Thyroiditis is a medical condition that describes inflammation of the thyroid gland. A variety of conditions and factors can contribute to this inflammation, so it’s important to get to the bottom of your condition so the right treatment plan can be put in place. Below, we take a closer look at the causes, symptoms and treatment options for thyroiditis.
Causes and Symptoms of Thyroiditis
Thyroiditis can be caused by a number of different things, but at the surface level, it is caused when an action provokes an inflammatory response from your thyroid. Certain autoimmune conditions like juvenile diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can trigger an inflammatory response, as can other conditions that lead to the development of anti-thyroid antibodies. Other times, the inflammatory response can be the result of a virus or bacterial infection. Finally, certain medications can lead to thyroid inflammation and thyroiditis.
There aren’t any symptoms that are unique to thyroiditis, so the following conditions may be caused by thyroiditis, another thyroid condition or an unrelated health condition. Symptoms include:
- Dry skin
- Unexplained weight gain/loss
- Irregular heartbeat
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, talk to your primary care physician or a thyroid specialist like Dr. Koeplin. Because a number of different problems could be to blame for the inflammation, it’s imperative that you get a clinical diagnosis in order to begin a correct treatment plan.
During a diagnosis, Dr. Koeplin will ask about your symptoms, review your medical history and conduct a physical exam. He may be able to get a better gauge of your symptoms during the physical exam, but he likely won’t be able to make a definitive diagnosis with just the physical exam. He’ll likely confirm his suspicions with an imaging test or blood test to determine what’s going on with your thyroid.
Treatment depends on the acute cause of your thyroiditis. For some, it may be as simple as finding a medication that does not cause side effects with their thyroid gland. For others, treatment is a little more complicated. Individuals with a thyroid condition that leads to inflammation could benefit from medications, beta blockers and steroid therapy. For those whose inflammation is a result of an infection, treating the infection with antibiotics can help to resolve the condition. Rarely is surgery necessary, unless the inflammation is a result of thyroid cancer.
For more information about thyroiditis or how it is managed, reach out to Dr. Koeplin’s office today.