Thyroiditis is a disorder caused by the inflammation and swelling of the thyroid. It can arise due to a variety of causes. There are different types of this disease, classified according to the cause. Some common types of this ailment are given below:
- Hashimoto thyroiditis: this disease is also called chronic autoimmune thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disorder that occurs due to a misdirected immune system that attacks the body’s own normal cells, causing damage to the thyroid gland. It is most common in people between the age of 30 and 50 years.
- Subacute thyroiditis: Patients having this problem usually have an enlarged thyroid gland, along with severe pain and tenderness. The enlargement is often asymmetric. This is usually followed by a temporary phase of hypothyroidism. About 5% of people having this problem suffer a recurrence over a 20-year period. The peak incidence of this disease is in the summer.
- Painless thyroiditis: This is also called silent thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune process that presents with the symptoms of thyrotoxicosis like increased sweating and weight loss. However, the pain and tenderness are often absent.
- Postpartum thyroiditis: This type is pathologically similar to painless thyroid inflammation and has a similar clinical presentation. But, its onset occurs within few months after childbirth. It usually presents with a classic tri-phasic or 3-phased pattern, with thyrotoxicosis in the initial phase, followed by a phase of hypothyroidism, which is later followed by a phase of euthyroidism, in which the normal functions of the gland are restored. Most women having this problem become normal within 1 year of delivery. However, about 25% of them develop hypothyroidism in the next 10 years.
- Acute suppurative thyroiditis: it is a rare disorder that occurs because of an infection in the thyroid. Patients have neck pain, redness of the overlying skin, tenderness and fever. The common bacteria causing this ailment are Streptococcus spp., Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli. A pre-existing fistula or an abnormal passage in the thyroid, or any penetrating wound in the neck, may increase the risk of developing this problem.
- Riedel thyroiditis: this condition is also called invasive fibrous thyroid disease. It usually appears as a slowly enlarging mass in the neck. The mass is stony hard. This is more common in middle-aged and older individuals.
- Drug-induced: patients may suffer from this ailment due to the use of some medications like lithium and amiodarone.
How to treat?
Patients are advised to use Levothroid for the management of Hashimoto and subacute thyroiditis. This drug can also be used for managing goiter, thyrotoxicosis, hypothyroidism, and thyroid nodules. It helps by regulating the levels of thyroid hormones in the body.
Patients can use Levothroid in a dose of 12.5 to 125 mcg per day. Patients can consult a physician for further information about the dosage of this drug.
Some forms of this condition, especially Hashimoto thyroiditis, if left untreated, can cause permanent hypothyroidism. Use of Levothroid can help patients in controlling the thyroid functions and avoiding any further complications.