Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is attacked by a variety of cell- and antibody-mediated immune processes. It was the first disease to be recognized as an autoimmune disease. It was first described by the Japanese specialist Hakaru Hashimoto in Germany in 1912.
- From West Medicine Piont of View
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis very often results in hypothyroidism with bouts of hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis include weight gain, depression, mania, sensitivity to heat and cold, paresthesia, chronic fatigue, panic attacks, bradycardia, tachycardia, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, reactive hypoglycemia, constipation, migraines, muscle weakness, joint stiffness, menorrhagia, myxedematous psychosis, cramps, memory loss, vision problems, infertility and hair loss.
The thyroid gland may become firm, large, and lobulated in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, but changes in the thyroid can also be nonpalpable. Enlargement of the thyroid is due to lymphocytic infiltration and fibrosis rather than tissue hypertrophy. Physiologically, antibodies against thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and/or thyroglobulin cause gradual destruction of follicles in the thyroid gland. Accordingly, the disease can be detected clinically by looking for these antibodies in the blood. It is also characterized by invasion of the thyroid tissue by leukocytes, mainly T-lymphocytes. It is associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
A family history of thyroid disorders is common.
Hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is treated with thyroid hormone replacement agents such as levothyroxine, triiodothyronine or desiccated thyroid extract. A tablet taken once a day generally keeps the thyroid hormone levels normal. In most cases, the treatment needs to be taken for the rest of the patient’s life. In the event that hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, it is recommended that the TSH levels be kept under 3.0.
- Diagnosis of TCM
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can be considered as Consumptive disease. If there is body edema or thyroid swollen, this disease also can be considered as Edemaor Thyroid disease. The major problems patients may have are the deficiency of Qi, Blood, Yin, and Yang.
Type 1. Deficiency of both Qi and Blood
Reasons: This syndrome usually results from emotional depression and overstrains which damage the Spleen and causes no enough Qi and Blood generated.
Clinical manifestations: Sallow complexion, loose stool, fatigued spirit, cold extremities, delayed menstruation or amenorrhea, pale tongue with white think coating, thin and weak pulse.
Treatment: Tonify Qi and Blood.
Type 2. Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency
Reasons: This syndrome is due to innate Yang deficiency, life gate fire deficiency in old age, or chronic diseases impairing Kidney and Spleen Yang, or excessive sexual activity gradually declines Kidney Yang.
Clinical manifestations: symptoms of deficient cold syndrome such as cold soreness of the lumbar region and knees, cold body and limbs, the whole body edema, pale tongue with white coating, a deep and weak pulse.
Treatment: Warm kidney, tonidy Yang, tonify Qi, and strengthen Spleen
Type 3. Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency
Reasons: This syndrome is due to enduring illness consuming body fluids, emotional upsets, transformation of fire from Qi stagnation and fire scorching liver Yin.
Clinical manifestations: Dry mouth and throat, tinnitus, insomnia and amnesia, blur vision, red tongue with scanty coating, thin and rapid pulse.
Treatment: Nourish Yin, benefit Qi, enrich Kidney, calm down liver