Access: Lupus Research -- Thyroid Disease
People Who Have Both Lupus and Antiphospholipid Syndrome Might Have Higher Risk of Thyroid Disease
The thyroid is a gland in the neck which helps the body keep order over how food and nutrients are handled and how fast people grow, gain or lose weight, how the heart beats, or how blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the blood respond to these changes. A protein called "thyroid peroxidase" helps to modify other proteins that the thyroid produces that perform all of these functions. Some people make antibodies (immune proteins) against their own thyroid peroxidase (these are called "anti-TPO"). People with anti-TPO sometimes have an underactive thyroid; this causes weight gain, fatigue, and a tendency to feel cold when other people around you do not.
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Research Summaries from 2009
The Thyroid-Lupus Relationship
The thyroid gland makes hormones that act on many functions in the body, from how quickly cells use energy to bone development and nerve cell growth. The thyroid’s production of hormones is regulated by TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), which is made in the pituitary gland. Autoimmune thyroid disease occurs when the body makes antibodies to thyroid cells. Different antibodies to the thyroid can have different effects. Some can inhibit the thyroid cells, causing an underactive thyroid (thyroiditis); others can stimulate the thyroid cells, leading to an overactive thyroid (Graves’ disease). Many of the symptoms of autoimmune thyroid disease -- fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, specific antibodies -- are also symptoms of lupus. Several studies have suggested that thyroid disease occurs more often in people with lupus than the general population.
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