Hashimoto's disease

Hashimoto's disease is chronic thyroiditis, which is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. It can be asymptomatic (and go completely unnoticed at the beginning) or have an impact on the functioning of the thyroid.

Described for the first time in 1912 by a Japanese doctor of which it is named, today it represents about 20% of people suffering from a thyroid disease and affects mostly women after 40 years.

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck. Despite its low weight (about twenty grams), it plays a fundamental role in the proper functioning of our body, including regulating our metabolism.

The thyroid produces mainly two types of hormones: 80% thyroxine or tetraiodothyronine (T4), a kind of pre-hormone that, once in the blood, is transformed into triiodothyronine T3 (20%). They are made from a trace element iodine, present in very small amounts in the body, but a balanced diet ensures sufficient iodine intake for the thyroid to work properly (iodized salt, fish, fruits sea, etc.).

However, only a tiny fraction of these hormones (0.3% T3 and 0.03% T4) circulate in the blood in free form (called "free" non-protein bound). It is this small portion which constitutes the active form and which therefore has an important diagnostic value in medical examinations (FT3 and FT4).

Thyroid hormones affect many functions of the human body. In general, they contribute to the production of energy, heat or the use of elements derived from food: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins.

These hormones act on the muscles, the heart (heart rate and blood pressure), the digestive tract, the integuments (hair, skin, nails), and participate in the growth and then the functioning of the nervous system and maintenance bones.

Want to react, share your experience or ask a question? Go to our FORUMS Hormones and Thyroid or A doctor answers you .

Read also :

> The thyroid: an essential gland for our body
> Thyroiditis: when the thyroid ignites
> Hyperthyroidism: causes, symptoms and treatments

Author: Dr Iléana de Lameth, Hospital Practitioner in Endocrinology, Diabetology, Nutrition

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