Thyroid Problems

Thyroid problems are common in women anyway but they are even more common in girls and women with TS.  

Why do girls and women with TS get problems with their thyroid?

Thyroid problems happen because your immune system gets confused and instead of attacking infections and keeping you well, it attacks your thyroid. Mostly it will make your thyroid not make enough thyroid hormone, this is sometimes called an "underactive thyroid" or "hypothyroidism", sometimes but less often it may go the other way and make too much thyroid hormone, this is sometimes called an "overactive thyroid" or "hyperthyroidism" or "thyrotoxicosis".

How will I know if I have an underactive thyroid?

If your thyroid is not working properly people can experience – growing less well, putting on weight despite eating the same, feeling cold when everybody else is warm, getting constipated, generally feeling a bit tired.

The doctors may pick it up first by doing routine blood tests. They may find that your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, TSH for short, is higher than it should be which means that your thyroid is not working properly. They will also measure your thyroid antibodies (part of your immune system), if these are high this means that you will probably develop a thyroid problem at some point in the future if you have not done so already.

Blood tests for TSH and thyroid antibodies should be checked every year.

If I have a thyroid problem how will it be treated?

It is easy to give you the thyroxine back that your thyroid gland is not making, it comes as a small tablet that has to be taken every day. Try and find ways to make it easy for you to remember. Your doctor will check the dose is right for you by checking to see that your TSH that was high is now normal and also how you feel (so tell them).

Questions you could ask your doctor or nurse

  • Are my thyroid antibodies high?
  • When is my next thyroid function test due?
  • If my thyroid function is normal why do I feel tired?