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Thyroiditis
Classification and external resources

Above shows two parts of the thyroid that could potentially be affected if diagnosed with thyroiditis.
ICD-10 E06.
ICD-9 245
DiseasesDB 13095
eMedicine ped/2248
MeSH D013966

Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located on the front of the neck below the laryngeal prominence, and makes hormones that control metabolism.

Contents

Classification

There are many different types of thyroiditis, with the most common being Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Other forms of the disease are postpartum thyroiditis, subacute thyroiditis, silent thyroiditis, drug-induced thyroiditis, radiation-induced thyroiditis, and acute thyroiditis.[1]

Each different type of this disease has its own causes, clinical features, diagnoses, durations, resolutions, conditions and risks.

Symptoms

There are many different symptoms for thyroiditis, none of which are exclusively limited to this disease. Many of the signs imitate symptoms of other diseases, so thyroiditis can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms may include fatigue, weight gain, feeling "fuzzy headed," depression and constipation. Other, rarer symptoms include swelling of the legs, vague aches and pains, decreased concentration and so on. When conditions become more severe, depending on the type of thyroiditis, one may start to see puffiness around the eyes, slowing of the heart rate, a drop in body temperature, or even future heart failure.[2]

Causes

Thyroiditis is generally caused by an attack on the thyroid, resulting in inflammation and damage to the thyroid cells. This disease is often considered a malfunction of the immune system. Antibodies that attack the thyroid are what causes most types of thyroiditis. It can also be caused by an infection, like a virus or bacteria, which works in the same way as antibodies to cause inflammation in the glands.[3] Certain people make thyroid antibodies, and thyroiditis can be considered an autoimmune disease, because the body acts as if the thyroid gland is foreign tissue.[4] Some drugs, such as interferon and amiodarone, can also cause thyroiditis because they have a tendency to damage thyroid cells.

Diagnosis

The most common and helpful way to diagnose thyroiditis is first for a physician to palpate the thyroid gland during a physical examination. Laboratory tests allow doctors to evaluate the patient for elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rates, elevated thyroglobulin levels, and depressed radioactive iodine intake (Mather, 2007). Blood tests also help to determine the kind of thyroiditis and to see how much thyroid stimulating hormone the pituitary gland is producing and what antibodies are present in the body. Iodine testing might also be done to measure the thyroid’s ability to take up iodine.[5] In some cases a biopsy may be needed to find out what is attacking the thyroid.

Conditions

Most types of thyroiditis are three to five times more likely to be found in women than in men. The average age of onset is between thirty and fifty years of age. This disease tends to be geographical and seasonal, and is most common in summer and fall.[2]

Treatment

Treatments for this disease depend on the type of thyroiditis that is diagnosed. For the most common type, which is known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the treatment is to immediately start hormone replacement. This prevents or corrects the hypothyroidism, and it also generally keeps the gland from getting bigger.[6] Often, victims of this disease only need bed rest and aspirin; however, some need steroids to reduce inflammation and to control palpitations. Depending on the type of thyroiditis, doctors may prescribe drugs called beta blockers to lower the heart rate and reduce tremors.[7]

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto's thyroiditis was first discovered by Japanese physician Hashimoto in 1912. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is also known as lymphocytic thyroiditis, and patients with this disease often complain about difficulty swallowing. This condition may be so mild at first that the disease goes unnoticed for years. The first symptom that shows signs of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a goiter on the front of the neck.[6] Depending on the severity of the disease and how much it has progressed, doctors then decide what steps are taken for treatment.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Thyroiditis." www.thyroid.org. 2005. American Thyroid Association. 13 Mar. 2008 <http://www.thyroid.org/patients/brochures/Thyroiditis.pdf>.
  2. ^ a b Thyroiditis." Familydoctor.Org. 2007. American Academy of Family Physicians. 9 Mar. 2008 <http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common /hormone /913.html>.
  3. ^ De Groot, Leslie J., Nobuyuki Amino, and Akamizu Takashi. "Hashimoto's Thryoiditis." 30 Jan. 2007. Takashi Akamizu. 3 Mar. 2008 <www.thyroidmanager.org/Chapter8/chapter8.html>.
  4. ^ Mather, M.d., Ruchi. "Hashimoto's Thryoiditis." Medicine.Net. 8 Sept. 2007. 9 Mar. 2008 <http://www.medicinenet.com/hashimotos_thyroiditis/article.htm>.
  5. ^ Slatosky, D.o; John, Benjamin Shipman; Haney Wahba, D.o, Thyroiditis: Differential Diagnosis and Management 
  6. ^ a b "Hashimoto's Thryoiditis." ECureMe.Com. 2003. 15 Mar. 2008 <http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.ecureme.com>.
  7. ^ "Hashimotos Disease." Health Encyclopedia Diseases and ConditioNS. 2008. USA Today. 9 Mar. 2008 <http://www.healthscout.com/ency/68/277/main.html>.
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