Highlights of the American Thyroid Association Symposium - Thyroid Health and the Environment: Threats and Effects

March 24, 2006; Washington, DC

Kenneth D. Burman, MD

Disclosures

December 12, 2006

In This Article

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This conference was especially relevant because it focused on the potential interaction of multiple environmental factors and the thyroid gland. There is no question of the importance of an adequate iodine intake for maintaining normal thyroid homeostasis in healthy individuals as well as in pregnant and lactating women. It is important to realize the sources of iodine in the diet and in medications and the role that these sources may play in an individual patient. Perchlorate has become the focus of attention due to environmental exposure, but its precise role in affecting thyroid function in normal subjects as well as in individuals with autoimmune thyroid disease requires further study. Radiation exposure, both from medical uses and environmental exposure, has been studied. In sufficient doses, as with environmental exposure, it is known to cause thyroid neoplasia, especially in younger individuals.

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