People ask us about do’s and don’ts for vitiligo. Testing the thyroid is one thing you should do for vitiligo because research has shown the risk to develop autoimmune thyroid disease to be 2.5 times higher among people with vitiligo. The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped organ that lies flat across your windpipe. It produces hormones that affect the body’s metabolism, heart rate, and growth.
Thyroid disease can speed up or slow down the thyroid’s hormone production which can cause a variety of physical problems. Those with vitiligo have a significantly higher incidence of autoimmune thyroid disease than the normal population.
All vitiligo patients, especially children (who are not routinely tested) should be tested for thyroid function and antibodies. A blood test will tell whether your thyroid is healthy. If you have thyroid disease, treatment can successfully manage it. A properly functioning thyroid also helps set the foundation for healing.
If you have vitiligo, do get your thyroid tested. More useful articles are in our Vitiligo Learning Center.