Living Well With Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism
WebMD Live Events Transcript
Are you one of the more than 3 million Americans suffering with Graves' disease or hyperthyroidism? If you have questions about the diagnosis or treatment of these thyroid problems and their effects on your weight, energy level, heart rate, and more, Mary J. Shomon joined us on July 21, 2005.
The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
If your problem is hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid you may have anxiety and panic attacks, rapid heart rate, weight loss, difficulty sleeping and insomnia, extreme pain in the legs and arms, a complete lack of menstrual period, hair loss, depression, diarrhea, high blood pressure and other signs of an overactive metabolism.
It's important to know that TSH number because in recent years, the lab standards for what is considered normal have changed. It used to be, in the past several years, a level of 0.5 to 5.0 was considered the normal range and now it's 0.3 to 3.0. This is a fairly dramatic difference that many doctors and labs are still not aware of. So, if your TSH is 0.3 or below, you may be hyperthyroid and if your TSH is 3.0 or above, you may be hypothyroid. That's only using the TSH test as the first test.
Other doctors may use an additional battery of tests, known as the thyroid panel, and that includes Free T4, Free T3, and thyroid antibodies to help make a formal diagnosis.
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