persistent or recurrent depression;
indifference to everything;
not being able to concentrate attention;
tiredness, weakness, drowsiness;
the increase led with loss of appetite;
chilliness in the limbs;
decreased physical activity;
inhibition of reactions;
deterioration of hair, skin and nails;
failure of the menstrual cycle.
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COMPLICATIONS OF THE DISEASE:
infertility, problems with bearing a fetus, miscarriages;
congenital hypothyroidism in children;
The diagnosis and treatment of the disease is carried out by an endocrinologist .
DESCRIPTION OF THE DISEASE
The thyroid gland (thyroid gland) is one of the weak points of the body. The endocrine system is associated with the work of most systems and organs, with pathologies of which the thyroid gland can also be affected. In addition, the thyroid gland is subject to external influences. Among the common diseases of the endocrine system, autoimmune thyroiditis is distinguished, characterized by inflammation of the gland due to impaired immunity.
Autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT) is a dangerous pathology that causes the cells of the immune system to perceive thyroid cells as “foreign” and destroy them. The risk group includes mainly women over 40 years of age. The likelihood of developing the disease at a younger age, during pregnancy and even in children is not excluded.
The risk of pathological disorders of the endocrine system in women “aged” is explained by the occurrence of a violation of the X chromosomes and the negative influence of the female hormone estrogen, which in turn are involved in the formation of the lymphoid system.
Against the background of autoimmune thyroiditis, the level of antibodies in the body increases significantly. Gradually, abnormal cells destroy healthy cells in the thyroid gland. As a result of immune and hormonal abnormalities, the patient manifests multiple disorders that can have serious consequences.
Despite its complexity, autoimmune thyroiditis is treatable. When timely measures are taken, pathology is eliminated without consequences. The disease has a peculiarity, it can be eliminated on its own, but with certain developmental characteristics.
Thyroiditis of the thyroid gland develops against the background of autoimmune disorders, which can be triggered by a variety of reasons: from stress to diseases of internal organs. Despite the fact that the main cause is considered to be a failure in the immune system, it should be borne in mind that abnormalities in the work of the immune system also do not arise by themselves.
In medicine, the following disease-provoking factors are distinguished:
exposure to constant stress;
regular psycho-emotional stress;
uncontrolled treatment of antiviral or hormonal drugs;
excess of iodine in the blood;
diseases of the endocrine system;
the influence of bad ecology, etc .;
It is possible to restore the functionality of the thyroid gland, but for successful treatment it is necessary to identify and eliminate the causes. Otherwise, even insignificant results of therapy will not give a long-term effect, and relapses will be repeated.
To determine the causes and select the correct treatment regimen, specialists classify autoimmune thyroiditis into several forms. Each form has characteristic causes, symptoms and clinical picture of development.
Classification of thyroid pathology.
- Painless form. The provoking factors have not been identified. The disease can develop over a long time, since it does not have pronounced symptoms. It is detected more often in the diagnosis of other thyroid diseases.
- Postpartum form. It develops even during pregnancy, due to changes in the hormonal background. The main symptom is complete impotence, however, after childbirth, the strength seems to return. Abnormal activity and overexcitation are often noted. Women with thyroiditis are prone to postpartum depression.
- Chronic form. It arises as a result of a genetic predisposition. Pathology is accompanied by a decrease in the level of thyroid hormones. Also has the term “primary hypothyroidism”.
- Cytokine-induced. Autoimmune disorders develop due to uncontrolled intake of medications containing interferon.
The disease has general similar symptoms, with the exception of a painless form. Timely diagnosis makes it possible to eliminate the pathology before concomitant diseases develop, which will require longer treatment.
In medicine, there are only four degrees of progressiveness of autoimmune thyroiditis, which are characterized by the duration of the development of the pathological process. The later the disease is detected, the higher the risks of the transition of AIT to the next stage.
Four stages of thyroid disease.
- Euterioid. Almost no body functions are impaired. There is no pronounced symptomatology. The patient does not notice serious deviations. The euteroid form can develop for 2 to 3 months or several years.
- Subclinical. At this stage, the transformation of immune cells begins. T-lymphocytes attack the cells of the follicle, which leads to their destruction. The consequence is insufficient production of the T4 hormone and an excess of the TSH norm.
- Thyrotactic. The hormones T3 and T4 are gradually released from the destroyed follicular cells. After release, they enter the bloodstream. The result is instant antibody production. If the hormonal level falls, then there is a concomitant development of the disease – hypothyroidism.
- Hypothyroid. There are two paths for the development of pathology: self-elimination or transition to a chronic form. The consequence, as a rule, is a change in the period of exacerbation and remission of hypothyroidism.
Autoimmune thyroiditis is difficult to predict. Disease of the thyroid gland can last several years at one stage, and can reach a quadruple in a few months.
Autoimmune thyroiditis itself does not pose a risk to the vital activity of the body. The danger can cause complications if the treatment is completely absent. Since hypothyroidism is considered the main consequence of AIT, the symptoms of the disease are similar to its development.
Note! The first three stages may not have pronounced external symptoms. The clinical picture is determined mainly by diagnostic examination.
For autoimmune thyroiditis, the following symptoms are characteristic:
apathy and depression (occurs in people exposed to emotional stress);
memory impairment (a person may forget any events, but not of significant importance);
absent-mindedness (the patient is not able to concentrate his attention on something specific for a long time);
general impotence, accompanied by drowsiness;
loss of desire for food (leads to weight loss, in rare cases goes into a critical phase);
heart rhythm problems (expressed as a slowdown in the work of the heart muscles);
periodic feeling of chilliness in both the upper and lower extremities;
a decrease in the possibilities of physical activity (associated with a general weakening of the body);
reactions are inhibited (slowing down refers even to reflex reactions);
decreased sex drive (changes in hormonal levels affect libido);
the condition of the nail plates, hair and skin is deteriorating (deviation is observed due to general disorders);
violation of the menstrual cycle (expressed in menstrual irregularities and a change in the nature of the discharge);
swelling in the face (in patients, there is a deviation in the work of the kidneys and urinary system, which leads to the accumulation of fluid in the body);
violation of facial expressions (characterized by inflammation of the neuromuscular tissues);
During the development of the disease, the symptoms of the inflammatory process can change the phase of activity, to subside.
At the last fourth stage, the patient may show signs:
a sharp decrease in body weight;
periodic hot flashes;
deterioration of the general condition in stuffy rooms;
tremor of the fingers;
sudden and unexplained mood swings;
increased heart rate;
periodic attacks of arterial hypertension;
unexplained bouts of activity followed by impotence.
These signs complement the general symptoms.
If we consider the symptoms according to the forms of the disease, then experts note that postpartum autoimmune thyroiditis manifests itself in the fourth month after the birth of the child, and the last stage may occur within two months.
The chronic form is characterized by the onset of signs only during exacerbations, and the cytokine-induced and asymptomatic are often detected by chance, since the signs of the disease are practically not manifested.
The complexity of timely diagnosis arises from the absence of symptoms or their late detection. As a rule, if the ailments are minor, the patient does not consider it necessary to visit medical institutions and change his lifestyle. However, even if a person sought medical help, at the first stage it is difficult to establish a deviation in the work of the thyroid gland or immunity.
It is possible to determine autoimmune thyroiditis only after the beginning of the second stage, when laboratory tests can record deviations from the norm in indicators. Hardware diagnostics at this stage is not always informative.
If AIT is suspected, an examination may be prescribed, including:
donating blood for a general analysis and for determining the lymphocyte level;
conducting a test for hormones, the purpose of which is to determine the parameters of TSH in the blood;
conducting an immunogram necessary to identify the ratio of antibodies to thyroid peroxidase, AT-TG and hormones – thyroid thyroid gland;
performing a fine needle biopsy, required to determine the size of thyroid cells;
carrying out ultrasound diagnostics of the endocrine system in order to determine the size of the glands, the nature of the structure of tissues and the presence of tumor formations.
If there are no coincidences between the results of laboratory tests and hardware diagnostics, differential diagnostics can be performed.
People with a genetic predisposition to thyroid diseases should contact medical institutions at least once a year for a diagnostic examination. If there are even minor violations, prevention should be taken.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF LACK OF TREATMENT
Autoimmune thyroiditis is a pathological process of destruction of thyroid cells, which leads to disruption of metabolic processes in tissues and the production of hormones.
The consequences of AIT include pathologies of the cardiovascular system:
Hormonal imbalance leads to the following consequences:
miscarriages and infertility;
the inability of the body to bear the fetus;
Other pathologies can also develop:
acquired dementia in children (dementia).
A common consequence is myxedema (insufficient intake of thyroid hormones), which will lead to hypersensitivity to a decrease in temperature. The danger lies in the severe perception of any ARVI that can provoke a hypothyroid coma with myxedema.
In most cases, after autoimmune thyroiditis, patients have to treat hypothyroidism. But both diseases are reversible and easily treatable.
FORECAST FOR TREATMENT
Any medical diagnosis sounds daunting to patients. The question immediately arises: what are the consequences. The prognosis for autoimmune thyroiditis, subject to treatment, is favorable.
If the disease was started and treatment began at the third or fourth stage, chronic hypothyroidism may persist, which will require hormone replacement therapy throughout life.
After the end of treatment, in order to prevent relapses, hormone tests and ultrasound of the thyroid gland should be tested twice a year. If, according to the results of the diagnosis, any deviations are noted, you should immediately contact an endocrinologist.
The occurrence of minor consequences, which may appear in the early stages before the start of treatment, are eliminated quickly. In only 10% of cases, autoimmune thyroiditis has complications, despite ongoing therapy.
exclusion of bad habits;
reducing the impact of stressful situations;
proper and nutritious nutrition;
timely treatment of endocrine diseases;
regular intake of drugs for thyroid pathologies;
control of the state of the immune system.