life. For many, they seemed to be blamed for all the problems in the world. But this is where sometimes, you yourself need to apply a mindfulness exercise. Having a mindfulness exercise for yourself can help flush out the toxic behavior that you might deal with in order to keep yourself mentally stable.
And if it gets too much, it’s alright to seek psychiatric help. Sometimes, the psychiatrist might even be able to intervene with your relative. Don’t wait until someone is fully afflicted with depression to the point of suicide.
Pasieka, J. L. (2000). Hashimoto’s disease and thyroid lymphoma: role of the surgeon. World journal of surgery, 24(8), 966-970.
Doniach, D., & Hudson, R. V. (1957). Lymphadenoid goitre (Hashimoto’s disease). British medical journal, 1(5020), 672.
Simpson, J. A. (1964). Immunological disturbances in myasthenia gravis with a report of Hashimoto’s disease developing after thymectomy. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry, 27(6), 485.
Zhang, L., Li, H., Ji, Q. H., Zhu, Y. X., Wang, Z. Y., Wang, Y., … & Wu, Y. (2012). The clinical features of papillary thyroid cancer in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients from an area with a high prevalence of Hashimoto’s disease. BMC cancer, 12(1), 610.
Schiess, N., & Pardo, C. A. (2008). Hashimoto’s encephalopathy. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1142(1), 254-265.
Carta, M. G., Hardoy, M. C., Carpiniello, B., Murru, A., Marci, A. R., Carbone, F., … & Mariotti, S. (2005). A case control study on psychiatric disorders in Hashimoto disease and Euthyroid Goitre: not only depressive but also anxiety disorders are associated with thyroid autoimmunity. Clinical practice and epidemiology in Mental Health, 1(1), 23.
Tamagno, G., Federspil, G., & Murialdo, G. (2006). Clinical and diagnostic aspects of encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroid disease (or Hashimoto’s encephalopathy). Internal and emergency medicine, 1(1), 15.
Mocellin, R., Walterfang, M., & Velakoulis, D. (2007). Hashimoto’s encephalopathy. CNS drugs, 21(10), 799-811.