Sen. John P. East (R-N.C.) was released from Bethesda naval hospital Tuesday and has returned home to recuperate from the acute hypothyroidism that hospitalized him for a month.
In a statement released by East's office, Dr. John O'Brian, the hospital's chairman of endocrinology, said East "has improved dramatically and his recovery should be complete. He should be able to perform his daily work routine without any impairment whatsoever after recuperation at home."
East, 54, will not return to the Senate until a final hospital checkup in two weeks and futher recuperation at home, his office said.
O'Brian said East must take oral doses of a synthetic hormone, which he said has no side effects, and that the senator is using no other medication. "The synthetic hormone will permit the senator to live just as though his thyroid were functioning normally," O'Brian said.
East was hospitalized April 20 in a state of exhaustion that doctors said was caused by the failure of his thyroid gland to produce the hormones that regulate metabolism. O'Brian said the blood level in East's principal thyroid hormone was so low it could not be detected.
O'Brian said East's condition was unusually severe and had been developing slowly for years.