In short, it’s an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland causing a gradual decrease in thyroid hormone production. In order to understand it properly, I feel as though it will be best to break this up.
An autoimmune disease is the result of our immune system attacking our own healthy cells, in the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, this would be our thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland located in the lower anterior part of our neck that secretes hormones essential to our growth and metabolism. These hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) which are formed from thyronines (two molecules of the amino acid tyrosine).
T3 and T4 are important hormones that affect nearly every cell in the body. They act to:
- Increase BMR (basal metabolic rate)
- Affect the synthesis of protein
- Regulate bone growth/neural maturation
- Increase sensitivity to catecholamines (hormones produced by adrenal gland)
- Regulate the metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates
Thyroxine (T3) is both anabolic and catabolic, which is rare. This means it is important for both the production of protein (anabolic) as well as assist with the breakdown (catabolic) of fats and carbohydrates.
T3 and T4 are clearly very important and so it is understandable why people with low levels of thyroid hormone production (thyroxine) can have a large range of symptoms. These symptoms can include fatigue, depression, sensitivity to cold and muscle weakness.
————————————————————————–References I used