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Inflammation of the Thyroid Gland (Thyroiditis)

Lourdes endocrinologists are skilled at identifying and differentiating the several different typical causes of thyroid inflammation. Thyroiditis is usually an immune condition, or more properly an autoimmune condition, where the body makes antibodies against its own thyroid tissue.

When thyroid secretion is disrupted, symptoms of an inflamed thyroid gland may be the same as those of thyroid-hormone production conditions (typically hypothyroidism as thyroid cells are compromised by the inflammatory process, but also sometimes hyperthyroidism as the inflammation destroys thyroid gland cells, thus releasing thyroid hormone).

Over the course of a year to a year and a half, thyroid inflammation usually resolves itself. But, if the thyroid is damaged, hypothyroidism may be permanent.

Symptoms can also include those typical of infection such as fever and pain. Thyroid inflammation can be a spontaneous immune condition or can follow viral illness or pregnancy, or occur as a side effect of immune drugs or radio-iodine therapy. Treatment depends on the cause, but often the endocrinologists will prescribe beta-blocker drugs to counteract the side effects until the inflammation resolves.

To schedule an appointment with a Lourdes physician, call 1-888-LOURDES.

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