181 Physicians Online


Treatment of subacute thyroiditis and autoimmune thyroiditis

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I have Subcutaneous Thyroiditis again and the last time I went to a Thyroid "Specialist" he said there was nothing they could do for the condition and it would soon go away. He also said it could reoccur at any time. Isn't there anything they can do for this condition? It is very uncomfortable, painful, and the fatigue, shortness of breath, insomnia, constipation etc. are all troublesome. I have many autoimmune diseases and didn't need this one. Is there no cure or medication that can be given to help with this condition?


The term thyroiditis includes a wide variety of disorders characterized by some form of inflammation of the thyroid gland. It may be caused by: infection, viral or bacterial; auto-immune disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland as it recognizes the gland as foreign tissue; drugs (amiodarone); post partum; fibrous disease (Riedels thyroiditis); subacute granulomatus thyroiditis (de Quervains thyroiditis); and chronic lymphocytic disease (Hashimotos thyroiditis). The treatment of thyroiditis is related to the underlying cause. If your thyroiditis is accompanied by a painful and tender thyroid gland it may be due to subacute granulomatous thyroiditis rather than autoimmune disease. Subacute thyroiditis is presumed to be caused by a viral infection or a postviral inflammatory process and a previous history of autoimmunity may be linked. The difference between subacute thyroiditis and autoimmune thyroiditis, is that subacute thyroiditis is self-limited and often runs a distinct course, unlike autoimmune thyroid disease. In subacute thyroiditis there is a distinctive pattern with an initial overactive phase which lasts only until the stores of T4 and T3 are depleted, usually two to six weeks, then the underactive phase (which rarely can be permanent) and complete recovery may take up to 8 or 9 months. Treatment of subacute thyroiditis is directed at providing relief for thyroid pain and tenderness with antiinflammatory therapy with either a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) or prednisone. Prednisone therapy should result in pain relief in one to two days; if not, the diagnosis should be questioned. Treatment of autoimmune thyroiditis is thyroid hormone replacement with levothyroxine sodium, usually for life. I advise consulting your endocrinologist to discuss which treatment option would be beneficial in your case.

Sign In to join in the conversation.

You’re in good hands, meet ATD’s founding physicians.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • Board Certified GP
  • CMO ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Adjunct Professor at U Of T

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
  • Director ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Fellowship Training Atlanta, GA

Related Answers:

For years I have taken Llevothyroxine at a 0.125 daily dose and I was getting along fine with that dose for a period ...

I was asked to get a series of tests done after complaining about allergy symptoms, i.e. swollen lips and hives. Doct...

Started taking levothyroxine 50mg a day had awful side effects, all the symptoms of pms no periods these stopped, wen...

Hi, I am 36 years old and about 5 years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I am taking Euthyrox 50. 5 month ago...

I recently had bloodwork and had a tsh (results0.8685 - normal range .03-4.94) and free t4 (1.08 normal range 0.71-2....

Nausea and vomiting for 2 days now, medication for the vomiting and nausea please

Hi, I am 29 years old, I had a TSH & THYROXINE FREE (FT4) test yesterday, Reading of THYROXINE FREE (FT4) - 11....

I have been detected with high TSH ( 7.95), FT3 - 2.86 and FT4 - 0.89. One Endocrinologist told me no medication is r...

Dear Sir, I am suffering from thyroid fro the past three years i.e., from 2012. I am female and 29 years old now...

I am out of a job and no money coming in. I have been out of my levothyroxin 100MCG for two months now. I have the mo...