What Is Subacute Thyroiditis?

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Thyroiditis refers to the inflammation of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis includes a group of disorders that cause the thyroid to become inflamed, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Subacute thyroiditis is a rare condition and is thought to be caused by a viral infection, as it often occurs after one, such as mumps, flu or a cold.

Subacute thyroiditis has also been reported in one study, to show up after a flu vaccination. Although definitely quite rare, the study states that subacute thyroiditis should be considered as a possible outcome following a flu jab.

The first signs are soreness and tenderness in the area of the thyroid gland, and sometimes pain spreading to other parts of the neck, ears or jaw.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism;

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • An increased body temperature
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Diarrhea

These often later develop into symptoms of hypothyroidism;

  • Fatigue, Tiredness, Weakness
  • Constipation
  • Depression/Poor mood/No motivation
  • Weight gain
  • Heavy or irregular periods
  • Over-emotional tendencies

Like all thyroid conditions, it is more common in women than men.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing or it being uncomfortable
  • Fever

If you’re suspected to have this condition, then a full thyroid panel is usually conducted as well as an examination of the affected area. In some cases, a thyroid biopsy may also be done.

In the early stages of this condition, Free T4 levels are usually high while TSH levels are low. In the later stages, TSH levels are usually high while your T4 are low.

The purpose of treatment for the condition is to reduce pain and inflammation and treat hyperthyroidism, if it occurs. Treatment for subacute thyroiditis is usually temporary, as your doctor will eventually wean you off any medications that have been prescribed to treat the condition, as you get better.

The symptoms of subacute thyroiditis usually go away within one to two years, however, hypothyroidism may end up being permanent and medicine needed for life.

The American Thyroid Association estimates that approximately 5 percent of people with subacute thyroiditis develop permanent hypothyroidism.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

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Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism

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Rachel Hill, Thyroid Patient Advocate, blogger and author, has Six 2018 WEGO Health Award Nominations. She is a highly ranked writer appearing in the Top Hypothyroidism Websites and Top Thyroid Websites 2018, with relevant qualifications and certificates in Diet and Nutrition, whilst also currently studying Life Coaching, Motivational Speaking, Reflexology and more. She has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Dr. Hedberg, Yahoo, MSN and ThyroidChange, to name just a few. She is well recognised as a useful contributor to the thyroid community and has also contributed a foreword to Emily Kyle’s The 30-Minute Thyroid Cookbook.

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