Thyroiditis (Hashimoto's Disease)

UW Health endocrine surgeons in Madison, Wisconsin, treat thyroiditis, a generic term for any inflammation of the thyroid gland.


Causes of Thyroiditis


Sometimes, thyroiditis is caused by a viral infection - it can cause painful swelling of the thyroid gland and may cause release of excess thyroid hormone. This type of thyroiditis can last several days to weeks, but usually requires no specific treatment other than pain medications and rest.


After a bout of thyroiditis, however, the thyroid gland may not work as well as it did before, and some patients have hypothyroidism - too little thyroid hormone. This can be treated with medications.


Chronic Forms of Thyroiditis


The most common type of chronic thyroiditis called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Usually, Hashimoto's disease can be managed with medications.

For patients with severe enough symptoms, surgical removal of the entire thyroid gland is recommended.


Indications for surgery include:

  • Thyroid nodules in addition to thyroiditis
  • Severe symptoms from the thyroid gland compressing the neck
  • Fluctuating levels of thyroid hormone from worsening bouts of thyroiditis

Treating Hashimoto's Disease


UW Health endocrine surgeon Rebecca Sippel, MD, discusses treating Hashimoto's disease.