Your child is complaining of a sore throat and suffering from a low-grade fever. A throat culture rules out strep throat, but the pain persists. A check of her throat reveals that her thyroid gland is slightly swollen. A blood test may show that your child is suffering from sub-acute thyroiditis.
If your child has chronic thyroiditis that lasts more than a few weeks, she may have an autoimmune disorder, meaning that her thyroid gland contains lymphocytes. Symptoms of chronic thyroiditis vary. The child may have a diffuse goiter, and may be either hypothyroid or hyperthyroid. Some children become permanently hypothyroid. Others may go into remission and become euthyroid.
After a brief viral illness, your child may develop subacute thyroiditis, which causes neck pain, goiter, and sometimes fever, hoarseness, and trouble swallowing. Children can also develop silent thyroiditis, a condition characterized only by symptoms of hyperthyroidism and inflammation of the thyroid. In addition, children may get acute suppurative thyroiditis, in which bacteria invade the thyroid gland and trigger inflammation. With acute suppurative thyroiditis, the child may feel a lot of pain, a fever, and chills.
Treatment for thyroiditis depends on the type you have. Subacute and silent thyroiditis usually involve bed rest and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories to relieve the pain. Acute suppurative thyroiditis requires antibiotics to wipe out the bacteria. Most cases of thyroiditis will resolve on their own after a few weeks.