Ask the Doctor
My doctor recently sent me to an endocrinologist to run some tests after I complained of fatigue, muscle aches, and some unexplained weight gain. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I don’t like the idea of being on hormone replacement therapy forever. Is there any way to get rid of this thyroid disease? Can Hashimoto’s disease be cured?
The outlook for those with Hashimoto's thyroiditis is good. While long-term thyroid hormone replacement therapy will likely be needed, with regular blood tests and monitoring of symptoms, side effects are minimal and the long-term prognosis is good.
If there is no evidence of hormone deficiency and only antibodies tests are positive, the use of medications is one that must be discussed in detail by the patient and doctor.
Other medical conditions, patient preference, and the presence of symptoms are all taken into consideration in determining a treatment plan.
If thyroid hormone deficiency is noted on blood tests, the treatment involves daily dosing of a synthetic form of thyroid hormone. This is typically in the form of levothyroxine, which is synthetic T4 (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid).
Oral medications can restore hormone levels and reverse the symptoms of hypothyroidism, but they must be taken regularly and over the long term. Dosing is adjusted based on blood levels. Levels are usually checked every 6-12 weeks when the medication is actively being adjusted, and 6-12 months thereafter once
Side effects of taking too much thyroid replacement therapy are similar to those of hyperthyroidism, and may include