Hashimoto's disease and lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) are two distinct autoimmune disorders, and while they are not directly related, they do share some common features and can coexist in the same individual.
Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and eventual destruction of the thyroid tissue. As a result, the thyroid gland produces insufficient thyroid hormones, causing hypothyroidism. The primary symptoms of Hashimoto's disease include fatigue, weight gain, cold sensitivity, and other signs of an underactive thyroid.
On the other hand, lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect multiple organs and tissues in the body. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, leading to inflammation and damage. Common symptoms of lupus include joint pain, skin rashes, fever, and fatigue, but it can also affect organs like the kidneys, heart, lungs, and brain.
While Hashimoto's disease and lupus have distinct targets for immune system attack (the thyroid gland for Hashimoto's and various organs and tissues for lupus), individuals with one autoimmune disease may have an increased risk of developing another autoimmune condition. The exact reasons for this increased susceptibility are not fully understood, but genetics and environmental factors likely play a role.
It is also worth noting that certain autoimmune disorders, including lupus, have been associated with an increased risk of thyroid dysfunction, including Hashimoto's disease. Some studies suggest that individuals with lupus may have a higher prevalence of thyroid autoantibodies (antibodies that target thyroid tissue) and an increased risk of developing hypothyroidism.
If you suspect you have any symptoms related to autoimmune disorders, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and diagnosis. They can perform the necessary tests and provide appropriate management and treatment if needed.