This article may be of some interest to those with thyroid issues. It is important to be careful if you have a particular thyroid issue and are taking aspirin and some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Sorry for all the references but this is not my work. Hope it is of some use to my readers. Check with your doctor before taking other medications and some off the shelf supplements.
The frequency of thyroid disease, particularly chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’sul thyroiditis), may be increased in patients with connective tissue diseases. However, it is important to remember that chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, manifested by positive tests for antithyroid antibodies, is common in the general population (occurring in 10 to 20 percent of women and 1 to 2 percent of men) and hypothyroidism (subclinical or overt) is only slightly less common . In addition, both hypothyroidism and connective tissue diseases often cause muscle and joint aches, pains, and stiffness, and common treatments for connective tissue diseases and the illnesses themselves may affect thyroid function or thyroid function tests.
Given the high frequency of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis and hypothyroidism in patients with no other problems, the literature describing the occurrence of thyroid disease in patients with a connective tissue disease should be viewed with considerable caution. Most of the studies were performed in specialty clinics, so the likelihood of selection bias is high. Diagnostic criteria for thyroid disease may also vary between studies. Furthermore, there is only limited evidence that the concurrence in the same patient of thyroid disease and connective tissue disease alters the clinical manifestations or natural history of either disorder. Examples are scleroderma, in which fibrosis of the thyroid gland can occur and cause hypothyroidism independently of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, and complete congenital heart block in children of hypothyroid anti-Ro positive mothers.
Another part of this relationship is that the drugs used to treat connective tissue diseases and the underlying illness can affect thyroid function.
- Glucocorticoids inhibit thyrotropin (TSH) secretion and slightly reduce serum thyroid hormone concentrations.
- Aspirin and some nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs lower serum total thyroid hormone concentrations by interfering with thyroid hormone binding to its carrier proteins; serum free thyroid hormone concentrations do not change.
- Any major illness, including connective tissue diseases, can lower serum thyroid hormone and TSH concentrations
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