The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located near your Adam’s apple that produces the hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).4 T3 and T4 regulate all aspects of your metabolism, such as the rate at which your body uses carbohydrates, your body temperature, and your protein production.3
Thyroiditis is thyroid gland inflammation (swelling).7 Thyroiditis symptoms may include fatigue, weight gain, and constipation.5,7 Your thyroiditis treatment will depend on the type and cause of your inflammation symptoms.5 Our self-guided physician directory can help you determine which treatment is right for you.
When the thyroid hormone becomes inflamed it produces more hormones than usual. After weeks or months of excessive hormone release, the thyroid’s hormones become depleted, causing hypothyroidism.7
There are different kinds of thyroiditis. Each type has a different cause:5,6,7
Symptoms of hypothyroidism may become permanent and can include: 5,7
The following blood tests diagnose thyroiditis:8
Other tests that can be used to diagnose thyroiditis include:8
Thyroiditis treatment depends on your diagnosis. Some of the more common treatments include:5,6,9
Drug-induced thyroiditis generally lasts as long as the drugs are taken.9 In rare cases, if other treatments have failed, surgery may be recommended.5 It may include the partial removal of the thyroid gland (hemi-thyroidectomy or thyroid lobectomy) or removal of the entire gland (near-total thyroidectomy). 11
Your healthcare provider will help you decide which treatment is best for you. With the exception of Hashimoto's thyroiditis (a lifelong condition that requires continuous treatment9), most people who are treated recover from thyroiditis within 12-18 months. 10
Thyroiditis doesn’t have to disrupt your lifestyle. To find a thyroid doctor near you that can determine which treatment will benefit you most, click here.
If your thyroid is producing too few hormones, you may suffer from fatigue, dry skin, and weight gain.7
What does it mean when you test positive for thyroid antibodies?
The presence of thyroid antibodies indicates that you may have a form of thyroiditis caused by an autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.7 While the reasons why some patients create thyroid antibodies is unknown, it is believed to be hereditary. 6
Silent thyroiditis, also known as painless thyroiditis, is a type of autoimmune disease in which your body attacks your thyroid gland with anti-thyroid antibodies.7 It usually doesn’t present symptoms.5
Also known as de Quervain's thyroiditis, this form of thyroiditis is caused by viral infection. 7
Riedel's thyroiditis is a very rare disease in which dense scar tissue (fibrosis) replaces healthy thyroid tissue. The condition may cause breathing and speaking difficulties.2 Medications (like corticosteroids and tamoxifen) and surgery may be used to treat the condition.1
There are many types of blood tests that can detect thyroid problems, such as thyroid function tests (which measure the levels of thyroid hormones in the blood) and thyroid antibody tests (which can detect the presence of an autoimmune condition).8 Click here to learn more about thyroid hormone blood tests.
1. Guerin, Chris K. “Riedel Thyroiditis Treatment & Management.” Medscape. Griffing George T, English, Mar 07, 2017, emedicine.medscape.com/article/125243-treatment. Accessed April 2, 2018.
2. Guerin, Chris K. “Riedel Thyroiditis.” Medscape. George T Griffing, English, Mar 07, 2017, emedicine.medscape.com/article/125243-overview#a4. Accessed April 2, 2018.
3. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).” MayoClinic.org. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20350284. Published December 6, 2017. Accessed April 2, 2018.
4. Northrup, Christiane. “What is Thyroid Disease? Common Thyroid Disease Symptoms To Look For.” Christiane Northrup, M.D. Christiane Northrup, October 24, 2017, www.drnorthrup.com/thyroid-disease/. Accessed April 2, 2018.
5. Ratini, Melinda. “What Is Thyroiditis?” WebMD. WebMD, LLC, 2017, www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-thyroiditis#1. Accessed April 2, 2018.
6. “Thyroiditis.” American Thyroid Association. www.thyroid.org/thyroiditis/. Accessed April 2, 2018.
7. “Thyroiditis.” Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, January 28, 2014, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15455-thyroiditis. Accessed April 2, 2018.
8. “Thyroiditis: Diagnosis and Tests.” Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, January 28, 2014, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15455-thyroiditis/diagnosis-and-tests. Accessed April 2, 2018.
9. “Thyroiditis: Management and Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, January 28, 2014, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15455-thyroiditis/management-and-treatment. Accessed April 2, 2018.
10. “Thyroiditis: Outlook / Prognosis.” Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, January 28, 2014, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15455-thyroiditis/outlook--prognosis. Accessed April 2, 2018.
11. “Thyroid Surgery.” American Thyroid Association. www.thyroid.org/thyroid-surgery/. Accessed April 2, 2018.
As with any prescription medication, talk to your doctor about any existing medical conditions, and let your doctor know immediately if you experience any side effects.
Tell your doctor if:
Warnings: Don’t Take For
Use WP Thyroid® and Nature-Throid® exactly as prescribed. Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, do not stop taking either medication or alter how often it’s taken. Many factors can contribute to the length of time symptoms are alleviated, though generally people feel an improvement within a few weeks. For some, though, improvement in symptoms may take up to three months. Your doctor will determine which dose is right for you. If any life changes or new symptoms occur, consult your doctor to adjust your dose. Continue to see your doctor until your dosage levels prove stable based on your lab work, then continue to see your doctor at their request. Thyroid replacement therapy is usually taken for life.