Looking Beyond What You See: A Rare Cause of Dysphagia

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Hypothyroidism is a common endocrine condition with typical symptoms such as cold intolerance, weight gain, fatigue, constipation, and coarse skin, as well as less common symptoms such as depression, difficulty in concentration, and hair thinning. It is usually diagnosed by combining clinical features and applying clinical judgment; however, the wide spectrum of presenting symptoms can sometimes lead to a diagnostic dilemma. Dysphagia secondary to hypothyroidism is a rarely reported symptom in the literature and is believed to be associated with a hormonal effect on esophageal and gastric motility with neuromuscular incoordination; however, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease, which can rarely manifest as heartburn, possibly due to esophageal dysmotility. Herein, we describe an unusual presentation of severe hypothyroidism with dysphagia, for which we could not identify any obstructive cause despite extensive investigations This condition was resolved successfully with levothyroxine treatment. Through this report, we aimed to communicate to the audience the important learning message that hypothyroidism may cause symptoms of dysphagia and to inform practitioners regarding this possibility, which should be considered after ruling out any obstructive pathology.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 4 2023


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