Generally, thyroiditis is a disease wherein the thyroid
or the thyroid gland becomes inflamed. It includes many types which manifest in different ways, but this article will only tackle three, along with their respective proper treatment methods and medications.
If you’re a medical bookworm, then perhaps you’ve already come across with the term “Hashimoto’s thyroiditis”. If you
‘re not that kind of reader, chances are, you’ve read or heard it somewhere else. That’s not unusual, since among the three types we will be discussing, Hashimoto’s has the greatest conventionality—not only in itself, but also as a source of hypothyroidism. It is rightfully named after Hakaru Hashimoto, the first doctor to discuss the disease during the early 1900s. However, it is now also known as autoimmune or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis.
One of the ways to identify if a person has Hashimoto’s is looking at the presence of thyroid antibodies in their body. When a person has Hashimoto’s, his thyroid is also significantly enlarged due to the ineffective conversion of iodine into essential thyroid hormones. This results in the iodine being caught up in the gland. However, eventually
, high levels of thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH), excluding thyroxine (T4), are produced. Once this happens, the person becomes hypothyroid —a state where one lacks a sufficient amount of thyroid hormones to support the body’s metabolism.
This situation already requires medication. Replacing the thyroid hormones in the body is an option since this process helps avoid the re-occurrence of hypothyroidism, and also shrinks the thyroid.
The next type of thyroiditis we will be talking about is De Quervain’s thyroiditis. De Quervain’s is sometimes referred to as subacute or granulomatous thyroiditis, and is not as common.
In both Hashimoto’s and De Quervain’s, there is an enlargement of the thyroid, but the latter involves a quicker phase of swelling. The swollen thyroid gland is soft, yet very painful. What happens is that thyroid hormones go into the blood stream, which is also known as hyperthyroid. As opposed to Hashimoto’s, iodine levels are low, sediment rates are high, and antibodies are not found in the body.
To treat De Quervain’s, a person should not get tired out. It is recommended to avoid strenuous activities. Aspirin or cortisone may be also used to reduce the swelling of the thyroid. More often than not, the gland will heal after a few months and won’t swell again. However, after a situation of hyperthyroid, the patient may also need thyroid hormones treatment.
The last type is Silent Thyroiditis
—the least common of the three. It is somewhat a combination of Hashimoto’s and De Quervain’s, with a swollen but not painful thyroid, and thyroid hormones present in the blood. Radioactive iodine is also low. It may sound like Silent Thyroiditis is a silent killer, but in reality, it isn’t. In fact, the best treatment is simply bed rest. While resting, one may also opt to take medication that prevents palpitations. There’s really no need to stress, as more than half of the patients with Silent thyroiditis recover soon enough. However, some suffer from hypothyroidism and may need regular treatments of thyroid hormones. More often than not, this type of thyroiditis does not require treatment.
Therefore, if you’re suffering from thyroid issues, or know someone who is, just remember to read about the types of thyroiditis to know what needs to be dealt with. Recovery is not impossible, as long as one is equipped with the right information and the will to overcome any illness.