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There is a difference between an infection and inflammation. Concerning this, thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. It usually doesn't involve foreign organisms. The inflammation of the thyroid can be because of different factors. So there are different types of inflammations and a different treatment for each. Most common of types are Hashimoto's, postpartum, silent or painless, acute, and subacute. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common type. It's an autoimmune disorder which means that there is a malfunction in the immune system. Instead of protecting your thyroid tissue, your immune cells attack it.





Postpartum thyroiditis is a fairly rare disorder that usually affects women following pregnancy. It is a phenomenon which may involve hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism or the two sequentially. Silent or painless thyroiditis doesn't come with pain. It's characterized by the absence of thyroidal tenderness or pain. Acute infectious thyroiditis comes with a sudden onset of neck pain. The tenderness is usually unilateral and comes with other symptoms of infection. A virus usually causes subacute thyroiditis. Initial hyperthyroidism is common, sometimes followed by a transient period of hypothyroidism. It's another rare type of thyroiditis which is often temporary. Immediate treatment is important, or it might lead to permanent complications.

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Symptoms which appear over time

The symptoms of thyroiditis occur during a long period. Early on, there may be no symptoms. After some time the thyroid could enlarge forming a painless goiter. Some people eventually develop hypothyroidism. This is usually accompanied by weight gain, feeling tired and constipation. The person may also experience depression and general pains in muscles and joints. Presently, there is no known and sure cure for thyroiditis. The best option is to control hormone levels to restore normal metabolism. Doctors may do this through hormone replacements. You may have to take replacement agents once a day. This keeps the thyroid hormone levels normal. In most cases, the person needs to have the treatment for the rest of his life.

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Irregular menstruation and difficulty conceiving

The disease usually affects the menstrual cycles of women. They can become irregular and heavy. A woman may also find it difficult to conceive. In this case, it's important to have detailed tests conducted. This is because the thyroid condition manifests symptoms similar to other medical conditions. For these symptoms, you would have to visit your doctor. You may be suffering from thyroiditis or other conditions. Your doctor may recommend that you take some medication for the condition. The dosage that the doctor recommends will depend upon several factors. These include the severity of the condition, health problems, weight, and age.

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Symptoms which emerge after giving birth

Sometimes the thyroiditis may occur in women, especially after giving birth. Women with this disorder won't notice any symptoms in the first post-natal months. If symptoms do emerge, they wouldn't be too noticeable. Common symptoms are anxiety, rapid heart rate, loss of weight, and excessive hair fall. How to treat the thyroiditis depends upon how severe the condition is. Those women who have mild symptoms may be closely monitored. Unless the symptoms get worse, medications are usually not prescribed.

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More noticeable symptoms after giving birth

It's the second phase of the disorder that women will take notice of the symptoms. This is between 4-8 months after she gives birth. The symptoms can stay a year or so, but generally, the condition will resolve itself. The symptoms may include constipation, weight gain, dry skin, muscle pains, and fatigue. When a woman's symptoms become more severe, doctors may prescribe treatments. Such treatments will vary in each phase of their condition. Some women might receive thyroid hormone-replacement therapy. They may also have to take beta-blockers to reduce the symptoms.

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Mild but progressive symptoms

People afflicted with thyroiditis may also experience mild symptoms. One common symptom is an increased sensitivity to heat. A person may experience excessive sweating and rapid palpitations too. Then as time goes by, the person experiences more symptoms. These might also include mood changes such as irritability and nervousness. Also, a person might notice protrusion of the eyes, loss of weight, and sleeplessness. If you have mild symptoms, you would require no treatment. But it's advisable to have regular follow-ups with your doctor. Sometimes the condition is self-limiting. This means that in time, it will resolve itself.

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Physical symptoms of thyroiditis caused by weakened thyroid glands

There are many kinds of symptoms involved in thyroiditis. This condition mainly affects the thyroid. So you might notice some physical manifestations of the condition. The symptoms may include fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, and constipation. Also, the person might notice dry skin, hair loss, weight gain, and an enlargement of the thyroid gland. This latter set of symptoms will persist until the thyroid gland functions normally. In more severe cases, the person may experience an increase in heart palpitations too. If this is the case, your doctor may prescribe beta-blockers to reduce the heart rate. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a drug treatment. This may cause the thyroid hormone levels to normalize. In the most severe case, the doctor may require thyroid replacement therapy.

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Pain and swelling

When comes with an infection, then that means bacteria usually cause it. So it may come with tenderness or pain on one side of the neck, and this is due to an enlarged and infected thyroid gland. For any infection, antibiotic treatment is a great remedy. This has to be immediately administered before abscesses begin to form. For the first phase of the therapy, the doctor may give penicillin or ampicillin. These cover the bacteria that are causing the disease.

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Symptoms of flu

One may also experience hot and tender areas around the thyroid or feel a movable lump in the neck. Fevers, chills and flu-like symptoms can follow. Swollen lymph glands will make swallowing painful and difficult. Again, you may need to take medication to alleviate the flu-like symptoms. These medications may also lessen the pain. If the drugs don't work, the doctor may require in-patient care. This is especially true for those with severe thyroiditis.

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A radiating pain

Thyroiditis may cause pain in the thyroid gland. That's because the thyroid gland becomes swollen and tender. More often than not, the pain can spread to the neck, eyes, ears, and jaw. Such pain usually lingers a while for a month to about three. A person who suffers from this condition may also feel fatigued. Other symptoms include a difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness, and more. Because of the pain involved, the doctor may prescribe medications. These medications address the pain and reduce the inflammation. In some cases, this is the only treatment necessary. Over-the-counter medication drugs like non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs should work. Taking these will relieve most of the pain.

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Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism

In the first stage of thyroiditis, one may typically develop hyperthyroidism. The person may experience mood changes, irregular heartbeats, and sudden weight loss. In its next phase, hypothyroidism will take over. Its symptoms can include cold intolerance, sudden weight gain, fatigue, depression, and more. If hyperthyroidism occurs, the doctor may require you to take beta-blockers. This medication will lower pulse rate and blood pressure. This can relieve certain symptoms like anxiety and irregular heartbeats. The treatment for thyroiditis is most of the time, temporary. Eventually, the doctor will take you off the drugs that given for your condition.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.