Thyroiditis is a temporary inflammation of the thyroid, in which the gland abruptly releases accelerated amounts of thyroid hormone into the blood. It generally lasts only a few weeks or months.
The two most common forms of thyroiditis are:
- Subacute thyroiditis, which often occurs after such viruses as a cold or respiratory tract infection.
- Postpartum Thyroiditis, a fairly common condition in women who have just given birth.
During the initial phase of thyroiditis, excessive hormone levels in the blood may lead to:
- Feelings of shakiness
- Racing heart
- Weight loss despite a good appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
Diagnosis and Treatment
In the vast majority of cases, the thyroid eventually heals on its own and resumes normal function within a few months. Therefore, most patients don't need any specific treatment, but rather just close observation.
However, if you are uneasy or uncomfortable, your doctor may prescribe a beta-blocker to control such symptoms as anxiety or a racing heart, in addition to over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol or ibuprofen for pain.
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