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Question:

From New York, USA:

I am a 34 year old female who has had diabetes since I was 18 years old. I currently am an insulin dependent diabetic. From a recent c-peptide test I do not make any more of my own insulin.

My endocrinologist has determined that I have an enlarged thyroid gland. Even though my TSH levels are normal, he has prescribed Armour Thyroid tablets at 60 mg/day. Does this treatment seem reasonable and what is the difference between the Synthroid, that I had an allergic reaction, and the Armour, that I am now taking?

Answer:

Thyroid and diabetes are both autoimmune disorders, and it is fairly common to find both occurring in the same individual.

If your endocrinologist had obtained abnormal lab tests showing impending hypothyroidism (such as an elevated TSH) or Hashimoto's thyroiditis (with very elevated thyroid antibody levels), no one would dispute the reasonableness of starting lifetime thyroid hormone therapy, either with synthetic thyroid hormone (such as Synthroid brand) or animal-source thyroid (such as Armour brand). Enlargement of the thyroid gland (sometimes called a "goiter") could be due to these reasons, or others, and I think most endocrinologists would prefer to have laboratory documentation of the need for thyroid hormone therapy before prescribing it.

There are a number of websites that discuss thyroid disease on the Internet if you want to look for more information, and we have previously answered other other questions about thyroid disease and diabetes.

WWQ

Original posting 10 Dec 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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