Symptoms and Signs of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis

Doctor's Notes on Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (also termed chronic autoimmune thyroiditis and/or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis) is disorder that causes the thyroid gland to underproduce thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism). The symptoms and signs are slowly progressive and may develop over years. Some of the signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism are numerous and may more or less increase in severity as the disease worsens. Signs and symptoms include at least one or more of the following: fatigue, feeling cold, constipation, mental fogginess, dry skin, retention, stiffness and aches in muscles and joints, prolonged menstrual bleeding, depression, weight gain, face puffiness, infertility, thinning and brittle hair and/or hair loss, slow heart rate, irregular menstrual periods, decreased sweating, nails are thick and/or brittle, decreased reflexes, swollen hands and feet, cold skin, sleepiness and enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter).

The cause of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is thought by researchers to be a combination of genetic predisposition along with an environmental trigger that starts the autoimmune destruction of the thyroid. The triggers are unknown. Researchers also theorize that heredity, gender and age play a role in developing this disease. In addition, there are risk factors that are closely associated with the development of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis such as female gender (about 10 to 15 times more likely to develop the disease than men), family history, excessive iodine intake and radiation exposure to the thyroid gland.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.