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Thyroid Diseases

What is an Under-Stimulated Thyroid?

06/12/2006

Question:

What does it mean when they tell you your thyroid is not being stimulated?

Answer:

I can't tell from your description exactly what your doctor was trying to tell you.  Normally the thyroid gland must be stimulated by a hormone from the pituitary gland called "Thyroid Stimulating Hormone" in order to work correctly.  A patient who had a pituitary disease causing a deficiency of thyroid stimulating hormone might be told that the thyroid was "not being stimulated."  However, this is a fairly rare cause of an underactive thyroid.  In most cases, an underactive thyroid is caused by disease in the thyroid gland itself, and not by lack of stimulation.  I suggest that you get further clarification from your doctor.

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Response by:

Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University