Chronic thyroiditis (Hashimoto disease)

Hashimoto thyroiditis; Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis; Autoimmune thyroiditis; Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis; Lymphadenoid goiter - Hashimoto; Hypothyroidism - Hashimoto; Type 2 polyglandular autoimmune syndrome - Hashimoto; PGA II - Hashimoto

Chronic thyroiditis is caused by a reaction of the immune system against the thyroid gland. It often results in reduced thyroid function (hypothyroidism).

The disorder is also called Hashimoto disease.

The thyroid gland is located in the neck, just above where your collarbones meet in the middle.

Endocrine glands

Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the rate of metabolism in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).

Thyroid enlargement - scintiscan

This image shows the enlargement of the thyroid gland and extension down behind the breastbone (retrosternal space). The image, called a scintiscan, was generated using a radioactive isotope.

Hashimoto's disease (chronic thyroiditis)

Chronic thyroiditis (Hashimoto's disease) is a slowly developing persistent inflammation of the thyroid which frequently leads to hypothyroidism, a decreased function of the thyroid gland. Middle-aged women are most commonly affected.

Thyroid gland

The thyroid gland, a part of the endocrine (hormone) system, plays a major role in regulating the body's metabolism.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention