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  • Autoimmune thyroiditis: symptoms and treatment, causes

    The most common disease in the world of endocrine disorders is AIT( autoimmune thyroiditis) or Hashimoto's disease( a doctor who first discovered her symptoms).

    A characteristic feature is the inflammatory processes in the tissues of the thyroid gland and the development of a number of pathologies of various pathogenesis. A disease in which, for one reason or another, the cells of the thyroid gland are destroyed by their own immune system.

    AIT is the cause of hormonal changes in the body. The result of such changes is a violation of the functional characteristics of the thyroid gland.

    The production of hormones, so necessary for the functioning of the cardiovascular system, and the normal operation of metabolic processes is significantly reduced. This condition is called hypothyroidism. There are also possible manifestations of a temporary increase in the level of hormones - thyrotoxicosis or hyperthyroidism. Why does autoimmune thyroiditis develop, and what is it? We will try to consider this article.


    Classification and clinical features of


    Autoimmune thyroiditis is classified according to its clinical characteristics into several varieties:

    • for the mechanism of development;
    • the reasons for the occurrence;
    • clinical features of the course.
    1) Hashimoto's thyroiditis - is characterized by inflammation and death of thyroid cells( thyroid cells), slow formation of scar tissue, nodes and cysts. The result is inadequate production of TG( thyroid hormones).

    2) Myxedema idiopathic - characterized by a focal character of the increase in glandular tissue. Some non-inflamed areas of the gland are susceptible to progressive growth( presumably the effect of thyroiditis), some are reduced - the result of the inflammatory process. The exact cause is not defined.

    3) Postpartum thyroiditis

    4) Lymphocytic thyroiditis - manifested in puberty( adolescence).

    5) Ridel's disease is a rare form of autoimmune thyroiditis. The enlargement of the thyroid gland due to scar and fibrous tissue, which replaces dead cells, makes it more dense, which causes compression of surrounding tissues.

    Autoimmune thyroiditis is characterized by a different form of development:

    1. Acute form - expressed in desminated or local lesions. With purulent or non-purulent manifestations.
    2. Subacute form - is characterized by the gradual development of focal or diffuse lesions of the thyroid gland.
    3. Chronic form is a possible manifestation in the postpartum period, menopause, and puberty.
    As a result of autoimmune disorders or the action of specific pathogens causing TB, syphilitic or septicomycotic tuberculosis.

    Causes of autoimmune thyroiditis


    The cause or trigger mechanism for the appearance of autoimmune thyroiditis may well be:

    • structural changes in the components of the thyroid cells due to genetic predisposition.
    • is a viral infection - epidemic parotitis( mumps), influenza or measles virus.
    • presence in the body of background autoimmune diseases.
    • surgery on the thyroid or her injuries with hemorrhages.
    • is a consequence of the use of large doses of iodine and antithyroid medication.
    • hormonal changes.
    • deficiency of iodine in the body.
    • radiation exposure and radiation-radiation therapy can serve as a trigger for the onset of the disease.
    • presence of an allergic factor.
    • adverse environmental conditions.

    Symptoms of autoimmune thyroiditis


    Autoimmune thyroiditis, and its symptoms develop slowly, the disease can begin asymptomatically, or the clinical manifestations will be little pronounced.

    The first signs of autoimmune thyroiditis are manifested by an increase in cervical goiter. Most of the symptoms are a consequence of hypothyroidism( inadequate hormone production).

    Symptoms of AIT are divided into several groups regardless of clinical forms.

    In thyrotoxicosis, the following are noted:

    • fever, small tremor and prolonged fever;
    • hyperhidrosis( sweating);
    • weight loss and insomnia;
    • marked fussiness and hysteria.
    When hypothyroidism manifests:

    • general weakness and apathy;
    • gain in weight and a feeling of chilliness;
    • marked swelling;
    • reduces the speed of thinking and the speed of reaction to speech surrounding.
    The increase in the size of the thyroid gland is determined by the doctor with palpation or ultrasound.

    Large abnormalities can be expressed by difficulty breathing and difficulty in swallowing food. In inflammatory processes that occur in the tissues of the thyroid gland, inflammatory changes are noted in the blood test, palpation pain is felt.

    Many of these symptoms are characteristic of various diseases, which have nothing to do with AIT, nor with the thyroid gland. Therefore, to confirm the diagnosis of AIT can only a thorough diagnosis.

    Diagnosis of autoimmune thyroiditis


    Diagnosis of autoimmune thyroiditis includes the indication of the clinical picture, the results of laboratory studies, the hereditary factor. Before clinical manifestations of hypothyrysis, AIT is very difficult to confirm.

    The main indicator in the diagnosis of AIF, are the indicators of laboratory studies:

    1. 1) A general blood test - to determine the quantitative increase of lymphocytes;
    2. 2) Analysis of the immunogram determining the presence of antibodies to thyreperoxidase, thyroglobulin and the second colloid antigen;
    3. 3) Test for dynamic balance of T4 and T3( if the level is small, there is a loss of strength, if too large, all processes are activated)
    4. 4) Analysis determining the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone( TSH) in the blood plasma. Elevated levels of TTG and normal T4 content are evidence of subclinical hypothyroidism. Low T4 content with the same TSH values, clinical hypothyroidism is diagnosed.
    5. 5) Changing the size and structure of the gland is determined by ultrasound.
    6. 6) Determination of possible degeneration of nodal formations in malignant neoplasms, is carried out with the help of fine needle biopsy.

    Treatment of autoimmune thyroiditis


    When confirming the diagnosis of autoimmune thyroiditis, the composition of treatment necessarily includes immunocorrecting drugs, vitamins and adaptogens.

    Increased thyroid function is corrected:

    • by thyrostatics - Thiamazole, Mercazolil;
    • beta-blockers - to block the action of thyroid hormones and eliminate symptoms of hyperactivity.
    Correction of a large production of antibodies, and its reduction is achieved anti-inflammatory non-steroid drugs - Voltaren, Indomethacin or Metindol.
    Timely treatment significantly slows down the development of the disease and allows for long-term remission.

    To date, autoimmune thyroiditis is considered an incurable disease, but it is possible to live fully with it until the very old age.


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