Thyroid Disorders — Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Disease
There are a number of thyroid disorders that can affect your quality of life. These include:
- Graves’ disease
- Hashimoto’s disease
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism. Essentially, your immune system attacks your thyroid gland, causing hyperthyroidism (your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone). It’s the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States and affects about 1 in 200 people.
There are many symptoms of Graves’ disease, including:
- Anxiety and irritability
- A tremor of the hands or fingers
- Heat sensitivity and an increase in perspiration or warm, moist skin
- Weight loss, despite normal eating habits
- Enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter)
- Change in menstrual cycles
- Erectile dysfunction or reduced libido
- Frequent bowel movements
- Bulging eyes (Graves’ ophthalmopathy)
- Thick, red skin usually on the shins or tops of the feet (Graves’ dermopathy)
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
- Sleep disturbance (insomnia)
There are many possible causes of Graves’ disease, including your age, your sex, a family history of the disease, or even stress. Pregnancy and smoking can also cause Graves’ disease.
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes hypothyroidism, where your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Some of the symptoms of Hashitmoto’s disease include:
- weight gain
- trouble tolerating cold
- joint and muscle pain
- dry, thinning hair
- heavy or irregular menstrual periods
- problems becoming pregnant
- memory problems
- a slowed heart rate
- pale, dry skin
- muscle aches, tenderness, stiffness, and weakness
Hashimoto’s disease may be treatable through hormone replacement therapy.
The causes of Hashtimoto’s disease are not clear, but it’s likely that there’s a genetic component that is set off by something, like a virus.
Risk factors include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Type 1 diabetes
- Radiation exposure
Hashimoto’s disease can lead to serious complications if left untreated, including heart problems, mental health issues, and even Myxedema, which is a serious lethargy that’s followed by unconsciousness, requiring immediate medical attention.
Learn More About What Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Do for You
Hormone replacement therapy may help you deal with some thyroid disorders.
Contact us today to learn more.