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Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis

Thyroiditis is an inflammation of the unchanged thyroid gland. Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's thyroiditis) is the most common inflammatory thyroid disease caused by autoimmune causes.

 

  • Causes of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis:

Autoimmune chronic thyroiditis is a disease that is based on an autoimmune lesion of the thyroid gland. Antibodies to various components of the thyroid gland are formed (normally, antibodies in the human body are produced only for a foreign substance). Over time, due to inflammation, some of the thyroid cells die, and the remaining survivors are not enough to produce the necessary amount of hormones. Develops hormonal insufficiency-hypothyroidism.

Most often, autoimmune thyroiditis occurs in patients aged 40 to 50 years, and in women ten times more often than in men. And recently, more and more young patients and children suffer from autoimmune thyroiditis.

 

  • Symptoms of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis:

During the first years of the disease, complaints and symptoms are usually absent. In the future, there is a diffuse, sometimes uneven increase in the thyroid gland, it becomes dense, mobile. With a large size of the gland, there are symptoms of compression of the neck organs, a feeling of "coma in the throat". As the disease develops, changes that destroy the thyroid gland lead to a violation of the function of the gland - at first, the phenomena of hyperthyroidism due to the entry into the blood of a large number of previously produced hormones (at this time, the patient is concerned about an increase in blood pressure, increased sweating, palpitations, trembling of the hands).  And in the future (or bypassing the hyperthyroid phase) - to hypothyroidism. The content of thyroid hormones in the blood is reduced, as a result of which the patient is concerned about weakness, drowsiness, fatigue, depression, mood deterioration, slowing down of mental activity, sometimes – edema; constipation; muscle pain; menstrual cycle disorders.  Often worry about dry skin, actively losing hair.

 

  • Diagnosis of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis:

In addition to clinical symptoms, the determination of the titer of antithyroid antibodies against your own thyroid gland is of great importance in the diagnosis. There is an increase in the level of antibodies circulating to the thyroid gland.

Ultrasound examination of the thyroid gland is also performed.

 

  • Treatment of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis:

Treatment is carried out by several methods:

1)medication;

2) surgically.

The drug approach is based on the use of:

1)thyroid medications (replacement therapy);

2) glucocorticoid drugs (usually with a combination of autoimmune and subacute thyroiditis);

3) immune modulators (they can go alone or in combination with thyroid agents).

Treatment with medication should be continued throughout the patient's life, since once started, autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT) never goes away, and drug support is required by the patient constantly.

Surgical intervention in chronic autoimmune thyroiditis is used very rarely, in exceptional cases. It is prescribed only with a sharply increasing goiter and a threat to neighboring tissues. For example, when squeezing the esophagus, trachea and blood vessels.

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