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Induced Thyroid Disorders


  • Induced thyroid disorders may happen as an effect of certain medicines or treatments. Certain medicines or treatments can cause your thyroid gland to make too much or not enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ that is found in the front part of your neck. Thyroid hormones are special chemicals that help control your body's functions, including body temperature, heart rate, and growth.
    Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands
  • Amiodarone, lithium, and interferon are medicines that can lead to thyroid disorders. Radiation treatment may also cause thyroid disorders. You may have signs and symptoms of high or low amounts of thyroid hormones. Blood tests, thyroid scan, ultrasound, and biopsy are used to check for thyroid disorders. Treatment may include antithyroid medicines, thyroid hormone replacement, or radioactive iodine. Surgery to remove the thyroid gland may also be needed. Finding and treating thyroid disorders will decrease or take away your signs and symptoms such as weight gain or loss, sleepiness, or anxiety. Treatment will also help prevent other medical conditions that can occur with thyroid disorders.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


  • Radioactive iodine treatment may be passed on to babies from breast feeding mothers. This may cause health problems to your baby. Radioactive iodine may also cause more thyroid problems if it is used for too long. You may have allergies to medicines used for your treatment. You may have trouble breathing or your heart problems may get worse. If you stop having lithium, your mental condition may worsen.
  • You may have bleeding or get an infection from surgery. Once the thyroid gland is removed, you may need to have hormone therapy for the rest of your life. If left untreated, you may end up having a large thyroid gland for a period of time. Your heart may beat very fast, and you may have mood problems and problems thinking. Your eyes may bulge and cause changes to your eyesight. Talk to your caregiver if you have questions or concerns about your condition, treatment, or care.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Activity and rest:

You may need to rest in bed. Your caregiver will tell you when it is OK to get out of bed. Call your caregiver before getting up for the first time. If you feel weak or dizzy, sit or lie down right away.


Your body uses a lot of energy when it has too much thyroid hormone. You may need to eat more food to give your body the extra energy it needs. Ask your caregiver which foods are best for you, and if you need to follow a special diet.

Heart monitor:

This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.

An IV (intravenous)

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.


  • Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.
  • Anti-thyroid medicine: This medicine decreases the amount of thyroid hormone made by your thyroid gland. This medicine can also cause your thyroid to stop making thyroid hormone completely.
  • Heart medicine: This medicine is given to strengthen or regulate your heartbeat. It also may help your heart in other ways. Talk with your caregiver to find out what your heart medicine is and why you are taking it.
  • Steroids: This medicine may be given to decrease inflammation.
  • Thyroid hormone: You are given this medicine to bring your thyroid hormone level back to normal.


  • Blood tests: Blood is taken to learn how well your thyroid gland is working. These tests tell caregivers how high or how low your thyroid hormone levels are in your blood. Blood tests may also show how well any treatments are working.
  • Fine needle biopsy: This is a procedure where a very small piece of your thyroid gland is taken for tests. A biopsy checks for problems such as thyroid cancer. Your caregiver may use medicine to numb the front part of your neck. A small needle is inserted to get the tissue sample from your thyroid gland. After the sample is collected, a bandage may cover the biopsy area, and the sample is sent to the lab for tests.
  • Thyroid scan: This test shows caregivers how well your thyroid is working. Radioactive dye is put into your IV or is given to you to drink. The working part of the thyroid gland absorbs (soaks up) the dye. Two to 48 hours later, caregivers put a machine called a scintillator over your neck. The machine takes pictures showing the areas of your thyroid that absorbed the dye.
  • Thyroid ultrasound: This is a test using sound waves to look at your thyroid gland. Pictures of your thyroid gland show up on a TV-like screen.

Treatment options:

  • Radioactive iodine: Iodine is an important mineral used by the thyroid gland to work properly. A radioactive form of iodine is given to damage or kill some thyroid gland cells and treat hyperthyroidism. This may decrease the amount of thyroid hormone made by the thyroid gland. This is not given to pregnant or breast feeding women.
  • Surgery: Your thyroid gland may need to be removed. This may be needed if you cannot have radioactive iodine medicine. Very young children, breast feeding mothers, and those with thyroid eye disease may need this surgery.

Vital signs:

Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.