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Thyroid Disorders in Athletes

Duhig, Thomas J.1; McKeag, Douglas2

doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e3181954a12
Section Articles: Head and Neurologic Conditions

Maintaining performance levels in athletes remains challenging when metabolic disturbances may be suspected clinically. In athletes there are reported deviations from normal range lab values and multiple factors that may lead to clinical suspicion of thyroid disease, including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroiditis. Reports of exogenous thyroxine use in athletes and anabolic use further complicate the clinical picture, and clinicians must exercise judgment in regards to thyroid screening and interpretation of value variables such as age and exercise level. Return-to-play issues must be addressed when implementing hormone replacement, and consideration of serial laboratory values may be considered.

1Indiana University Sports Medicine Fellow, Indianapolis, IN; 2Indiana University, Department of Family Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

Address for correspondence: Thomas J. Duhig, M.D., Indiana University Sports Medicine Fellow, 700 N. Alabama St #602-3, Indianapolis, IN 46204 (E-mail:,

© 2009 American College of Sports Medicine