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Thyrotoxic Myopathy

January is Thyroid Awareness Month

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Although relatively small, the thyroid plays a huge role in the body, influencing the function of many important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and skin.

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).


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.

Talk with your healthcare provider about whether your thyroid is healthy and functioning properly.

or to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider call 910-295-6868.

Content Provided By the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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