Thyroiditis–the inflammation of your thyroid gland
“Hashimotos disease” (aka Hashi’s, or the autoimmune attack of your thyroid gland) and “thyroiditis” are used interchangeably and correctly to describe the same thing.
But technically in medical jargon, thyroiditis is an umbrella term to describe several conditions concerning the inflammation of the thyroid gland, of which Hashimotos disease is just one. You can read about Hashi’s here.
- Hashimotos disease: the most common form of thyroiditis and may be the most common form of hypothyroidism. Antibodies are present, showing an attack on your thyroid.
- Postpartum thyroiditis: this happens after the birth of a baby, is common, and may play a role in post- partum depression. Antibodies will be present and you may have no pain in the thyroid. It will start out with symptoms of hyperthyroidisim, including a fast heartrate, easy weight loss, feeling nervous, tired, and not liking heat. It will move into hypothyroidism, and some women will remain hypothyroid the rest of their lives, while others will have a remission.
- Subacute thyroiditis, also called De Quervain’s Thyroiditis: this will involve inflammation and pain of the gland and a quick release of excess thyroid in your blood, but antibodies are not found. It’s rare. Taking aspirin to reduce inflammation, plus bed rest, is recommended by doctors. Patients can recover from this.
- Silent thyroiditis: this is like having both Hashi’s and Subacute thyroiditis, but does not usually have pain of the thyroid, i.e. “silent”. For some, it is recoverable within a few months, tho others may have lifelong hypo.
- Drug-caused thyroiditis: this can be caused by the continued use of lithium, as well as amiodarone, interferons and cytokines. Will continue as long as the medications are used.
- Radiation induced thyroiditis: can occur after the use of radiation treatment and can result in lifelong hypothyroidism. No antibodies are present.
- Acute thyroiditis: Also called Suppurative thyroiditis, this is caused by a bacterial or other infection, and can go away with treatment of the initial infection. No antibodies are present.
- Riedel’s thyroiditis: the thyroid will contain dense fibrosis causing inflammation, and this may be more of a fibroid disease. With this, you can also have hypoparathyroidism, hoarseness from problems to your larynx, and a compression of your tracheal tube. Your thyroid will feel quite hard.
Symptoms of thyroiditis can first fall in the hyper end of the range (anxiety, high heartrate or palpitations, etc), then end up being the same as hypothyroidism, including fatigue, weight gain, concentration problems, swelling and more. When treatment is finally needed, it’s the same as for patients with general hypothyroidism–natural desiccated thyroid.