9. Risk Factors
According to the Mayo Clinic, Hashimoto’s disease is more likely to affect women than men. While this disease can appear at any age, it is most likely to set in during the middle age years. You are at greater risk of developing this disease if a family member has the disease or if you already suffer from another autoimmune disorder. Additionally, exposure to radiation increases your chances of developing this disease.
The symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease are related to the effects of low levels of thyroid hormones. You may notice a swelling of the throat beneath your Adam’s apple as the thyroid gland becomes inflamed and enlarged. Hashimoto’s disease may cause mood changes, fatigue, memory problems, and depression. Pale skin, sensitivity to cold, a puffy face, and brittle nails can also be signs of this disease. Additionally, unexpected weight gain, muscles aches, and joint pain can signal this disorder. Women may notice unusually heavy menstrual bleeding.
Hashimoto’s disease deprives the body of the necessary hormones for healthy function. Neglecting to treat this condition can lead to a number of complications. Hypothyroidism can cause a goiter (an inflamed and swollen thyroid gland), which can affect your ability to swallow food or to breathe. Other possible complications are heart disease, depression, and birth defects. Myxedema is the name for severe, untreated hypothyroidism. It can result in a medical crisis known as myxedema coma, in which the patient may lose consciousness as organ functions slow or shut down.Related: 6 Thyroid Cancer Signs and Symptoms