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What is thyroiditis, and how does it relate to hypothyroidism?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

An inflamed thyroid gland leads to thyroiditis. The inflamed gland can leak surplus thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. For a month or so, this causes hyperthyroidism, too much thyroid hormone in the body. Eventually, it develops into hypothyroidism until the thyroid is restored to health.

There are multiple types of thyroiditis, including:

  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis (This is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland and is the leading cause of hypothyroidism.)
  • Subacute thyroiditis (This is a painful form of thyroiditis that may be related to a viral or bacterial infection. This condition typically only last a few months.)
  • Postpartum thyroiditis (Some women develop this during pregnancy or shortly after birth. For some, the condition becomes permanent.)
  • Silent thyroiditis (This thyroiditis is painless. This, too, is an autoimmune disease and can lead to permanent hypothyroidism.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.