Healthy Living

Medical Mystery: Thyroid Resistance in Fibromyalgia

This 66-year-old woman's condition is not the only one misdiagnosed.

Why Dr. Rivas and colleagues treated her for her thyroid dysfunction was because she had a family history of it. Her son was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, so she was believed to have impaired sensitivity to thyroid hormone (ISTH) because of it. ISTH is a syndrome that is inherited, and can be found in 1 of 40,000 births. This syndrome is characterized by the decreased responsiveness of tissues with the thyroid hormone because of genetic mutations on its receptor. Patients will show either symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, but if physicians are not familiar with this condition like this woman's doctors, then it can not only cause frustration, but also invasive and unnecessary treatments. In the 66-year-old woman's case, she was misdiagnosed and not treated properly. Though this may not be directly related to fibromyalgia, it shows that thyroid resistance disorders are lacking awareness. This makes it crucial for doctors to understand the bigger picture so that more patients can be treated properly.