|Above shows two parts of the thyroid that could potentially be affected if diagnosed with thyroiditis.|
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.
There are many different signs and 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 hypothyroid symptoms manifest when thyroid cell damage is slow and chronic, and may include fatigue, weight gain, feeling "fuzzy headed", depression, dry skin, 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 incipient heart failure. On the other hand, if the thyroid cell damage is acute, the thyroid hormone within the gland leaks out into the bloodstream causing symptoms of thyrotoxicosis, which is similar to those of hyperthyroidism. These symptoms include weight loss, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, fast heart rate, and fatigue. Elevated levels of thyroid hormone in the bloodstream cause both conditions, but thyrotoxicosis is the term used with thyroiditis since the thyroid gland is not overactive, as in the case of hyperthyroidism.
Thyroiditis is generally caused by an immune system attack on the thyroid, resulting in inflammation and damage to the thyroid cells. This disease is often considered a malfunction of the immune system and can be associated with IgG4-related systemic disease, in which symptoms of autoimmune pancreatitis, retroperitoneal fibrosis and noninfectious aortitis also occur. Such is also the case in Riedel thyroiditis, an inflammation in which the thyroid tissue is replaced by fibrous tissue which can extend to neighbouring structures. 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, such as in the case of subacute granulomatous thyroiditis (de Quervain). [ citation needed ]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. Some drugs, such as interferon, lithium and amiodarone, can also cause thyroiditis because they have a tendency to damage thyroid cells.
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 uptake (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. In some cases, a biopsy may be needed to find out what is attacking the thyroid.[ citation needed ]
Thyroiditis is a group of disorders that all cause thyroidal inflammation. Forms of the disease are Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the US, postpartum thyroiditis, subacute thyroiditis, silent thyroiditis, drug-induced thyroiditis, radiation-induced thyroiditis, acute thyroiditis, and Riedel's thyroiditis.
Each different type of this disease has its own causes, clinical features, diagnoses, durations, resolutions, conditions, and risks.[ citation needed ]
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. However, Hashimoto's thyroiditis can initially present with excessive thyroid hormone being released from the thyroid gland (hyperthyroid). In this case the patient may only need bed rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications; however, some need steroids to reduce inflammation and to control palpitations. Also, doctors may prescribe beta blockers to lower the heart rate and reduce tremors, until the initial hyperthyroid period has resolved.
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.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis was first described by Japanese physician Hashimoto Hakaru working in Germany in 1912. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is also known as chronic 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. Depending on the severity of the disease and how much it has progressed, doctors then decide what steps are taken for treatment.[ citation needed ]
Hyperthyroidism is the condition that occurs due to excessive production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland. Thyrotoxicosis is the condition that occurs due to excessive thyroid hormone of any cause and therefore includes hyperthyroidism. Some, however, use the terms interchangeably. Signs and symptoms vary between people and may include irritability, muscle weakness, sleeping problems, a fast heartbeat, heat intolerance, diarrhea, enlargement of the thyroid, hand tremor, and weight loss. Symptoms are typically less severe in the elderly and during pregnancy. An uncommon complication is thyroid storm in which an event such as an infection results in worsening symptoms such as confusion and a high temperature and often results in death. The opposite is hypothyroidism, when the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.
The thyroid, or thyroid gland, is an endocrine gland in the neck consisting of two connected lobes. The lower two thirds of the lobes are connected by a thin band of tissue called the thyroid isthmus. The thyroid is located at the front of the neck, below the Adam's apple. Microscopically, the functional unit of the thyroid gland is the spherical thyroid follicle, lined with follicular cells (thyrocytes), and occasional parafollicular cells that surround a lumen containing colloid. The thyroid gland secretes three hormones: the two thyroid hormones – triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) – and a peptide hormone, calcitonin. The thyroid hormones influence the metabolic rate and protein synthesis, and in children, growth and development. Calcitonin plays a role in calcium homeostasis. Secretion of the two thyroid hormones is regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is secreted from the anterior pituitary gland. TSH is regulated by thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), which is produced by the hypothalamus.
Graves' disease, also known as toxic diffuse goiter, is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. It frequently results in and is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It also often results in an enlarged thyroid. Signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include irritability, muscle weakness, sleeping problems, a fast heartbeat, poor tolerance of heat, diarrhea and unintentional weight loss. Other symptoms may include thickening of the skin on the shins, known as pretibial myxedema, and eye bulging, a condition caused by Graves' ophthalmopathy. About 25 to 80% of people with the condition develop eye problems.
Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid or low thyroid, is a disorder of the endocrine system in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. It can cause a number of symptoms, such as poor ability to tolerate cold, a feeling of tiredness, constipation, slow heart rate, depression, and weight gain. Occasionally there may be swelling of the front part of the neck due to goiter. Untreated cases of hypothyroidism during pregnancy can lead to delays in growth and intellectual development in the baby or congenital iodine deficiency syndrome.
Myxedema is a term used synonymously with severe hypothyroidism. However, the term is also used to describe a dermatological change that can occur in hyperthyroidism and (rare) paradoxical cases of hypothyroidism. In this latter sense, myxedema refers to deposition of mucopolysaccharides in the dermis, which results in swelling of the affected area. One manifestation of myxedema occurring in the lower limb is pretibial myxedema, a hallmark of Graves disease, an autoimmune form of hyperthyroidism. Myxedema can also occur in Hashimoto thyroiditis and other long-standing forms of hypothyroidism.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis and Hashimoto's disease, is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed. Early on there may be no symptoms. Over time the thyroid may enlarge, forming a painless goiter. Some people eventually develop hypothyroidism with accompanying weight gain, feeling tired, constipation, depression, and general pains. After many years the thyroid typically shrinks in size. Potential complications include thyroid lymphoma.
Ord's thyroiditis is a common form of thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease where the body's own antibodies fight the cells of the thyroid.
Thyroid disease is a medical condition that affects the function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located at the front of the neck and produces thyroid hormones that travel through the blood to help regulate many other organs, meaning that it is an endocrine organ. These hormones normally act in the body to regulate energy use, infant development, and childhood development.
De Quervain's thyroiditis, also known as subacute granulomatous thyroiditis or giant cell thyroiditis, is a member of the group of thyroiditis conditions known as resolving thyroiditis. People of all ages and genders may be affected.
Subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis is a form of thyroiditis. Subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis may occur at any age and is more common in females.
Graves ophthalmopathy, also known as thyroid eye disease (TED), is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder of the orbit and periorbital tissues, characterized by upper eyelid retraction, lid lag, swelling, redness (erythema), conjunctivitis, and bulging eyes (exophthalmos). It occurs most commonly in individuals with Graves' disease, and less commonly in individuals with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, or in those who are euthyroid.
Subacute thyroiditis is a form of thyroiditis that can be a cause of both thyrotoxicosis and hypothyroidism. It is uncommon and can affect individuals of both sexes, occurring three times as often in women than in men. and people of all ages. The most common form, subacute granulomatous, or de Quervain's, thyroiditis manifests as a sudden and painful enlargement of the thyroid gland accompanied with fever, malaise and muscle aches. Indirect evidence has implicated viral infection in the etiology of subacute thyroiditis. This evidence is limited to preceding upper respiratory tract infection, elevated viral antibody levels, and both seasonal and geographical clustering of cases. There may be a genetic predisposition.
Postpartum thyroiditis refers to thyroid dysfunction occurring in the first 12 months after pregnancy and may involve hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism or the two sequentially. It affects about 5-10% of all women within a year after giving birth. The first phase is typically hyperthyroidism. Then, the thyroid either returns to normal or a woman develops hypothyroidism. Of those women who experience hypothyroidism associated with postpartum thyroiditis, one in five will develop permanent hypothyroidism requiring lifelong treatment.
Hashimoto's encephalopathy, also known as steroid-responsive encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroiditis (SREAT), is a neurological condition characterized by encephalopathy, thyroid autoimmunity, and good clinical response to corticosteroids. It is associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. It was first described in 1966. It is sometimes referred to as a neuroendocrine disorder, although the condition's relationship to the endocrine system is widely disputed. It is recognized as a rare disease by the NIH Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.
Riedel's thyroiditis, is a chronic form of thyroiditis. It is now believed that Riedel's thyroiditis is one manifestation of a systemic disease that can affect many organ systems called IgG4-related disease. It is often a multi-organ disease affecting pancreas, liver, kidney, salivary and orbital tissues and retroperitoneum. The hallmarks of the disease are fibrosis and infiltration by IgG4 secreting plasma cells.
Thyrotoxic myopathy (TM) is a neuromuscular disorder that develops due to the overproduction of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. Also known as hyperthyroid myopathy, TM is one of many myopathies that lead to muscle weakness and muscle tissue breakdown. Evidence indicates the onset may be caused by hyperthyroidism. There are two known causes of hyperthyroidism that lead to development thyrotoxic myopathy including a multinodular goiter and Graves' disease. Physical symptoms of TM may include muscle weakness, the breakdown of muscle tissue, fatigue, and heat intolerance. Physical acts such as lifting objects and climbing stairs may become increasingly difficult. If untreated, TM can be an extremely debilitating disorder that can, in extreme rare cases, lead to death. If diagnosed and treated properly the effects can be controlled and in most cases reversed leaving no lasting effects.
Autoimmune thyroiditis, is a chronic disease in which the body interprets the thyroid glands and its hormone products T3, T4 and TSH as threats, therefore producing special antibodies that target the thyroid's cells, thereby destroying it.
Thyroid disease in pregnancy can affect the health of the mother as well as the child before and after delivery. Thyroid disorders are prevalent in women of child-bearing age and for this reason commonly present as a pre-existing disease in pregnancy, or after childbirth. Uncorrected thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy has adverse effects on fetal and maternal well-being. The deleterious effects of thyroid dysfunction can also extend beyond pregnancy and delivery to affect neurointellectual development in the early life of the child. Due to an increase in thyroxine binding globulin, an increase in placental type 3 deioidinase and the placental transfer of maternal thyroxine to the fetus, the demand for thyroid hormones is increased during pregnancy. The necessary increase in thyroid hormone production is facilitated by high human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) concentrations, which bind the TSH receptor and stimulate the maternal thyroid to increase maternal thyroid hormone concentrations by roughly 50%. If the necessary increase in thyroid function cannot be met, this may cause a previously unnoticed (mild) thyroid disorder to worsen and become evident as gestational thyroid disease. Currently, there is not enough evidence to suggest that screening for thyroid dysfunction is beneficial, especially since treatment thyroid hormone supplementation may come with a risk of overtreatment. After women give birth, about 5% develop postpartum thyroiditis which can occur up to nine months afterwards.This is characterized by a short period of hyperthyroidism followed by a period of hypothyroidism; 20–40% remain permanently hypothyroid.
Antithyroid autoantibodies (or simply antithyroid antibodies) are autoantibodies targeted against one or more components on the thyroid. The most clinically relevant anti-thyroid autoantibodies are anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies (anti-TPO antibodies, TPOAb), thyrotropin receptor antibodies (TRAb) and thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb). TRAb's are subdivided into activating, blocking and neutral antibodies, depending on their effect on the TSH receptor. Anti-sodium/Iodide (Anti–Na+/I−) symporter antibodies are a more recent discovery and their clinical relevance is still unknown. Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis are commonly associated with the presence of anti-thyroid autoantibodies. Although there is overlap, anti-TPO antibodies are most commonly associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and activating TRAb's are most commonly associated with Graves' disease. Thyroid microsomal antibodies were a group of anti-thyroid antibodies; they were renamed after the identification of their target antigen (TPO).
Thyroid disease in women is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid in women. This condition can have a profound effect during pregnancy and on the child. It also is called Hashimoto's thyroiditis (theye-royd-EYET-uhss). During pregnancy, the infant may be seriously affected and have a variety of birth defects. Many women with Hashimoto's disease develop an underactive thyroid. They may have mild or no symptoms at first, but symptoms tend to worsen over time. If a woman is pregnant and has symptoms of Hashimoto's disease, the clinician will do an exam and order one or more tests.