Enlarged thyroid? Can it occur in patients who are hypo and taking T3, NDT, Levo?

A friend of mine asked me this question yesterday and I did not have an answer that I was 100 percent sure was correct. As I understand, a large thyroid gland is caused by either Graves or Hashimoto's when the thyroid gland hypertrophies in order to attempt to or make more hormone. Am I off on this? I am sure it is not as black and white but can one develop an enlarged thyroid when on medication if they are simply just hypo?

3 Replies

  • Yes, especially when they are undermedicated. Glands can become enlarged or inflamed due to reasons other than autoimmune attack eg nodules and cysts.

  • Some people with hypo symptoms can have an enlarged thyroid. One possible cause is thyroid hormone resistance, a genetic condition where people need very high levels of thyroid hormones. This can cause an enlarged thyroid gland as it struggles to produce the large amounts of hormones. Eventually the thyroid can start to fail and blood tests can indicate hypothyroid.

    Proper doses of thyroid hormones can shrink the thyroid back to normal size.

  • Is there a test to determine is one has the genetic condition of hormone resistance? Either way, I suppose that the treatment remains the same....very large amounts of thyroid hormone.

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