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The relationship between hypothyroidism and rhinitis.

Kulak Burun Bogaz Ihtis Derg. 2010 Jul-Aug;20(4):163-8.

[Article in Turkish]
Günel C, Başak HS, Güney E.
Germencik Devlet Hastanesi Kulak Burun Boğaz Hastaliklari Kliniği, Aydin, Turkey. drgunel@hotmail.com



This study proposed relationship between rhinitis and hypothyroidism and the possibility of whether hypothyroid patients with symptoms of rhinitis could recover by treatment are investigated.


Twenty-five patients (19 females, 6 males; mean age 42.2 years; range 19 to 65 years) diagnosed with hypothyroidism and examined in our clinic by the same doctor between February 2004 and February 2005 were included in the study. In order to evaluate the symptoms of the patients, a detailed form was filled. The degree of symptoms was determined with the visual analog scale (VAS) by the patients. All patients underwent otorhinolaryngologic examination including nasal endoscopy where the color of nasal mucus, turbinate hypertrophy and rhinorrhea were recorded. Nasal air flows were measured by peak-flow meter. Mucociliary clearance was measured by the saccharin test. Following all the measurements, patients were started on oral therapy with levothyroxin sodium tablets by the ambulatory endocrinology clinic. When the degree of serum thyroid stimulating hormone level fell below 4 microIU/dl, each complaint was re-evaluated by VAS and the examinations were repeated. The measurements of nasal peak flow meter and saccharine clearance time are repeated.


The most frequent complaints of the patients were nasal obstruction (48%), headaches (20%) and rhinorrhea (16%). Following treatment, the complaints resolved significantly (p=0.005). The difference between the turbinate hypertrophy and mucosal pallor before and after treatment was significant (p=0.005). The clearance time difference before and after treatment was highly significant (p=0.001). The nasal peak flow meter results after treatment were also significantly improved (p=0.001).


Besides other examinations, thyroid functions should also be assessed in patients presenting with rhinitis symptoms.