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January 1961

Physiological Approach to Correction of Hypothyroidism

Author Affiliations


Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(1):112-120. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620010116019

The subject, the treatment of hypothyroidism, is neither complex nor difficult. Indeed, it could be dismissed in a few words: the object in treating hypothyroidism is to replace the deficit of thyroid hormone in the body, and this is simply, inexpensively, and effectively accomplished by the feeding of desiccated thyroid. What is left to be said, if the subject is to hold any interest, revolves around other questions, such as what causes hypothyroidism, what is the thyroid hormone, and how does it work? Inquiry into these problems in recent years has led to interesting and important discoveries. Accordingly, it appears worthwhile to point out how these advances may be helpful to the physician in the therapy of hypothyroidism.

Causes of Hypothyroidism  Any mechanism, physical, biological, or chemical, which brings about a diminished or absent supply of thyroid hormone will induce hypothyroidism. If the pituitary fails to elaborate thyroid-stimulating hormone, the

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