Autoimmune thyroid. Hashimoto's thyroiditis refers to autoimmune condition where immune system attacks the thyroid gland. This leads to the most common form of hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone production) as the gland becomes increasingly injured. More common in women, especially with age, and tends to run in families, especially those with other autoimmune conditions. Treat with thyroid hormone replacement.
Autoimmune disease. This occurs when the body makes antibodies which are directed against (reject) one's own thyroid gland. It is painless and usually results in permanent need for thyroid hormone replacement with a medication called, levothyroxine.
Most PCPs and endo. Most internists and endocrinologists are familiar with the disorder. It is an autoimmune disorder that often leads to an under active thyroid. It is the most common cause of low thyroid hormone levels. There is no treatment for hashimotos per se, but the thyroid hormone levels can be kept normal with medication.