In a recent study of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis it was found that 92% of the subjects had low vitamin D levels when compared to healthy subjects of whom 63% had low vitamin D levels.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also known as chronic thyroiditis, is a swelling and inflammation of the thyroid gland which may cause a reduction of thyroid function and hypothyroidism. It is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. In western countries it occurs in .1% to 5% of the population.
While Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can occur at any age and in either sex it usually occurs in middle-aged women. The cause is an autoimmune reaction to the thyroid gland. It is most often seen in families with a history of thyroid disease.
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Difficulty thinking
- Dry skin
- Enlarged neck or presence of goiter
- Hair loss
- Heavy and irregular periods
- Intolerance to cold
- Mild weight gain
- Small or shrunken thyroid gland
- Joint stiffness
- Weight gain (unintentional)
- Swelling of the face
- There may be no symptoms at all
- If disease progresses far enough patient may be treated with hormone replacement
The study concludes that vitamin D deficiency is related to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. If you suffer you should consider supplementing with vitamin D and getting a vitamin D blood level test. The study’s authors also wonder if vitamin D insufficiency is a symptoms or a cause of the disease. Further study would be required to determine the correct answer.
If you were paying attention in the first paragraph, you noted that in the normal population 63% had a low vitamin D level. While this study took place in Turkey, over 50% of the healthy population had abnormal vitamin D levels. We suggest everyone ask their doctor to check their levels so they know their vitamin D status.