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From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: Hashimoto disease
Date: 07 May 1995

In <3ohead$> (bob) writes:

>Could someone explain this disease in a simple manner.
>Thank you,

   In certain people, quite often women, the body decides to destroy the
thyroid.  The best guess is that this happens after an infection which
triggers the body's immune system to fight some microbe which "tastes"
too much like thyroid cells.  When the bug is gone, the body turns on
itself.  The processes is usually not too painful, and the thyroid
sometimes is not even tender.  Usually it's not much enlarged.  Immune
cells infiltrate it, and just destroy it.  It makes less and less
thyroid hormone over time, with the pituitary trying harder and harder
to pump out TSH to make it keep up.  Finally it cannot, and the person
often become hypothyroid (not enough thyroxine or triiodothyronine, two
hormonal compounds, circulate in the blood).  TSH levels from the
pituitary are still very high, as it tries to flog a dead horse.  All
these things can easily be detected in a blood test.  The only solution
to the problem is pills of thyroid hormone, to be taken daily, often for
the rest of the person's life.  Fortunately these are cheap and (at the
right dose) side-effect free.

   I have seen alternative types try to treat Hashimoto's with iodine,
but that's like trying to feed a dead horse.  Duh.  Play it smart and
take the Synthroid.

                                               Steven B. Harris, M.D.

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