is a form of chronic inflammation that can damage the thyroid, reducing its ability to produce hormones (hypothyroidism
). An early sign of the condition may be enlargement of the thyroid (called a goiter
), which can potentially interfere with breathing or swallowing. Other signs and symptoms may include tiredness, weight gain, thin and dry hair, joint or muscle pain, constipation, cold intolerance, and/or a slowed heart rate. Affected women may have irregular menstrual periods or difficulty becoming pregnant. Hashimoto’s syndrome is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It is more common in women than in men, and it usually appears in mid-adulthood. The exact cause is unknown but it is thought to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Treatment is not always needed, but may include taking synthetic thyroid hormone.
Last updated: 6/30/2015