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  • Shriveled thyroid

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    Old 03-21-2016, 07:02 PM   #1
    Islenya
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    Shriveled thyroid

    An endo did an ultrasound on my thyroid gland, and told me that it is completely shriveled. Why would this be? As a child through young adulthood, I had severe sinus infections, and had many, many X-rays of my head. In those days, one simply wore a lead apron which always sagged on me, so my thyroid was exposed to the X-rays as well. Can anyone tell me (with positive authority...not just a guess) if that could have shriveled my thyroid?

     
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    Old 03-21-2016, 10:12 PM   #2
    midwest1
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    Re: Shriveled thyroid

    Since no one here can claim to be a medical professional, guesses might be the best you'll get from us.

    Diagnostic X-rays like you received would be unlikely to cause thyroid atrophy. Higher doses of radiation used in the treatment of cancer and other diseases have the potential to damage a thyroid gland, but I'm unsure whether that happens from atrophy or from alteration of the cell structures in the gland.

    Most thyroid patients are familiar with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the autoimmune disease which is the leading cause of thyroid failure in the industrialized parts of the world; but there is another form of autoimmune thyroid disease called atrophic thyroiditis, in which blocking TSH receptor antibodies prevent TSH from stimulating the thyroid gland into hormone production. The unstimulated gland eventually shrivels and stops producing hormone. About 60% of people with this disorder will test positive for the antibodies. Maybe that test would be a good next step for you.
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