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NINDS Thyrotoxic Myopathy Information Page

Synonym(s):   Myopathy - Thyrotoxic

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What is Thyrotoxic Myopathy?

Thyrotoxic myopathy is a neuromuscular disorder that may accompany hyperthyroidism (Graves' disease, caused by overproduction of the thyroid hormone thyroxine). Symptoms may include muscle weakness, myalgias (muscle tenderness), wasting of the pelvic girdle and shoulder muscles, fatigue, and/or heat intolerance. Thyroid myopathy may be associated with rhabdomyolysis (acute muscle breakdown), damage to the muscles that control eye movement, and temporary, but severe, attacks of muscle weakness that are associated with low blood potassium levels (known as periodic paralysis).

Is there any treatment?

Treatment involves restoring normal levels of thyroid hormone and may include thyroid drugs, radioactive iodine, and sometimes partial or complete surgical removal of the thyroid.  

What is the prognosis?

With treatment, muscle weakness may improve or be reversed.

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports a broad range of research on neuromuscular disorders such as thyrotoxic myopathy. Much of this research is aimed at learning more about these disorders and finding ways to prevent and treat them.

NIH Patient Recruitment for Thyrotoxic Myopathy Clinical Trials

Organizations

Column1 Column2
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
National Institutes of Health, DHHS
31 Center Drive, Rm. 9A06 MSC 2560
Bethesda, MD   20892-2560
http://www.niddk.nih.gov
Tel: 301-496-3583 TTY: 866-569-1162

Muscular Dystrophy Association
3300 East Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ   85718-3208
mda@mdausa.org
http://www.mda.org
Tel: 520-529-2000 800-572-1717
Fax: 520-529-5300

Related NINDS Publications and Information


Prepared by:
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892



NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

Last updated October 4, 2011