Thyroid UK
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Can being on steroids alter thyroid test results?

I have Sjogrens and possible Lupus and am on a low dose Prednisalone for the past two years. I am about to have a trial of Mycophenolate in two weeks with the hope of reducing my steroids further.

Would blood results for thyroid tests be changed by being on Prednisalone?

I do worry that taking steroids all the time might mask other things that could have similar symptoms.

Before going on the steroids I was occasionally borderline hypothyroid but my present surgery seems totally uninteresting in rechecking.

My previous GP always checked a couple of times a year.

I wondered if being on steroids would normalise any hashimotos that was lurking in the past.

Interested in your thoughts. X

6 Replies

Cuttysark, if you previously tested positive for Hashimoto's and have had borderline thyroid results your GP should be testing thyroid annually at the very least. I can't answer your question about steroids and thyroid levels. Perhaps you could Google the name of the medications + thyroid function.


I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

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Hi Clutter,

Thanks so much for the links.

I see the Rheumatologist soon and will ask that he write to the Gp about it as I do think they should be keeping an eye on it.

I lost my wonderful GP of fifteen years as he retired least year and so miss him now!

Main thing is that my Rheumy is good!

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When I take steroids, I find that my TSH quickly becomes suppressed. At first my doctor would say that I was overmedicated but when it had happened several times, he had to agree that that was the way the steroids affected me and once I stop taking steroids, TSH rises again. Clemmie

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Hi Clemmie, That is interesting, just shows how our reaction to steroids is very individual and needs checking.

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I just looked at patient info for Prednisolone :

One of the therapeutic indications for taking it is :

5) Endocrine disorders: Primary and secondary adrenal insufficiency, congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Adrenal insufficiency would give low cortisol and other adrenal hormones. Treatment for this condition is steroids like the one you are taking.

Did anyone think of testing your adrenal function before you went on steroids?

Adrenal function and thyroid function are closely related. I don't know enough to say what affect the prednisolone would have on your thyroid. But I am fairly certain the effect could be quite dramatic.

Edit : Look up "the connection between thyroid and adrenal glands" to get more info.


Thanks for the info, Humanbean

My case has been very complicated over the years.

I was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency by hospital tests about six years ago and put on a low dose of hydrocortisone. Symptoms then developed further and the Rheumatologist thought it was Sjogrens but very much systemic, not just dry eyes mouth etc . I had pancreatic and biliary dysfunction and also worsening neurological symptoms.

Eventually they had to put me on the Prednisalone to try to control it as the hydrocortisone was not enough.

The thyroid was usually borderline but my old GP would check it two or three times a year. The new regime at the surgery means less blood testing is done but I will certainly bring it up with Rheumatology.

They did say my autoimmune condition was no doubt affecting the thyroid too.

I am soon about to begin a trial of Mycophenolate with the hope of reducing the steroids.


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