Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid gland. Forms of the disease are:
• Hashimoto's thyroiditis, also called autoimmune or chronic lymphocytic
thyroiditis, is the most common form. It is caused by antibodies attack. The
thyroid gland is always enlarged.
• Postpartum thyroiditis. Pregnant women who test positive for the thyroid
antibody during their first trimester have a 30 - 50% chance of developing
thyroiditis during the postpartum period.
• Subacute thyroiditis. Also called Quervain’s thyroiditis, it is caused by
• Silent thyroiditis. It is caused by antibodies attack with symptoms of
• Drug-induced thyroiditis
• Radiation-induced thyroiditis
• Acute thyroiditis. Infection is due to any organism, mostly bacteria.
Most forms of thyroiditis result in three phases:
• Hyperthyroidism. Overactive thyroid. When the thyroid is inflamed, it often
releases an excess of thyroid hormone, resulting in hyperthyroidism.
• Hypothyroidism. Underactive thyroid. When the supply of thyroid hormone is
depleted, the body has too little, and hypothyroidism results.
• Return to normal
Thyroiditis can switch from hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism very quickly.
Symptoms then can be confusing, with cycling over a period of days or weeks
between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism symptoms. Most types of thyroiditis
are caused due to the attack of anti-bodies on the thyroid gland. Immune
disorders, viruses, fever, and certain drugs like interferon, can cause
thyroiditis. In some cases of thyroiditis, there is no identifiable cause.