Symptoms and treatment of autoimmune thyroiditis

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Autoimmune thyroiditis is a chronic inflammatory lesion of the thyroid tissue, caused by the immune attack of the organism on its own thyroid gland, which is manifested by damage and subsequent destruction of the follicular cells and follicles of the gland.

Timely diagnosis of autoimmune thyroiditis is rather complicated, since during the first few years this disease does not manifest itself.

Much more often, women who have previously been diagnosed with infertility and endometriosis are prone to autoimmune thyroiditis. Studies conducted indicate that AIT often leads to an autoimmune defeat of the ovaries and the uterus, that is, in fact, the cause of infertility. It was also noted that the long enough time without a professional intervention endometriosis often leads to the fact that the woman develops cervical cancer.

Autoimmune thyroiditis is a cause

There is no fault of the patient in the onset of the disease, since after numerous studies a hereditary predisposition to the development of autoimmune thyroiditis was established. In addition, the development of this disease is often facilitated by postponed stress.

It was noted the direct dependence of the frequency of birth of the disease on the gender and age of a person. So in men, AIT is found almost ten times less often. The average age of patients varies from thirty to fifty years, although recent cases of the development of the disease in adolescents and children have become more frequent.

The trigger mechanism for the development of autoimmune thyroiditis may be viral and bacterial diseases, poor ecological situation and environmental pollution.

The immune system is the most important system of the human body. It is thanks to the immune system that timely recognizes foreign agents (microorganisms, viruses, etc.) and their penetration and further development in the body is not allowed. In the case of an existing genetic predisposition, as a result of stress and a number of other causes, the immune mechanism is failing, and it begins to confuse "stranger" and "his" when taking an attack on his own. It is these diseases and are called autoimmune. Lymphocytes (cells of the immune system) produce antibodies (proteins), the action of which in this case is directed against its own organ. In the case of AIT, anti-thyroid autoantibodies are produced in cells of their own thyroid gland, causing their destruction. As a result, a disease like hypothyroidism may develop. Given the mechanism of development of this disease, the second name AIT - chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis.


Most often, the symptoms of autoimmune thyroiditis at the initial stage (the first few years), the course of the disease does not manifest itself, and the disease is detected only during the examination of the thyroid gland. In the initial period of the disease, and sometimes throughout life, the normal function of the thyroid gland may be maintained. This condition is called euthyroidism - a condition in which the thyroid gland produces a normal amount of hormones. In itself, this state is the norm, but it requires further periodic dynamic observation.

Over time, any degree of hypothyroidism develops, which is usually accompanied by signs of reduced thyroid gland in size. During the first years of the disease, as a rule, AIT is found with the clinical picture of thyrotoxicosis, after which, with the destruction and corresponding reduction of the functioning tissue of the thyroid gland, thyrotoxicosis changes euthyrosis, but already its hypothyroidism.

The main complaints of patients with autoimmune thyroiditis are associated with enlarged thyroid gland: difficulty in breathing, difficulty in swallowing, and in the area of ​​the gland a slight pain.

Patients with AIT usually slow down their movements; Face puffy, pale, with a yellowish tinge; Eyelids swollen, facial features rude. On the background of a pale face, on the tip of the nose and on the cheeks, an unhealthy flush appears in the form of red spots.

The hair is fragile and rare, often dropping out forming bumps. There is also a hair loss in the pubic area and/or in the area of ​​the armpits.

In the process of conversation facial expressions are practically unchanged. A person is talking very slowly, picking up words for a long time, hardly mentioning the names of objects and phenomena. Such linguistic violation occurs due to edema of the tongue.

In most cases, a patient with autoimmune thyroiditis complains of poor performance and fatigue, he has a constant desire to sleep, memory is reduced and his voice changes. Often there is the impossibility of an independent chair, as a result of which you have to resort to enema and laxatives.

Women often have a disorder of menstrual cycle, and may have a delay of a month for several weeks. By itself, menstruation is scanty. Uterine bleeding may be observed. Such menstrual disorders often lead to the development of amenorrhea (complete cessation of menstruation) and ultimately infertility. Some patients with nipples of the breast appear different in intensity of selection, possible mastopathy. In men, the sexual drive decreases significantly and impotence often develops.

In children, the general symptom of autoimmune thyroiditis is a pronounced dry mouth in the morning, with no signs of severe thirst. Usually such children lag behind their peers in mental development and in growth.


Diagnosis of autoimmune thyroiditis is established on the basis of data from laboratory tests and general clinical picture. In case of confirmation of the presence of AIT from other family members, it is possible with a high probability to talk about the disease.

Laboratory studies determine the presence in the body of antibodies to various components (peroxidase, thyroglubulin, and others) thyroid gland.

Laboratory examinations include: an immunogram, a general blood test, a thyrotoxic biopsy of the thyroid gland, a determination of TSH levels in blood serum, the determination of T3 and T4, and the ultrasound of the thyroid gland.

Treatment of autoimmune thyroiditis

Unfortunately, there is no specific therapy for the treatment of autoimmune thyroiditis. The main purpose of treatment is to maintain the necessary amount of hormones of the thyroid gland in the blood.

In euthyroidism, treatment is not performed, but a regular examination (once every six months), consisting of TT control and hormonal examination of T3 and T4, is indicated.

In the stage of hypothyroidism, the appointment of such a hormone thyroid gland as levothyroxine (Euthyrox, L-thyroxine) is indicated. This drug is intended to replenish the amount of hormones of the thyroid gland absent in the body. The scheme of taking the drug is selected individually by an endocrinologist.

In the stage of thyrotoxicosis, drugs that reduce the synthesis of hormones (thyreostatics) are usually not prescribed. Their place is symptomatic therapy, aimed at reducing symptoms (reducing the feeling of interruptions in the work of the heart, heartbeat) of the disease. In each particular case, treatment is compulsorily selected individually.

Treatment with folk remedies for autoimmune thyroiditis is contraindicated.

In this disease, in general, you should refrain from any self-medication. Adequate in this case, the treatment is only able to appoint an experienced doctor, and it should be conducted under the obligatory systematic control of the analyzes.

Immunomodulators and immunostimulants with autoimmune thyroiditis are not recommended.

It is very important to adhere to some principles of proper healthy eating, namely: to eat more fruits and vegetables. During the illness, as well as during periods of stress, emotional and physical activity, it is recommended to take micronutrients and vitamins (such vitamins as Supradin, Centrum, Vitrum and others).

Prognosis for autoimmune thyroiditis

In general, the further forecast is quite favorable. People with persistent hypothyroidism are shown life-giving drugs levothyroxine. Once a six-twelve months is shown performance of dynamic control of hormonal indicators. If during the ultrasound examination of the thyroid gland on the organ, nodular neoplasms were detected, obligatory consultation of the endocrinologist was shown.

Normal working capacity and satisfactory state of health when autoimmune thyroiditis is usually stored for more than fifteen years, even though there are short-term periods of exacerbation.

If a woman has been diagnosed with postpartum thyroiditis, the probability of his relapse after a possible subsequent pregnancy is about 70%. In 30% of women with postpartum thyroiditis, chronic autoimmune thyroiditis continues to occur, followed by its transition to persistent hypothyroidism.

Symptoms and treatment of autoimmune thyroiditis

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