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Thyroid detectives: on the trail of Munchausen’s syndrome


Thyrotoxicosis factitia, a disorder frequently seen in young or middle-aged women with psychological disorders, most commonly results from surreptitious ingestion of excess thyroid hormones. In most patients, diagnosis is relatively straightforward and depends on the demonstration of biochemical thyrotoxicosis, suppressed endogenous thyroid function and absence of clinical features of underlying thyroid disease. However, at times, confounding factors can make the diagnosis particularly challenging and necessitate the investigating physician to don the detective’s cap to get to the root of the problem. We discuss a patient whose diagnosis was reached with ingenuity after considerable effort from four endocrinologists having a total experience of 37 years in their field.

  • endocrine system
  • thyroid disease
  • general practice / family medicine

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