De Quervain’s Thyroiditis / Post Partum Thyroiditis
De Quervain’s thyroiditis is a painful swelling of the thyroid gland which is presumed to be caused by a viral infection like mumps or flu and is common mostly in females between the age group of 20 to 50. The symptoms are fever with pain in the neck, jaw or ear besides other symptoms like anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, weight loss or irritability. This is result of too much thyroid hormone in the blood known as thyrotoxicosis. This ailment settles down after a period of time and is followed by a spell of hypothyroidism which may last for a few weeks before the complete recovery of the thyroid gland. Post partum thyroiditis is caused due to problems with the immune system which happens with women, four months after birth wherein the immune system affects the thyroid gland leading the thyroid hormones to leak out into the blood. The outcome of this is a temporary rise in thyroid hormone levels and may include symptom of an overactive thyroid gland. After a period of four to eight month the thyroid gland get depleted of thyroid hormones with a fall in thyroid hormone level followed by symptoms of underactive thyroid gland though not all women may go through both these phases.
Painless thyroiditis is somewhat same as post partum thyroiditis, though it is not related to giving birth and it can affect both women as well as men. Radioactive iodine treatment conducted for an overactive thyroid gland or radiation therapy in treating certain cancers could also cause damage to the thyroid gland with symptoms of high as well as low levels of thyroid hormones. Acute or infectious thyroiditis is caused by bacterial infection with symptoms of pain in the throat, swelling of the thyroid gland, with low or high level of thyroid hormones and the infection is treated with antibiotics.