Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship

Date Written

Summer 2015

Document Type

Project

Course Number

NURS 5330

Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name

John D. Chovan, James. R. Cacchillo

Keywords

Silent Thyroiditis, Postpartum Thyroiditis

Subject Categories

Endocrine System Diseases | Medical Pathology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing

Abstract

The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system and has a widespread function that controls multiple organ systems and processes. The main function of the thyroid gland is to produce and secrete two different thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), both of which help to meet the metabolic demands of the entire body. When the thyroid gland fails to produce T3/T4 hormones (primary gland failure) or is not activated successfully by the pituitary gland (by the release of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)), or hypothalamus, this results in low levels of circulating thyroid hormone. As low levels of the circulating thyroid hormones continue, an overall slowing of the person’s metabolism occurs. This underactive thyroid disease is called hypothyroidism (Chiasera, 2013). Although there are several causes for hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (HT) is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in United States and is thought to be associated with genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. HT is a chronic autoimmune disease and can present itself in an aggressive form or a mild form such as silent thyroiditis or postpartum thyroiditis leading to an undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Regardless of the virulence of the disease, HT can become serious if left untreated (Davies, 2015).

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