De Quervain's thyroiditis; Subacute nonsuppurative thyroiditis; Giant cell thyroiditis; Subacute granulomatous thyroiditis
The most obvious symptom of subacute thyroiditis is pain in the neck. Sometimes the pain can spread (radiate) to the jaw or ears. Painful enlargement of the thyroid gland may last for weeks or months.
Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Tenderness when gentle pressure is applied to the thyroid gland (
Symptoms of too much thyroid hormone (
- Weight loss
Later, symptoms of too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) may occur, including:
- Cold intolerance
Usually thyroid gland function returns to normal. But in some cases hypothyroidism may be permanent.
Signs and tests
Laboratory tests early in the course of the disease may show:
- Low serum
thyroid stimulating hormone(TSH) level
- High serum free
T4(thyroid hormone, thyroxine) level
radioactive iodine uptake
- High serum thyroglobulin level
erythrocyte sedimentation rate(ESR)
Laboratory tests later in the disease may show:
- High serum TSH level
- Low serum free T4
There may be low levels of antithyroid antibodies. Thyroid gland biopsy is usually not needed, but will show a type of inflammation characteristic of this condition. Lab tests should return to normal as the condition goes away.