The weight-reducing herbal medicines “Dream Shape” and “Ever Youth” became available in Japan in 2000. Herein, we describe 12 patients who developed thyrotoxicosis after taking them. The thyroid hormone content of 1 capsule or tablet of herbal medicine, measured following Pronase digestion and ethanol extraction, was approximately 1 μg of triiodothyronine and 3 to 4 μg of thyroxine. Two of us took 10 capsules or tablets of Dream Shape or Ever Youth, and changes in thyroid hormone levels were observed during the first 24 hours. Serum free triiodothyronine levels began to rise 2 hours after ingestion and reached peak levels at 4 to 8 hours; changes in free thyroxine and thyrotropin levels were small during the first 24 hours. Similar herbal medicines may have been distributed to other countries via the Internet. Resultant factitious thyrotoxicosis can create diagnostic and therapeutic confusion, particularly in patients with thyroid disease.
Ohye H, Fukata S, Kanoh M, Kubota S, Kuma K, Miyauchi A, Sugawara M. Thyrotoxicosis Caused by Weight-Reducing Herbal Medicines. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(8):831–834. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.8.831