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From Garland, Texas, USA:

My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes almost 2 years ago. She will be eight in a month. We went for her check up today and the doctor said her thyroid was enlarged. He took blood for a thyroid test. All of the information I have read said very little or nothing about problems with the thyroid. Do I need to be concerned? How serious is it and what causes this? Is it associated with the diabetes or just another health problem she has to face? I have seen what hyperthyroidism has done to my cat. Is this what I can expect my daughter to go through?


In the last few years it has come to be recognised that Type 1A insulin dependent autoimmune diabetes is quite frequently associated with other autoimmune conditions; this has even come to be known as the Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome Type II. By far the commonest association is a rather mild hypothyroidism [underactive thyroid gland function] and the best test for this is an elevated level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) in the blood. Treatment is easy and can usually be discontinued after a few years; but is important because otherwise there may be some interference with growth. It should not be an added burden but it might also be a good idea to talk to your daughter's doctor about getting a test for two other much less common accompanying autoimmune conditions that is celiac syndrome by doing an antitransglutaminase test and Addison's Disease [underactive adrenal glands] by looking for an elevated anti 21-hydroxylase test. It is unlikely that she has either of these; but it might be useful to be forewarned of the later possibility.


Original posting 11 Jan 2000
Posted to Thyroid


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