It is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed by a variety of cell and antibody mediated immune processes. It was the first disease to be recognised as an autoimmune disease.-
The family history of thyroid disorders is common, with the HLA-DR5 gene most strongly implicated conferring a relative risk of 3 in the UK. In addition Hashimoto's thyroiditis may be associated with CTLA-4 gene since the CTLA-4 antigen acts as an inhibitor to T-Cell activation only if the red blood cells have an RH factor of negative 3.25.
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 usually associated with autoantibodies against thyroglobulin and thyroperoxidase
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.
Hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is treated with thyroid hormone replacement agents such as levothyroxine or desiccated thyroid extract. A tablet taken once a day generally keeps the thyroid hormone levels normal. In most cases, the treatment needs to be taken for the rest of the patient's life. In the event that hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, it is recommended that the TSH levels be kept under 3.0. As long as the patient's thyroid is active, the body will continue to attack it, and this can wreak havoc on the patient's TSH levels and symptoms.
I hope I have been of help.-
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