In today’s article, we’ll let you know all about a condition called silent thyroiditis. This health condition is characterized by the inflammation of the thyroid gland that is caused due to an immune reaction of the thyroid gland. It is a variant of Hashimoto's Disease.
Silent Thyroiditis can happen to women who have just had a baby and have a slight imbalance in the thyroid gland. It can also be the cause of certain medications and chemotherapy that plays havoc with the immune system.
Some other names for Silent Thyroiditis are:
- Lymphocytic Thyroiditis
- Painless Thyroiditis
- Subacute Lymphocytic Thyroiditis
Who are at a risk?
- Females (postpartum or middle-aged)
- The family history of silent thyroiditis
- Autoimmune disorders like lupus
- Immune thrombocytopenia
- Cancer patients having radiation therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Surgical removal of adrenal gland for Cushing syndrome
If you are one among them, it does not mean that you will definitely have silent thyroiditis. You may be at a risk of developing the disease but there are also chances that you might not have this.
Read on to know more about the signs and symptoms of silent thyroiditis.
Signs and Symptoms of Silent Thyroiditis:
In Silent Thyroiditis, the symptoms noted are generally of hyperthyroidism that is followed by hypothyroidism.
The condition exhibits very mild symptoms-
- Fatigue, feeling weak
- Frequent bowel movements
- Heat intolerance
- Increased appetite
- Increased sweating
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Mood changes, such as irritability
- Muscle cramps
- Heart Palpitations
- Sudden Weight loss
These are followed by symptoms related to hypothyroidism like fatigue, constipation, cold intolerance or weight gain.
However, the symptoms may vary from one person to another.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Silent Thyroiditis:
As the symptoms of silent thyroiditis are very mild, this health disorder often goes undiagnosed. However, a clinical evaluation is suggested if you experience any such symptom. As it is quite common among women who have just given birth if they have been tested positive for thyroid during pregnancy, a preventive test for silent thyroiditis is recommended.
Doctors also physically test for the swollen or shrunken thyroid gland, increased heart rate, and shaking hands.
The doctor will treat the condition based on its severity and symptoms.
Possible complications related to Silent Thyroiditis:
Although silent thyroiditis reverts back to its normal level with time, in some cases, hypothyroidism may persist permanently. It might lead to following health complications like –
- Heart diseases
- Increased risk of infection
A follow-up should be recommended to all post-partum women and thyroid levels in the blood should be checked as part of preventive measures.