What is the role of thyroid function tests in the workup of pediatric type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Jul 03, 2019
  • Author: William H Lamb, MD, MBBS, FRCP(Edin), FRCP, FRCPCH; Chief Editor: Sasigarn A Bowden, MD  more...
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Answer

Because early hypothyroidism has few easily identifiable clinical signs in children, children with type 1 diabetes mellitus may have undiagnosed thyroid disease. Untreated thyroid disease may interfere with diabetes management. Typically, hypothyroid children present with reduced insulin requirements and increased episodes of hypoglycemia; hyperthyroid children have increased insulin needs and a tendency toward hyperglycemia. Caution, therefore, is needed when initiating treatment as insulin requirements can change quite quickly. Check thyroid function regularly (every 2-5 years or annually if thyroid antibodies are present). Antithyroid antibody tests indicate the risk of present or potential thyroid disease.


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