Bilateral atrophic thryoid gland

Posted , 4 users are following.


I've been on medication for eight years and the endo is only just investigating whether I needed medication at all.

I had a thryoid ultrasound and the person doing it said my thryoid had shrunk to a small size and I didn't think anything of it as I was told there were no nodules and that the high levels of medication has caused the gland to shrink.

A couple of months later, I receive a letter from the endo saying the scan shows a bilateral atrophic thryoid gland and that I could have had thryoiditis at the onset.

I don't know what this means. I have been tested for hashimotos and I don't have that but I don't understand what the above means. Can anyone explain?

Thank you in advance


0 likes, 5 replies

Report / Delete

5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Caz:

    Nurse Shelly here, Thyroiditis is a condition that can come from pregnancy or an infection in the body and it means inflammation of the thyroid. When the thyroid gets inflammed it can make too much thyroid hormone and make you Hyper and then it can make too little and make you Hypo.  It has nothing to do with Hashimoto's Thyroid disease.  It can be bother by a virus called Epstein-Barr (MONO) mononucleosis. 

    Atrophy means to shrink or reduce in size as an abnormal medical term for a shrinking of tissue.  things can atrophy such as muscles we do not use and people who have a stroke and lose one side of body they lose muscle strength and tone.

    It can get better but it take a long while to heal and it could take years, esp. if your were overmedicated.  The gland may be sluggish to work again and may not work well so you may still need hormone. As they say only time will tell. 

    it would be better to be on the NDT's since they are more agreeable to the body and are better as they mimic your own thyroid much better then Levo would.

    So maybe many of years ago you could have had a bad infection or even a FLU and your Thyroid took  a hit.  Like I said even being pregnant will cause major stress on the thyroid and can be a cause of it.  try and think back what happened in your life and what may have been the trigger.

    Any questions just ask,


    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi shelly thanks so much for explaining that makes more sense now! They always send me letters using complex phrases and not bothering to explain what it means!

      I'm guessing that thyroiditis is what they put the cause down to if it is something 'unknown'? Which would be my case. My results were only borderline at diagnosis, so like you say maybe I had an infection or something.

      I agree with you about NDT. I am seeing my endo next week so will be asking if he is still going to keep reducing the meds or whether I can trial this yet.

      Thanks again for your help! X

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hello Caz:

      Thyroiditis is a general term and can be from many things. If you had a serious virus like Epstein-Barr (MONO) they could do a titer level and see.  Your Atrophy is secondary to all the thyroid  med LEVO, you were on over the years. It caused the gland to shrink a bit as all that hormone was coming into your body.  I have hope it can recover over a period of time.

      Normally Thyroiditis will calm down on it's own and the thyroid will recover.  In some cases it can stay either Hyper or Hypo, depending on which way it goes. 

      The goal now would be to give the thyroid a chance to see how it does and if needed be on the natural thyroid meds which are more agreeable in the body.

      So if you had a bad infection, FLU, pregnancy, Epstein-Barr Virus, or any other kind of virus like chicken pox, that can lay dormant in the body for years,  anything like that can cause stress on the gland, even another medication can be the cause, and conditions like Lupus and Diabetes can cause thyroid problems. Of course you would have to think about the year it happened & what you may have had.

      Keep me posted,


      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

     I have Hashimoto's that caused hypothyroidism.  I also had a few ultrasounds of my thyroid.  My thyroid is very small and shrunken also.  This was all before I was ever on any medication.   I was told and have read that it means that my body has been attacking my throid for many many years.  As my body attacks my thyroid it destroys it and turns my thyroid into scar tissue which makes it hard and shrinks it.  Just wanted to give you something to think about.  Have you ever had your Tpoa and Tgab checked?  They are antibodies that can are present if you have the autoimmune disease Hashimoto's in which your body attacks your thyroid.  Although... my ultrsound also said that I have a goiter on the one side of my thyoid.  How it can be shrunken and also enlarged on one side, I'm not  Being you don't have a goiter, not sure if it would be worth you looking into.  But perhaps it's something you can talk to your doctor about. 
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi melissa yes I was tested for hashimotos at the point of going on the meds and again recently. They say I don't have it, but are only guessing what the initial cause was because they don't know for sure. In my opinion they messed up and shouldn't have had me on such high doses. In the past six months I have managed to go from 150mg of levothyroxine to 50mg. Had my bloods done and looking pretty good and everything is within range. Hoping to come off it completely
      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up