Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Thyroid Diseases

Will My Immune System Attack Other Glands After Thyroid Removal?

09/26/2006

Question:

If my immune system is attacking my thyroid, and I have my thyroid removed, will my immune system start to attack something else in my body?

Answer:

We don't really understand why the immune system attacks certain glands in the body. A person whose immune system attacks the thyroid gland is statistically at a small risk for developing immune attacks on other glands in the body - like the adrenal glands, pancreas, and parathyroid glands. This small risk would be present whether the thyroid were removed or not - the immune system doesn't get mad when its victim is removed and start looking around for other glands to attack.

Note that only a small number of people with autoimmune thyroid disease wind up developing other autoimmune glandular diseases - the vast majority get thyroid disease and nothing else.

For more information:

Go to the Thyroid Diseases health topic, where you can:

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