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Thyroiditis - Know Its Types!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Rajesh Kesari 88% (31 ratings)
Diploma In Diabetology, MD - Diabetology
Endocrinologist, Delhi  •  24 years experience
Thyroiditis - Know Its Types!

Thyroiditis is the inflammation or swelling of the thyroid gland. It primarily affects women from early adulthood to middle age, although anyone can get it. The thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your throat, just below your Adam’s apple. It controls your metabolism by producing hormones that influence how fast or slow your heart, brain, and other parts of your body work. Thyroiditis can make thyroid gland produce too many or not enough hormones. Too many hormones can make you feel jittery and possibly make your heart race. Too few hormones can make you feel tired and depressed.

Types of thyroiditis: There are several types of thyroiditis –

  1. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: This is the most common type of thyroiditis. It is caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland, making it swelled and damaged. As the thyroid is destroyed over time, it is no longer able to produce enough of the thyroid hormone.
  2. Subacute thyroiditis: It is possibly caused by a viral infection such as mumps or the flu. It usually causes fever and pain in the neck, jaw, or ear. Post-partum thyroiditis: This is an autoimmune condition caused by antithyroid antibodies that sometimes occurs shortly after a woman gives birth. However, it is more common in women with type 1 diabetes, positive thyroid antibodies, and a previous history of postpartum thyroiditis.
  3. Silent thyroiditis: Silent thyroiditis is similar to postpartum thyroiditis but it can occur in men and women both. Moreover, it is not related to giving birth. This is also an autoimmune disease caused by antithyroid antibodies.
  4. Drug-induced thyroiditis: Some medications can damage the thyroid and cause either symptom of the overactive thyroid gland or underactive thyroid gland.
  5. Radiation-induced thyroiditis: The thyroid gland can sometimes be damaged by radiotherapy treatment given for an overactive thyroid gland.
  6. Acute or infectious thyroiditis: Acute or infectious thyroiditis is usually triggered by a bacterial infection. It is rare and is associated with either a weakened immune system or, in children, a problem with the development of the thyroid.

Symptoms of thyroiditis: The symptoms of thyroiditis depend on the type and phase of thyroiditis. Thyroiditis can cause slow, long-term thyroid cell damage and destruction that causes thyroid hormone levels in the blood to fall. If this happens, the symptoms are similar to those of hypothyroidism, which includes fatigue, unexpected weight gain, constipation, dry skin, depression, and muscle ache. On the other hand, thyroiditis can also cause rapid thyroid cell damage and destruction that causes thyroid hormone in the gland to leak out and increase the thyroid hormone levels in your blood. If this happens, symptoms that are similar to those of hyperthyroidism may occur. This may include weight loss, nervousness, anxiety or irritability, difficulty in sleeping, rapid heart rate, fatigue, muscle weakness, and tremors.

Treatment of thyroiditis: Hypothyroidism is generally treated with synthetic versions of the thyroid hormone. These are taken as pills. As your metabolism returns to normal, your doctor may adjust the dosage. The treatment of hyperthyroidism depends on the type of inflammation and also on any symptoms that you may be having.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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