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Thyroiditis: What I need to know
7/31/2015 3:47:16 PM
The number people having a thyroid problem is constantly increasing. If you look at a graph showing the number of thyroid cases over the past decade there is only a flight in the graph and never a dip.

The Thyroid, a butterfly shaped gland assists in many functions related in our body. It assists in the function of many vital organs like the heart, brain and lungs.
There are many illnesses that can affect the thyroid and disrupt normal bodily functions. One in particular is called thyroiditis. Thyroiditis refers to inflammation of the thyroid gland.

Here are the different types of thyroiditis:

Hashimoto’s disease: This is the most common form of thyroiditis. The immune system begins to attack the thyroid gland and can lead to hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid, which leads to slower growth and mental development).
Postpartum thyroiditis: Occurs when the thyroid becomes inflamed after giving birth. The result is thyrotoxicosis – high amounts of thyroid hormones in the blood. This can speed up the metabolic rate and disrupt regular bodily functions. It is not a common form.
Subacute granulomatous thyroiditis: This form of thyroiditis can result in pain as well as respiratory infections.
Subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis: This form of thyroiditis can also be referred to as silent thyroiditis, because there is little to no pain when the thyroid gets bigger. Typically, women go through a short period of hyperthyroidism followed by what can become permanent hypothyroidism. This disorder is most common on postpartum women.
Drug-induced thyroiditis: This is commonly caused when drugs interfere with the thyroid.
So What are the main causes of thyroiditis.
Generally the cause of thyroiditis is the immune system attacking the thyroid, which leads to inflammation. This in turn can leave damage to the cells in the thyroid. Thyroiditis can be referred to as an autoimmune disease, similar to juvenile diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
It is unclear as to why a person’s body may produce antibodies that attack the thyroid, but it’s been speculated that thyroiditis runs in families.

Signs and Symptoms of Thyroiditis
Different types of thyroiditis present themselves differently, but there are some common signs and symptoms to look out for. They include:
·Firm or enlarged thyroid
·Enlarged and painful thyroid – pain may travel up the jaw to the ears
·Cool, dry skin
·Slowed heartbeat (fewer than 60 beats per minute)
·Swelling around the eyes
·Slowed reflexes
·Reduced appetite
·Fatigued and lethargic
·Slight fever
·Intolerance to heat
·Rapid heartbeat, anxiety and sweating
·Weight loss

Postpartum thyroiditis in particular can be difficult to diagnose because it occurs within a year after childbirth. Often the symptoms are attributed to the stress of having a newborn or postpartum depression.
What can one do in terms of Nutrition and Prevention
Medication, and in rare occurrences, surgery may be used for treatment. But to supplement medical treatments it’s important to maintain proper nutrition.

Just as our body requires nutrients for it to function properly, so does the thyroid either. This is why thyroiditis and diet is so important for proper management.
There are certain types of food which are best for thyroid. They are iodine rich foods and selenium rich foods.

Hypothyroidism is something you can live with. Along with medications, a hypothyroidism diet can greatly improve your everyday life and assist your thyroid. Enjoying these foods to help hypothyroidism is a great way to boost iodine and selenium – both essential for a healthy thyroid. Lastly, ensuring you’re not consuming the foods to avoid for hypothyroidism can help you feel better in the long run and make your thyroid hormone replacement that much more effective.


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