What is Hashimoto’s disease? Gigi Hadid hits back at body shamers and explains her condition

What is Hashimoto’s disease? Gigi Hadid hits back at body shamers and explains her condition

Model Gigi Hadid has been on the receiving end of some pretty nasty body shaming – so much so that she’s felt pushed into explaining herself on Twitter.

Hadid took to social media to open up about her diagnosis with Hashimoto’s disease, and how this has affected her body.

Weight fluctuations and inflammation are two classic symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease. With this in mind, Hadid asks people to not tear others down, particularly as they might not know the full picture.

Opening up about her condition is a brave thing to do, and will hopefully raise some awareness around it. So what exactly is it, and what impact can it have on your body?

What is Hashimoto’s disease?

Gigi Hadid is currently walking in various shows for New York Fashion Week (Mary Altaffer/AP)
Gigi Hadid is currently walking in various shows for New York Fashion Week (Mary Altaffer/AP)

It’s an autoimmune condition which means that your immune system attacks your thyroid. It causes your thyroid to swell up and become damaged.

In case your memory of GCSE biology feels a bit foggy, your thyroid is an endocrine gland in your neck. It makes hormones that are needed for your body to function properly.

Hashimoto’s disease slowly destroys the thyroid, and prevents it from properly producing these hormones.

What are the symptoms?

Many of the symptoms that Hadid talks about are classic of Hashimoto’s disease, such as tiredness, weight gain and inflammation.

Other symptoms of the condition include: constipation, dry skin, hair loss, muscle aches and brittle nails. In more extreme cases, a lump (goitre) can be felt at the front of your throat.

Women are more likely to suffer from the disease than men, as are those who have a history of autoimmune diseases in the family.

How can it be treated?

(Matt Crossick/PA)
(Matt Crossick/PA)

Because the disease has such a slow effect on the body, it often takes a long time to be detected and then treated.

Whilst there is no cure for Hashimoto’s disease (nor do doctors know exactly why it occurs), symptoms can be managed with various drugs. Hadid mentions in her tweets how she’s used medication to help manage symptoms like fatigue and inflammation.

If the goitre is particularly painful, patients might have to undergo surgery to remove it.

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