Hashimoto’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – also known as Hashimoto’s disease or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis – is an autoimmune condition, meaning that antibodies from a person’s immune system attack a part of the body. In the case of Hashimoto’s, the target of the antibodies is the thyroid gland.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that controls metabolism. Unlike Graves’ disease, in which antibodies stimulate the thyroid to overproduce thyroid hormones (a condition known as hyperthyroidism), Hashimoto’s disease begins with a brief period of hyperthyroidism and ends with low thyroid function. This is known as hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid.

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