Gastric emptying in subclinical hyperthyroidism.

INTRODUCTION AND AIM: About 15% of hyperthyroid patients suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea and early satiety the problem. Published reports on the topic of gastric emptying in hyperthyroidism are rare and discrepant in their results.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirteen patients (8 women, 5 male; aged 41.92+/-1.491 SE yr) with a recently established diagnosis of subclinical hyperthyroidism due to Graves-Basedow disease and as control group 10 age-matched healthy subject (7 women, 3 male; 39.6+/-2.918 SE yrs) participated in this study. Scintigraphic method (food labeled with 99mTc sulfur colloid) was used for measurement of gastric emptying.

RESULTS: Gastric emptying time was similar in both subclinical hyperthyroid and control groups (p=0.413).

DISCUSSION: There are few studies on the subject of gastric emptying in hyperthyroidism with either delayed emptying or with emptying time similar to controls. In the only one study in subclinical hyperthyroidism, gastric emptying was found to be delayed. We also found that gastric emptying was delayed in subclinical hyperthyroidism. On the basis of this and other studies, we may suggest that in subclinical hyperthyroidism, gastric emptying of solids were similar to that in age-matched healthy control subjects and gastrointestinal dysfunction is dependent on severity of the hyperthyroid state and might be a result of impaired neuro-hormonal regulation. Yet the data must be supported on larger groups.