Effect of therapy for thyroid dysfunction on musculoskeletal symptoms

M. Kloppenburg*, B.A.C. Dijkmans, J.J. Rasker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Our purpose was to assess the long-term effect of treatment for thyroid dysfunction on musculoskeletal symptoms. Forty-six patients (37 with hypothyroidism, 9 with hyperthyroidism), who visited the outpatient clinic of rheumatology and had abnormal thyroid function tests on their first visit, cooperated in the study. They were interviewed with a structured questionnaire about their past and current musculoskeletal complaints. Thyroid dysfunction was considered the only explanation for the original musculoskeletal symptoms in 24 patients (Group I); in 19 patients an additional (rheumatological) diagnosis was made (Group II), and in 3 patients no apparent relation between musculoskeletal complaints and thyroid dysfunction was found. After treatment for thyroid dysfunction, the original complaints decreased in 52% and 47% of the patients in Group I and II, respectively. At the time of the follow-up study (mean follow-up duration 67 months) 91% of the patients had musculoskeletal symptoms, 80% of the patients said their present complaints were similar to their original symptoms. Treatment for thyroid dysfunction resulted in a temporary effect on musculoskeletal symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-345
Number of pages5
JournalClinical rheumatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Musculoskeletal System


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