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Bone Density Not Affected By a Low TSH

By Elaine Moore on 3/12/2012

Although elevated levels of thyroid hormone can lead to bone loss, several studies have shown that a low TSH on its own does not affect bone density. This new study is another confirmation  of this fact.

Bone Density After Long-Term Suppressive Thyroid Therapy

Korean researchers have evaluated the impact of long-term suppressive levothyroxine therapy on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover markers in women who were thyroid cancer survivors.

The study looked at almost 100 women who were on levothyroxine for at least 10 years after thyroid cancer. They were divided into three groups: TSH less than 0.001, TSH between 0.001 and 0.07, and TSH levels above 0.07. The BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scanning.

The research found that there was no significant decrease in BMD and bone turnover markers among the women, and the prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia was not different among the groups.

The researchers concluded that long term suppressive levothyroxine therapy for thyroid cancer management did not affect bone density or increase the prevalence of osteoporosis.

More Information:

Osteoporosis & Thyroid Drugs Is Thyroid Medication Going to Give You Osteoporosis? The Thyroid Treatment/Osteoporosis Controversy

Source: Lee, M. et. Al. "Bone Mineral Density and Bone Turnover Markers in Patients on Long Term Suppressive Levothyroxine Therapy for Differentiated Thyroid Cancer,"Abstracts of the American Thyroid Association Annual Meeting, 2011


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