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Hashimoto's disease or Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a condition that leads to hypothyroidism. This occurs when the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in the front of the neck is unable to produce enough thyroid hormones, causing the bodily functions to slow down. These hormones regulate metabolism, muscle strength, body temperature, and many other vital processes. Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Low thyroid function can cause weight gain, lower cardiac fitness, and irregular heart rhythms. It is almost always painless but makes swallowing difficult. Most people with this condition require treatment.

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1. Causes: A Broken Immune System

Hashimoto's disease is considered an autoimmune disorder. The role of the immune system is to protect the body from outside invaders, such as germs and environmental substances. Instead, the immune system turns against the body itself, attacking glands, joints, the liver, blood cells, and more. In people with Hashimoto's disease, white blood cells and antibodies from the immune system attack the thyroid gland and cause it to decrease the output of hormones. Experts believe susceptibility for this illness run in families. A prior history of another autoimmune disorder, such as rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, or lupus raises the risk of developing Hashimoto's disease.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.