Metabolic disorders and nutritional status in autoimmune thyroid diseases

Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2015 Jan 2:69:80-90. doi: 10.5604/17322693.1136383.


In recent years, the authors of epidemiological studies have documented that autoimmune diseases are a major problem of modern society and are classified as diseases of civilization. Autoimmune thyroid diseases (ATDs) are caused by an abnormal immune response to autoantigens present in the thyroid gland - they often coexist with other autoimmune diseases. The most common dysfunctions of the thyroid gland are hypothyroidism, Graves-Basedow disease and Hashimoto's disease. Hashimoto's thyroiditis can be the main cause of primary hypothyroidism of the thyroid gland. Anthropometric, biochemical and physicochemical parameters are used to assess the nutritional status during the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases. Patients with hypothyroidism are often obese, whereas patients with hyperthyroidism are often afflicted with rapid weight loss. The consequence of obesity is a change of the thyroid hormones' activity; however, weight reduction leads to their normalization. The activity and metabolic rate of thyroid hormones are modifiable. ATDs are associated with abnormalities of glucose metabolism and thus increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2. Celiac disease (CD) also increases the risk of developing other autoimmune diseases. Malnutrition or the presence of numerous nutritional deficiencies in a patient's body can be the cause of thyroid disorders. Coexisting deficiencies of such elements as iodine, iron, selenium and zinc may impair the function of the thyroid gland. Other nutrient deficiencies usually observed in patients suffering from ATD are: protein deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies (A, C, B6, B5, B1) and mineral deficiencies (phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chromium). Proper diet helps to reduce the symptoms of the disease, maintains a healthy weight and prevents the occurrence of malnutrition. This article presents an overview of selected documented studies and scientific reports on the relationship of metabolic disorders and nutritional status with the occurrence of ATD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Thyroid Diseases / complications*