Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s own T cells attack the cells of the thyroid. The condition is named after the Japanese physician Hakaru Hashimoto, who described the symptoms in 1912.
The thyroid gland, which is located in the neck, makes hormones which control the use of energy in the body. When the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, the gland gets swollen and irritated. It is unable to produce the hormones required. The following are some of the symptoms of the disease:
- Feeling of fullness and tightness in the throat
- Difficulty in swallowing food or liquids
- A swelling or bump called goiter in the front of the neck
- Tiredness, depression, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, constipation and migraine
Many people with this disease do not have any symptoms. A blood test can be used to verify whether a person is suffering from Hashimoto’s disease. This disease is more common in women in the age group of 30 to 50. Antibodies against thyroid peroxidase cause gradual destruction of follicles in the thyroid gland. Hence, this disease can be detected by the presence of these antibodies in the blood. This disease has no cure. It is treated with thyroid hormone replacement.
Degenerative disc disease is not an auto immune illness. It is a form of osteoarthritis that affects the spine and causes the discs to degenerate. There are auto immune diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus for which immunosuppressant corticosteroid drugs are prescribed. Theses drugs can cause degenerative disc disease. However, these drugs are not being used in the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hence, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis does not cause degenerative disc disease.
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