Non-suppurative Thyroiditis

Non-suppurative Thyroiditis

Non-suppurative thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland that is not caused by bacteria or other infectious agents. It is the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism in adults. It can occur at any age but is most common in those between 30 and 60 years old. It is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland tissues. There are three main types of non-suppurative thyroiditis: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, silent thyroiditis, and postpartum thyroiditis.


Patients with non-suppurative thyroiditis may not have any symptoms. However, some may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Joint aches
  • Intolerance to cold


Non-suppurative thyroiditis can be diagnosed through a physical examination, laboratory tests, imaging tests, and biopsy. The laboratory tests measure the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone and antibodies related to autoimmune thyroiditis in the patient’s blood. Imaging tests such as ultrasound and computed tomography scans can assist in confirming the diagnosis of the condition. Biopsy may also be performed, in which a small sample of thyroid tissue is removed and examined under a microscope.


The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms and maintain optimal thyroid function. Medications, such as levothyroxine and thyroxine, may be prescribed to replace thyroid hormones. Steroids may be prescribed if there is a significant inflammation of the thyroid gland. Surgery may also be used to remove part of the thyroid, if the gland is severely enlarged. In some cases, non-suppurative thyroiditis will resolve without any treatment.