Between 10 and 30% of women with Turner syndrome develop hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone), which is usually caused by autoimmune disease, where the body reacts to its own thyroid cells as if they were foreign, and tries to destroy them. This is sometimes called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The risk of hypothyroidism increases with age. The symptoms of hypothyroidism, which may include constipation, low energy, dry skin, and weight gain, are often subtle, so thyroid function should be checked at diagnosis and every year or two after that throughout life. It can be diagnosed with a blood test and is easily treated with thyroid hormone.
SYMPTOMS of HYPOTHYROIDISM
Women with Turner syndrome seem to have a higher than normal risk of other immune system problems, including celiac disease (gluten sensitivity), inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Women with digestive complaints or joint problems should be seen promptly by their doctor, who may refer them to a specialist if needed. Treatment may involve diet changes (for the bowel conditions) and medication.