There are no unique symptoms of thyroiditis. In some cases, thyroiditis can cause slow and chronic cell damage and destruction, causing the thyroid levels to fall below normal, thus they suffer from hypothyroidism. Common symptoms of this group of patient are fatigue, constipation, depression, poor exercise tolerance, and weight gain.
When the thyroiditis causes rapid damage of the thyroid gland, the hormone (which is stored in the gland) leaks out, causing the level of hormone to increase, and the patients suffer from thyrotoxicosis, the symptoms of which are similar to hyperthyroidism such as anxiety, palpitations, fatigue, weight loss, insomnia and irritability.
Acute thyroiditis: The laboratory data of the patients with acute thyroiditis is similar to acute systemic illness. Leukocytosis, increased sedimentation rate, and thyroid function test within the normal reference range.
Subacute thyroiditis: The data from the patients with subacute thyroiditis is similar to those with abnormal thyroid functions. Though initially the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level is decreased, sometimes, permanent hypothyroidism may also develop. White blood cell count in such patients is within the normal or slightly elevated reference range. C-reactive protein levels are also elevated in such patients.
Chronic thyroiditis: Laboratory data of patients with chronic thyroiditis are found to be abnormal with evidence of autoimmunity. In subclinical and overt hypothyroidism, TSH levels are increased, while in children with hyperthyroidism, this level is suppressed.
Elevated antithyroid peroxidase antibody levels are the most sensitive indicator of the autoimmunity.
Radioactive iodine thyroid scanning: Though this type of scanning is not necessary for acute suppurative thyroiditis and chronic thyroiditis, it can help to diagnose subacute thyroiditis.
Thyroid ultrasonography: Helps to reveal the formation of abscess patients with acute thyroiditis.
Degree of hyopoechogenicity on ultrasonography: Benefits are dependent on the degree of the thyroid dysfunction  .
The treatment of thyroiditis depends on the type of the disease as well as the clinical presentation.
Thyrotoxicosis: The symptomatic relief can be brought out depending on the symptoms. In order to decrease the palpitations, beta blockers are used. With the improvement of the symptoms, the medications are reduced as the thyrotoxic phase was temporary. Antithyroid drugs are not used for the thyrotoxic stage.
Hypothyroidism: Hormone replacement therapy for hypothyroidism induced by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is common. In patients with thyroiditis (subacute, painless and post-partum), thyroid hormone therapy can be indicated. This treatment must continue for 6-12 months and then tapered depending on the requirements.
Thyroidal pain: Subacute thyroiditis can cause pain. In such cases, mild anti-inflammatory medications are indicated. When these pains become severe, steroid therapy with prednisone is indicated  .
The prognosis of thyroiditis depends on the cause of the disease. Patients with Hashimoto’s disease may progress to complete thyroid failure, causing permanent hypothyroidism. On correct and early diagnosis, hypothyroidism responds well to the treatment. Goiter following autoimmune thyroiditis may not resolve completely. Other types of thyroiditis can be managed well with treatment with total resolution of the disease.
Thyroiditis can be broadly classified into:
The most common type of thyroiditis is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis named after the Japanese physician. This disease is an autoimmune lymphocytic thyroiditis  .
Depending on the screening procedures, the prevalence of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis varies. In some areas across the globe, the prevalence is as high as 12.5%. The region where the antibiotic use is less prevalent, acute thyroiditis is common.
Though there is no long-term mortality or morbidity due to thyroiditis, patients with autoimmune thyroiditis may develop hypothyroidism requiring treatment for life. Those patients, who suffer from subacute thyroiditis, may have hyperthyroidism, which may resolve on its own. Normal thyroid function is generally restored in patients with acute thyroiditis  .
Acute suppurative thyroiditis: This type of thyroiditis is rare among children. The most common organism that causes this type of thyroiditis belongs to genus Streptococcus; though some other aerobic and anaerobic bacteria may be involved.
Subacute thyroiditis: Viral infection is the cause of subacute thyroiditis. Some of the viral diseases that precede thyroiditis are mumps, influenza, adenoviral, malaria, myocarditis, measles or Q-fever.
To avoid the complications of thyroiditis, the most important step that one can take is to maintain personal hygiene. As mentioned above, the etiology of the disease lies in the pathogens: bacteria and virus. These interactions with such pathogens are possible by maintaining hygiene. Early diagnosis of the autoimmune thyroiditis can help the patient to learn about the management of the manifestations that may ensue as the disease progresses.
Thyroiditis is a group of disorders which are characterized by an inflammation of the thyroid gland and may manifest in a number of different ways, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (which is the most common form), postpartum thyroiditis, and subacute thyroiditis. In some patients, drugs such as interferon and amiodarone can also cause this inflammation and this is often referred to as secondary thyroiditis .
Thyroiditis is a group of disorders which are characterized by an inflammation of the thyroid gland. If there is consistent irritation, fatigue, anxiety, palpitations or sudden weight changes, it may be related to thyroid functioning. The altered levels of thyroxin (high or low) can cause such symptoms. Hence, meeting up the family physician is a good idea.