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Last updated date: 04-Jan-2022

Originally Written in English

Gigi Hadid suffers from Hashimoto’s disease

  • General Health

  • Hashimoto’s disease

  • Lymphocytic thyroiditis

World top 50 supermodel Gigi Hadid (born Jelena Noura "Gigi" Hadid) revealed in 2016 that she had been recently diagnosed with a relatively rare autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland, known as Hashimoto's Disease or Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which affects nearly 14 million people. She has described in numerous social posts as well as during interviews with the media that the disease is quite debilitating and is akin to “…having a really extreme case of the flu”.

Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder that can cause hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, in which your own immune system attacks your thyroid (a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of the neck). The thyroid eventually becomes damaged and cannot make enough hormones for your body to function properly. More specifically, according to the Mayo Clinic, Hashimoto's disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam's apple. The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, which produces hormones that coordinate many of your body's functions.

Inflammation from Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, often leads to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. It primarily affects middle-aged women but can also occur all genders and all ages. Doctors can test your thyroid function to help detect Hashimoto's disease. While there no cure, readily available treatment of with thyroid hormone replacement is usually is effective.

You might not notice signs or symptoms of Hashimoto's disease at first, or you may notice a swelling at the front of your throat (goiter). Hashimoto's disease typically progresses slowly over years and causes chronic thyroid damage, leading to a drop in thyroid hormone levels in your blood. The signs and symptoms are mainly those of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). The slow development leads to the difficulty of detecting the disease early on and thus, many are aware of the condition many years after the start of the disease.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s disease may include:

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Pale, dry skin
  • A puffy face
  • Brittle nails
  • Hair loss
  • Enlargement of the tongue
  • Weight gain not due to additional intake
  • Muscle aches and joint pains
  • Muscle weakness
  • Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding
  • Depression
  • Memory loss

While doctors know Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system creates antibodies that damage your thyroid gland, they do not know what causes the immune system to attack one’s thyroid gland. Some researchers believe it is triggered by a virus or bacteria, while others believe heredity may be involved. A combination of factors including heredity, gender, excessive radiation exposure, and age may determine the likelihood of developing the disorder.

If left untreated, an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) caused by Hashimoto's disease can lead to a number of issues:

  • Goiter. Excessive stimulation of your thyroid to release more hormones may cause the gland to become enlarged, a condition known as a goiter. Hypothyroidism is one of the most common causes of goiters. While it is generally not uncomfortable, a large goiter can affect your appearance and may interfere with swallowing or breathing.
  •  Heart problems. Hashimoto's disease may also be associated with an increased risk of heart disease, primarily because high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol can occur in people with an underactive thyroid gland. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to an enlarged heart and, possibly, heart failure.
  • Mental health issues. Depression may occur early in Hashimoto's disease and may become more severe over time. Hashimoto's disease can also cause sexual desire (libido) to decrease in both men and women and can lead to compromised mental ability.
  • Myxedema. This rare, life-threatening condition can develop due to long-term severe hypothyroidism as a result of untreated Hashimoto's disease. Its signs and symptoms include drowsiness followed by profound lethargy and unconsciousness. A myxedema coma may be triggered by exposure to cold, sedatives, infection, or other stress on your body. Myxedema requires immediate emergency medical treatment.
  • Birth defects. Babies born to women with untreated hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto's disease may have a higher risk of birth defects than do babies born to healthy mothers. Doctors have long known that these children are more prone to intellectual and developmental problems. There may be a link between hypothyroid pregnancies and birth defects, such as a cleft palate. If pregnancy is planned, one should have the thyroid level checked.

 

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