The inflammation of the thyroid gland is called thyroiditis. There are many types of thyroiditis. Each type has different treatments. It is most commonly caused by an attack on the thyroid gland caused by autoimmune diseases. An individual suffers from an autoimmune disease when one’s immune system produces antibodies that attack the tissues and organs in the body instead of protecting it.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis is one of the most common types of thyroiditis. This disease was named after Hakaru Hashimoto, a Japanese physician. Hakaru Hashimoto first described this disease in 1912. An individual’s thyroid glands become enlarged when suffering from this disease. There are also cases where an individual may only feel the enlargement on one side of the thyroid glands. The cells in the thyroid glands become inefficient as this disease develop and will no longer be able to convert iodine into thyroid hormones. According to statistics, one out of a thousand people may be able to suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and women are more likely to suffer from this disease than men.
Autoimmune thyroiditis is considered to be one of the rarest autoimmune diseases. This type of thyroiditis perceives the thyroid glands in the body to a point that it already treats the thyroid hormones as a foreign substance. Both the presence of thyroid hormones and thyroid glands are said to have an autoimmune response which the body attacks. This is what normally causes goiter. When a person suffers from goiter, the thyroid glands are no longer able to produce thyroid hormones in the body.
Thyroiditis symptoms vary depending on the type of thyroiditis an individual is suffering from. Here are the common symptoms that an individual may feel when suffering from thyroiditis:
- Thyroid glands are enlarged and painful
- Thyroid glands are enlarged but not painful
- Thyroid glands are firm and enlarged but not tender
- Thyroid glands are enlarged but only on one side
- Cool, dry skin
- Increased sweating
- No appetite
- Slight nervousness
- Slow pulse rate (pulse rate may be lower than 60 beats per minute)
- Slow reflexes
- Swelling around the eyes
- Weight loss
Subacute thyroiditis is the inflammation or swelling of the thyroid glands which is usually followed by an upper respiratory infection. This type of disease is considered as a rare condition. It occurs when an individual previously suffered from mumps, influenza or any upper respiratory tract infection. This disease normally causes an individual to experience pain in the neck and even in the jaws and ears
Post-partum thyroiditis is a rare type of thyroiditis where its cause is still left unknown. Post-partum thyroiditis is defined as a painless inflammation in the thyroid glands that occurs in women two to six months after giving birth. A woman who suffers from this disease may usually feel the symptoms of hyperthyroidism such as fatigue, weight loss and rapid heartbeat. If left untreated, a woman may undergo a lifelong thyroid hormone replacement therapy.