Thyrotoxicosis with Ashwagandha: A Case Report

17 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2019

See all articles by Kylee M. Curry

Kylee M. Curry

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH)

Lara E. McNeil

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH)

Anna Flores

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH)

Janell Fuks

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH)

Date Written: December 2019

Abstract

A 62-year-old female, in otherwise good health, was diagnosed with thyrotoxicosis after self-medication with Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha). She began supplementing with Ashwagandha root extract for stress and anxiety relief. After about two months of consistent daily dosing at 1950 mg, she experienced worsened anxiety, hysteric behaviors, extreme physical fatigue, unintentional weight loss, lack of concentration, poor memory, and increased resting heart rate. A physical examination determined her thyroid was uniformly enlarged, with tenderness to palpation and odynophagia. Laboratory results revealed low thyroid-stimulating hormone and elevated thyroxine, confirming hyperthyroidism, and borderline anemia evidenced by low hematocrit and red blood cell distribution width. After discontinuation of Ashwagandha, the patient’s symptoms resolved, weight normalized, and subsequent laboratory values displayed normal thyroid functioning. To our knowledge, there have been only two human case reports on the relationship between thyrotoxicosis and the use of Ashwagandha. Additionally, data from animal studies suggests that Ashwagandha increases serum concentrations of thyroid hormones. This case report recognizes the potential of thyrotoxicosis following Ashwagandha supplementation.

Keywords: Withania somnifera (L.); Ashwagandha; Hyperthyroidism; Herbal treatment; Thyrotoxicosis; Case report

Suggested Citation

Curry, Kylee M. and McNeil, Lara E. and Flores, Anna and Fuks, Janell, Thyrotoxicosis with Ashwagandha: A Case Report (December 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3506409 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3506409

Kylee M. Curry (Contact Author)

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) ( email )

7750 Montpelier Rd
Laurel, MD 20723
United States

Lara E. McNeil

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) ( email )

7750 Montpelier Rd
Laurel, MD 20723
United States

Anna Flores

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) ( email )

7750 Montpelier Rd
Laurel, MD 20723
United States

Janell Fuks

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) ( email )

7750 Montpelier Rd
Laurel, MD 20723
United States

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