Why does it take so long to detect and diagnose Hashimoto’s?

The simplest answer is because doctors don’t look for it until symptoms become very serious. There are rarely any routine screenings involving testing for antibodies without any major signs of Hashimoto’s.

Signs of the disease usually come from an underactive thyroid, which is a result of the autoimmune condition’s action on our body.

It takes years for autoimmune antibodies to severely harm the thyroid and create the first symptoms of an underactive thyroid (1, 2). The development is gradual, and even if you did feel some slight symptoms, it’s likely that they were too minimal to be taken seriously.

The body is amazing in many ways — it’s able to hold off or compensate for the first signs of Hashimoto’s by keeping thyroid hormone production in balance for many years.

TPO and Tg antibodies slowly and gradually rise over many years, and continuously damage the thyroid gland. There are times when the antibodies oscillate — depending on stress, general lifestyle, and possible infections (3).

If you suspect you might have Hashimoto’s but are not yet diagnosed, it’s beneficial to track your symptoms in BOOST Thyroid for a few weeks. Present your health information to your healthcare provider and together you can determine if they are indicating a thyroid disorder.

Symptoms might be very light, they might change in intensity, duration, and type — this is why it’s helpful to have an overview over a longer period of time to understand the condition’s development.

  References   1. McLachlan SM, et al. Recombinant thyroid autoantigens: the keys to the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroid disease, 1993  2. Effraimidis G, et al. Natural history of the transition from euthyroidism to overt autoimmune hypo- or hyperthyroidism: a prospective study, 2011  3. Ehlers M, et al. Evidence of a combined cytotoxic thyroglobulin and thyroperoxidase epitope-specific cellular immunity in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, 2012

References

1. McLachlan SM, et al. Recombinant thyroid autoantigens: the keys to the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroid disease, 1993

2. Effraimidis G, et al. Natural history of the transition from euthyroidism to overt autoimmune hypo- or hyperthyroidism: a prospective study, 2011

3. Ehlers M, et al. Evidence of a combined cytotoxic thyroglobulin and thyroperoxidase epitope-specific cellular immunity in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, 2012

Vedrana Högqvist Tabor