Symptoms of Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis
Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis symptoms include a completely enlarged thyroid gland, not just one area becoming enlarged. Hard and tender to the touch, the thyroid is even known to become smaller with this disease. When enlarged, pressure is then placed on other structures inside the neck. Symptoms also include fatigue, decreased metabolisms and lethargy as a side effect of the hypothyroidism that is caused by Hashimoto’s.
The thyroid gland is also known to release all stored hormones and cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism for short periods of time when the thyroid first becomes infected. Grave’s Disease is found in many patients that have or have previously had symptoms of chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis and are known to suffer from dry eyes and mouth as well as depression. Mild cases of Myasthenia Gravis is seen, where the muscles of the eye weaken. When the thyroid becomes too enlarged, it can actually cause the vocal chords to be impaired beyond use causing hard time breathing and speaking. These symptoms can be seen throughout the disease and can last well after the disease has been treated.
Treatment and Prognosis
Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis symptoms are not serious in nature for most patients, as many have no symptoms whatsoever and are not aware of the disease until blood work is completed. There are treatments for Hashimoto’s Disease for enlarged thyroids including Levothyroxine or a thyroid hormone replacement medication.
For thyroids that are not enlarged, hormone levels must be checked regularly, and follow-ups are required as hypothyroidism can occur. The prognosis for these patients is good, as many can be treated with ease.
Other diseases and disorders are associated with Hashimoto’s Disease including Addison’s Disease, hyperparathyroidism, pernicious anemia and even diabetes. Vitiligo and biliary cirrhosis are also seen commonly with the same symptoms, and therefore should be tested further. Since Hashimoto’s does not include normally a partially enlarged thyroid, if this is the case with a patient, they should have lymphoma and cancer ruled out. Once the hormone replacement has the disease under control, the vocal chords will return to normal and paralysis will normally cease.