The term 'autoimmune thyroid disease' encompasses all of the autoimmune thyroid conditions, including Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves' disease, most cases of silent thyroiditis, and postpartum thyroiditis. Extrathyroidal manifestations (eg, ophthalmopathy, dermopathy) can occur in Graves' disease and, less commonly, Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Spontaneous hypothyroidism is common in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and when it develops, lifelong therapy with levothyroxine is needed. In the United States, most adult patients with Graves' disease are initially or eventually treated with radioiodine thyroid ablation. For transient thyroiditis involving hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, short-term or symptomatic therapy is adequate.
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