Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C) is an Attending Physician with the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Associate Director of Clinical Research, Recruitment and Phenotyping with the Center for Androgen Related Disorders, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis, or Hashimoto's disease, is a disorder that affects
the thyroid gland. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is also known as chronic
autoimmune thyroiditis and chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis.
The name Hashimoto's thyroiditis comes from the pathologist who in 1912 first described the microscopic features of
the disease. Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in
iodine-sufficient areas throughout the world such as the United States. In
general, there is a gradual loss of thyroid function, often accompanied by
enlargement of the thyroid gland, also known as a goiter. Hashimoto's disease is
most common in middle-aged women and tends to run in families.
As a brief background, the thyroid is responsible for producing hormones that
exert control over and participate in a number of metabolic functions such as
temperature and heart rate regulation, and metabolism.
The thyroid gland
produces two main hormones, thyroxine (T4) and
triiodothyronine (T3), which play
important roles in this regulation.
Control of these hormones is maintained by
the pituitary gland, (which
produces thyroid-stimulating hormone,
TSH) and the
hypothalamus (which produces thyrotropin-releasing hormone, TRH).
the production of T3 and T4 while TRH regulates the production of TSH.
If overactivity of
any of these three glands occurs, an excessive amount of thyroid hormones can be
produced, thereby resulting in hyperthyroidism. Similarly, if underactivity of
any of these glands occurs, a deficiency of thyroid hormones can result, causing
Hashimoto thyroiditis: A progressive disease of the thyroid gland characterized by the presence of antibodies directed against the thyroid, and by infiltration of the thyroid gland by lymphocytes. Hashimoto thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in North America and Europe. In this condition, the thyroid gland is usually enlarged (goiter) and has a decreased ability to make thyroid hormones. Hashimoto disease predominantly affects women, and can be inherited. It is also known as autoimmune thyroiditis and Hashimoto disease.