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July 10, 2001

Thyroid

Question from Centralia, Missouri, USA:

I was diagnosed with diabetes about four months ago and recently had high thyroid antibodies. What does this mean? Should I be concerned?

Answer:

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Other such conditions include some thyroid disease, and it is common practice to screen for these in diabetes clinics. However, the link between the appearance of thyroid antibodies and any effect upon thyroid gland function is not absolute. Your doctor will keep an eye on the situation, but this isn’t something that you should worry about. At worst, it may mean that you have to take a pill each day to replace the normal hormonal output of the thyroid gland.

KJR