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Drug-Induced Autoimmune Endocrine Disorders

By

Jennifer M. Barker

, MD, Children's Hospital Colorado, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology

Last full review/revision Mar 2021| Content last modified Mar 2021
Click here for the Professional Version

People receiving cancer therapy drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors Immunotherapy for Cancer Immunotherapy is used to stimulate the body's immune system against cancer. These treatments target specific genetic characteristics of the tumor cells. The genetic characteristics of tumors... read more have an increased risk for developing autoimmune disorders Autoimmune Disorders An autoimmune disorder is a malfunction of the body's immune system that causes the body to attack its own tissues. What triggers autoimmune disorders is not known. Symptoms vary depending on... read more , including endocrine disorders. Inflammation of the pituitary gland (hypophysitis), autoimmune thyroid disease causing hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism is underactivity of the thyroid gland that leads to inadequate production of thyroid hormones and a slowing of vital body functions. Facial expressions become dull, the voice... read more Hypothyroidism and sometimes hyperthyroidism Hyperthyroidism Hyperthyroidism is overactivity of the thyroid gland that leads to high levels of thyroid hormones and speeding up of vital body functions. Graves disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism... read more Hyperthyroidism , type 1 diabetes mellitus Diabetes Mellitus (DM) Diabetes mellitus is a disorder in which the body does not produce enough or respond normally to insulin, causing blood sugar (glucose) levels to be abnormally high. Urination and thirst are... read more , and underactive adrenal glands Addison Disease In Addison disease, the adrenal glands are underactive, resulting in a deficiency of adrenal hormones. Addison disease may be caused by an autoimmune reaction, cancer, an infection, or some... read more Addison Disease have occurred.

Doctors measure the levels of hormones in the blood.

Treatment involves replacing the hormones documented to be deficient. These might include thyroid hormone, insulin, or glucocorticoids.

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