Thyroiditis is inflammation of the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped organ next to the windpipe. The thyroid gland makes hormones that control how your body uses energy.
The most common cause of thyroiditis is called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Acute thyroiditis included suppurative and nonsuppurative varieties, and chronic thyroiditis included invasive, nonsuppurative, and lymphocytic varieties.
The thyroid gland is the biggest gland in the neck. It is situated in the anterior (front) neck below the skin and muscle layers. Additionally, families that suffer from non-thyroid autoimmune disease such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis may also be at risk for the development of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
The thyroid helps set the rate of metabolism, which is the rate at which the body uses energy. It produces, secretes, and stores thyroxine (T4 ), a hormone that influences the metabolism of just about every body process.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis often begins with a painless, firm enlargement of the thyroid gland or a feeling of fullness in the neck. This phase can last 3-6 months until the thyroid gland fully recovers.
The sole function of the thyroid is to make thyroid hormone. This hormone has an effect on nearly all tissues of the body where it increases cellular activity.
The level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is measured to be sure that hypothyroidism is not present. A family history of thyroid disorders is common, with the HLADR5 gene most strongly implicated conferring a relative risk of 3 in the UK.
The anti-microsomal antibody test is much more sensitive than the anti-thyroglobulin, therefore some doctors use only the former blood test. The major cause of hypothyroidism, thyroiditis affects about 12 million people in the United States.
This condition is more common in women than in men and usually develops between ages 30-50. Thyroiditis can also be seen in patients taking the drugs interferon and amiodarone.
The rare, invasive fibrous thyroiditis (Riedel’s thyroiditis) presents with a slowly enlarging anterior neck mass that is sometimes confused with a malignancy. It is more prevalent in women than in men (8:1), and its incidence increases with age.
Causes of Thyroiditis
The common causes of Thyroiditis include the following :
- Thyroiditis disease is caused by a reaction of the immune system against the thyroid gland.
- SAT has been described after bone marrow transplantation for chronic granulocytic leukemia.
- Lack of insulin production or by the body’s inability to process insulin.
- An association between SAT and febrile neutrophilic dermatoses (Sweet syndrome) has been reported.
- Concurrence of giant cell arteritis has been reported in patients with classic de Quervain thyroiditis.
- Malfunction of the adrenal gland, is characterized by weakness, loss of weight and appetite, and increased sensitivity to cold.
Symptoms of Thyroiditis
Some sign and symptoms related to Thyroiditis include the following :
- Enlarged neck or presence of goiter.
- weight gain.
- Small or atrophic thyroid gland (late in the disease)
- High fever.
- Intolerance to cold.
- You might notice a swelling or bump (called a goiter) in the front of your neck.
- Heavy and irregular menses.
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking.
- Slow heartbeat.
- Weight gain – mild.
Treatment of Thyroiditis
Here is list of the methods for treating Thyroiditis :
- Hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is treated with thyroid hormone replacement.
- Antibiotics to fight infection.
- In 10% of patients, relapse may occur during tapering of steroids, necessitating reinstitution of higher doses and continuation of steroids for another month.
- Hormones to suppress or replace thyroid function.
- Pain medications.
- Other forms of treatment for overactive thyroid glands using either antithyroid drugs or surgery may also result in hypothyroidism.
- I f the gland becomes uncomfortably painful, a short course of corticosteroids may be used in subacute viral thyroiditis.
- Symptoms of hyperthyroidism are treated with a class of medications called beta-blockers (for example, propranolol, atenolol).