Multiple Sclerosis Community
9.17k Members
Avatar universal

More thyroid stuff

I know that people with one autoimmune disorder are more likely than the general population to get another, but I'm wondering if there are any recent studies on this. Specifically, of course, about MS, and also just about MS and thyroid diseases.

I have been hypothyroid for many years, and back in the day, no one said diddly about Hashimoto's or autoimmune diseases. However, that may well have been before these labels were even devised. I know it's not possible now to find out whether my kind is Hashimoto's, because ultimately the antibodies stop producing.. 'Ultimately' occurred long ago for me.

However, subsequent to my diagnosis by a lot of years, a surprising number of relatives have also been diagnosed with thyroid disease, in generations both above and below me. There are 3 with definite Hashimoto's, and one with definite Grave's disease. Two others are also suspect for Grave's. This clearly comes through my mother's line of descent.

What I'm wondering is whether these family members, given this strong gene thing, are at a significantly greater risk than most for MS. As far as I know, no one else has or has had any other autoimmune disorder.

This is just a question and I'm not alarmed or anything, merely curious. I know others here have family members with thyroid problems, and also, of course, they do too.

19 Responses
378497 tn?1232147185
Ess, it's pretty common for thyroid disorders to run in families, especially maternally. But I've never read of a significantly enhanced risk for MS as a result. There's just an association among family members for the thyroid autoimmunity.

Someone else may have some different info.

Avatar universal
Hi Ess,
   I did a quick scan of research articles and yes, there is a documented relationship of co-occurrence of autoimmune thyroid disease and MS.

  Specifically, MS and Graves disease (hyperthyroidism) have a strong correlation.  Hashimoto's disease (auto-immune hypothyroidism) have a weaker correlation.

  The reasons behind this are still not proven.  Some beliefs have to do with the activation of T cells in both MS and thyroid disease.    Others say that autoimmune thyroid disease occurs more often in MS patients who are on DMD's.  Other articles cite the fact that once the balance (homeostasis) of the immune system is altered, then the person becomes more susceptible to other autoimmune diseases.

    One study also mentioned that proximal muscle weakness (thighs), muscle aches, and fatigue, are common complaints in those with MS and thyroid disease.  So MS patients who complain of such symptoms should be tested for thyroid antibodies.

   Genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers are believed to be the cause of both diseases too.

  Also, there is a very strong documented connection between type 1 diabetes and MS!!!

   I could not find any mention of which disease comes first, only that autoimmune thyroid disease can occur together with MS in some individuals.

  Thanks for bringing up this correlation.  I will now be triple sure to take my D3 since I have Hashimoto's!!!!

Avatar universal
Thanks so much. This is very interesting. To me, and I'm sure to many others here.

382218 tn?1341185087
I have no first degree relatives with thyroid problems, but I do have two cousins (a brother and sister) that have had this since childhood.  No MS though.  

I have wondered generally about autoimmune diseases in families and about a genetic tendency to develop these kinds of conditions.  My mother has ITP - idiotpathic thrombocytopenic purpura - a condition of low blood platelets caused by antibodies of unknown origin.  I mentioned this to my neuro when he took my medical history but even though there is the commonality of both diseases being autoimmune, he did not find this to be significant in terms of any influence on my developing MS.

I'd be interested if anyone knew of any research on this.  In fact I think I picked up a book on autoimmune diseases a while ago that I haven't gotten around to reading yet.  I'll dig it out and let you know if I learn of any interesting tidbits.

382218 tn?1341185087
Interesting about the connection between MS and Type 1 diabetes.  There was a recent study that was mentioned on the news about the epidemiology of Type 1 diabetes.  It was the same as is said to be true for MS; that the farther away you are from the equator, the greater the risk of disease.  Thus the researchers feel that Vitamin D  seems to play a role in preventing Type 1 diabetes, as many think is true for MS.

Avatar universal
Goodness, I forgot about my maternal grandmother, who had pernicious anemia (inability to absorb B12). I believe that was the ultimate cause of her death. I'm fairly sure that is an autoimmune disorder too. It's also an MS mimic. I've had my B12 checked several times and it's always been okay.

Gosh, I guess we're just rife with this stuff.

Have an Answer?
Top Neurology Answerers
987762 tn?1331031553
5265383 tn?1483811956
1756321 tn?1547098925
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499305393
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease