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Clinical Analysis and Review of Literature Associated with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
AdvisorRunyon, Alec C.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT), named after its discoverer Hakaru Hashimoto, is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease. HT develops when an autoimmune response causes inflammation of the thyroid gland that ultimately leads to the destruction of thyroid tissue, effectively killing the organ. An affected patient may simply be asymptomatic during the initial phases or he or she can present with many vague underlying symptoms due to the broad range of thyroid hormones functions, including mood and appetite regulation (Tomer and Huber 233). However, serious complications such as myxedema coma, Hashimoto’s encephalopathy, and even thyroid cancer can occur. While a very effective hormone replacement therapy exists, there is still no cure that can reverse or halt the damage caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The research for this thesis will be gathered from academic papers and medical literature documenting the condition. This thesis was written to condense and organize the medical and research community's collective knowledge of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Also included, is the outline of a case study based loosely on a real patient treated while I was shadowing an internist in Elko, Nevada. The case study includes lab findings and treatment details. Discussed in the thesis will be in-depth information regarding the pathology of HT and the treatment options for the present and near future. Overall, this thesis is meant to cover everything a practicing physician would need to know to effectively treat HT and it also delves into the cutting edge research being conducted by experts worldwide.