De Quervain’s thyroiditis

The De Quervain’s thyroiditis - A form of thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland) that is uncommon and is caused by a viral infection; the condition often follows a viral infection of the nose and throat.

The thyroid gland, which is situated in the front of the neck, may become painful and swollen; this swelling is sometimes accompanied by fever. There is a temporary rise in thyroid hormone levels (hyperthyroidism) lasting for a few weeks, as damage to the thyroid gland causes it to release its hormone stores. This is followed by insufficient levels (hypothyroidism) when the stores then become depleted.

Aspirin is used to treat the inflammation, with a short course of the corticosteroid drug prednisolone given in more severe cases. Thyroid function usually returns to normal once the illness has been treated.


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