Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in the Spotlight: Diagnosis, Stages, and Management Ideas

senior patient having endocrinologist's check-up

A goiter and laboratory results suggestive of low thyroid function are often enough for doctors to give a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, especially when family history is positive for thyroid illness. When a doctor sees elevated TPO antibodies, he or she would then recommend the person for autoimmune disease treatment in Logan.

Thyroperoxidase antibodies

Thyroperoxidase antibodies (TPO) are antibodies that characterize Hashimoto’s disease. If the antibodies are not present, but the patient is suffering from symptoms of the disease, additional testing is necessary. Usually, the test is an ultrasound of the thyroid gland. The results would reveal structures that may or may not confirm Hashimoto’s.

Disease progression

thyroid treatmentWhen you or a family member receives a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s, you must choose to be proactive and start learning about the illness. Similar to other autoimmune diseases, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis develops in stages.

The first stage is known as initiation, where the changes occur at the microscopic level. The autoimmune response that destroys the cells of the gland is already ongoing, but symptoms are not evident yet. During the initiation stage laboratory tests for thyroid hormones are unlikely to reveal any abnormality.

As the disease goes on unchecked and undiagnosed, the disease progresses to stage two, in which most people seeking treatment belongs. The symptoms of thyroid affectation would manifest during the second stage. In the third stage, which is full-blown Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the frequency and intensity of symptoms worsen. If the disease is largely unmanaged during the expansion stage, you can expect much suffering and discomfort in the last stage.

Dealing with flare-ups

The early symptoms of fatigue and sensitivity to cold would not alert the average person on a possible thyroid illness. However, if your neck starts to look swollen, and if the response to cold and stress are unreasonably intense, it makes sense to see a doctor. Laboratory tests for thyroid hormone function, ultrasound of the gland, and other tests could reveal whether you have the condition or if something else is making you sick.

People with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis must realize that the symptoms progress differently for each person. Moreover, the treatment approach differs for each stage of the disease. Only a licensed physician can know for sure in which stage you are in at the moment.

Finding a partner in health

It is not unheard of that patients can be unhappy with the way the doctor addresses them or frustrated that doctors do not seem to listen to them. Others are unsatisfied with the lack of explanation for the dysfunctional thyroid gland.

You may have experienced a foul encounter with one physician, but some doctors are not only great at helping people but they are also pleasant to speak with. For comprehensive management of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, you can start looking for a partner in health from doctor directories and listings online. Embark on a local search to find an autoimmune and endocrinology expert near you.

Management of any medical condition is rooted in trust. While the doctor must fulfill an oath to provide the best medical care he or she is capable of giving, you have the responsibility to give yourself the best opportunities to recover from illness. It starts with having a doctor whom you can trust.