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July 15, 2000

Thyroid

Question from Toronto, Ontario, Canada:

My daughter has had Type 1 diabetes for 8 years now and has been generally well and able to control her sugars successfully. She was recently diagnosed with an overactive thyroid, and although we have not been advised of the type of medication, what are the implications and possible side effects? I've had friends who have been given thyroid medication in the past 3 years and all of them have gotten extremely ill and have had to go off of the medication.

Answer:

An overactive thyroid generally worsens blood sugar levels as long as the levels of thyroid hormones are elevated in the blood. It can be treated successfully with either oral medications or with radioiodine depending on some clinical parameters (very rarely, surgery is required), and metabolic control is then restored. A proper endocrine consultation is advised.

MS