We are experiencing exceptionally high volumes in our emergency rooms.
Every patient is important to us, and we are doing all we can to provide care quickly and efficiently.
Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a chronic (ongoing) condition where the body's immune system attacks the thyroid, a gland in the neck that makes thyroid hormone.

More to Know

The thyroid hormone helps the body handle many chemical reactions, controls how the body converts food into energy, and helps direct growth and sexual development.

In someone with Hashimoto's, often the thyroid must work harder to make thyroid hormone. This, and the inflammation that occurs in the gland, can cause the thyroid to swell, resulting in a goiter.

In some cases, the thyroid can't produce enough thyroid hormone. This is called hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism may include sluggishness, dry skin, feeling cold, constipation, facial puffiness, weight gain, and slowing of growth and sexual development.

In rare cases, the immune system of someone with Hashimoto's thyroiditis can cause inflammation in the brain and nervous system. Symptoms can include strange behavior, confusion, muscle twitching, and seizures.

Keep in Mind

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is usually diagnosed by blood tests measuring the levels of thyroid hormone and the presence of antibodies. Hashimoto's is a chronic disorder, although the size of the thyroid and its ability to make thyroid hormone can increase or decrease over months and years.

Treatment depends on symptoms and the results of lab tests. Hypothyroidism and goiters are usually treated with synthetic thyroid hormone taken in pill form. The treatment and dose of medication is guided by regular periodic blood tests and doctor visits. Surgery is sometimes done to treat goiters, especially if the thyroid becomes large enough to cause problems with swallowing.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.