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The symptoms of thyroiditis are the result of inflammation of the thyroid and impaired thyroid function. These symptoms depend on the severity and intensity of the underlying cause, and are the same as in hypothyroidism.
If the thyroiditis causes the slow, chronic deterioration and destruction of thyroid cells, this leads to progressive hypothyroidism (see chapter on hypothyroidism), as in Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
If the thyroiditis causes the rapid deterioration and destruction of thyroid cells, as in subacute and postpartum thyroiditis, thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland are released into the blood and cause thyrotoxicosis symptoms, in other words, hyperthyroidism.
The term thyrotoxicosis is used in the case of thyroiditis, because although the thyroid does not increase its secretion of hormones, as in hyperthyroidism, the hormone level does go up due to the inflammation and destruction of the gland. Thyrotoxicosis is temporary, lasting until the stored hormones are eliminated. After this, hypothyroidism sets in because the inflamed thyroid is unable to secrete hormones and there are no hormone stores left. In most cases, the thyroid recovers from the hypothyroidism after the inflammation, and returns to normal function within 3-6 months.
Mireia Mora PortaEndocrinologistNutrition and Endocrinology Department
Published: 14 June 2021
Updated: 14 June 2021
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