What is thyroidits? What is the cause?

What is thyroiditis?

Thyroiditis is the general name of thyroid gland inflammation. Thyroditis conditions include a group of disorders appeared in different forms.  For instance, Hashimoto's thyroditis is the most common cause for hypothyroidism. Temporary thyrotoxicosis (higher thyroid hormone levels in the blood) and postpartum thyroiditis that cause temporary hypothyroidism are common reasons of thyroid disorders after childbirth. Subacute thyroiditis is one of basic causes of pain on the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis may be seen in the patients using medications such as interferon and amiodarone.
 



What are Clinical Symptoms of Thyroditis?

There is not any specific symptom for thyroiditis. If thyroditis causes a slow and chronic thyroid cell damage that causes decrease of thyroid hormone levels, the patient presents the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Tiredness, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, depression and poor tolerance to exercise are typical symptoms of hypothyroidism. This appears in the patients with Hashimato's thyroiditis. If thyroiditis causes thyroid cell damage rapidly, the thyroid hormones stored in the gland are released into blood and thyroid hormone level increases in the blood. The patients present thyrotoxicosis symptoms similar to hyperthyroidism. Anxiety, insomnia, palpitation (increased heart rate), tiredness, weight loss and irritability are some of the symptoms. This is observed in toxic period of subacute, painless and postpartum thyroiditis. Symptoms of thyrotoxicosis and hyperthyroidism depend on increased thyroid hormone levels; however, there is not any actual over activity in the gland.  Thyroid hormones in the thyroid gland deplete in subacute, painless and postpartum thyroiditis; and the inflammation progresses towards decrease of hormone levels and appearance of hypothyroidism symptoms.  The patients with subacute thyroiditis may experience pain in the thyroid gland.


What Happens during Thyroiditis and Why?

Thyroiditis occurs as a result of inflammation in thyroid cells and attack to the thyroid gland that causes injury. The antibodies attacking the thyroid gland cause many of thyroditis cases. Thyroiditis is usually an autoimmune disease such as juvenile diabetes mellitus and rheumatoid arthritis. Although the disease has a hereditary tendency, the cause of production of thyroid antibodies by certain people remains unknown.  Thyroiditis may occur because of an infection developed due to some factors such as virus or bacteria. Infections may also cause inflammation on the body like antibodies. Finally; certain medications including amiodarone and interferon may damage the thyroid cells and cause thyroiditis.

Ask Liv Expert