An underactive thyroid may cause a sore throat

Sore throat with inflammation of the thyroid gland

09.11.2008

The signs of an inflammation of the thyroid gland can easily be mistaken for a harmless cold ...

Sore throats are not always the result of a harmless cold, they can also indicate an inflammation of the thyroid gland. A swollen and pressure-sensitive thyroid should be examined by a specialist, advises the Association of German Internists (BDI). Otherwise the hormonal balance of the body threatens to get mixed up.

Typical symptoms of acute thyroid inflammation are severe pain in the larynx, which can spread to the entire head or chest. “With an inflamed thyroid gland, the pain can often not be precisely localized. As a result, the symptoms are easily mistaken for inflammation of the lining of the throat, nose, ears or tonsils. Unlike a common cold, however, the symptoms do not subside after a few days and those affected feel seriously ill, "explains Dr. Ullrich Schindlbeck from the BDI.

Painful and painless form

However, not all thyroiditis is associated with pain. So-called Hashimoto's inflammation is painless. This autoimmune disease initially triggers an overactive and then an underactive thyroid, thereby damaging the hormone-producing thyroid cells - weight gain, constipation as well as dry skin and brittle hair can result. Giant cell thyroiditis, also known as de Quervain's thyroiditis, is painful, however. This form of inflammation also first leads to an overactive thyroid and causes weight loss, nervousness, hot flashes and palpitations and later turns into hypothyroidism.

For giant cell thyroiditis, the doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, including cortisone in severe cases. Hashimoto's inflammation, on the other hand, cannot be treated with medication. “In any case, it is important to consult an endocrinologist or thyroid specialist if you suspect thyroid inflammation. He can then treat the consequences of the impaired hormone production before they cause serious damage, "recommends Dr. Schindlbeck.