When it comes to your thyroid (the butterfly shaped gland at the front of your neck) proper functioning is a must for this gland that single-handedly regulates the secretion of hormones that manage many bodily functions, including your heart rate, body temperature, breathing, and metabolism. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, in addition to Graves or Addison’s disease, another autoimmune condition, known as Hashimoto’s disease can greatly interfere with the thyroid’s responsibilities…
1. What is Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s disease triggers the immune system to attack the thyroid gland, sending the endocrine system into chaos. The inflammation caused by this attack on the thyroid will typically cause hypothyroidism (or an underactive thyroid), which slows the production of thyroid hormone (also known as thyroxine or T4) and essential body functions (i.e., metabolism).
The Mayo Clinic reports that Hashimoto’s disease typically strikes middle-aged women between the ages of 30- and 50-years-old (although it can affect any gender or age group). In fact, the clinic considers it the most common cause of hypothyroidism in America.