An autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system creates anti-bodies against its own thyroid gland cells. As a result of this, the thyroid gland is not able to produce enough thyroid hormones, a condition known as hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is eight times more likely to occur in women than men. The principal symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are muscle weakness, tiredness, and weight gain, and the thyroid gland becomes enlarged.
A positive diagnosis is confirmed by blood tests showing the presence of antithyroid antibodies and lowered levels of thyroid hormones. Treatment is by life-long thyroid hormone replacement therapy. In certain cases, other autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus can also arise.