Hypothyroidism - Diagnosis

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

How was your hypothyroidism diagnosed?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black square:

How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?

A diagnosis of hypothyroidism can be suspected in patients with fatigue, cold intolerance, constipation, and dry, flaky skin. A blood test is needed to confirm the diagnosis.

When hypothyroidism is present, the blood levels of thyroid hormones can be measured directly and are usually decreased. However, in early hypothyroidism, the level of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) may be normal. Therefore, the main tool for the detection of hyperthyroidism is the measurement of the TSH, the thyroid stimulating hormone. As mentioned earlier, TSH is secreted by the pituitary gland. If a decrease of thyroid hormone occurs, the pituitary gland reacts by producing more TSH and the blood TSH level increases in an attempt to encourage thyroid hormone production. This increase in TSH can actually precede the fall in thyroid hormones by months or years (see the section on Subclinical Hypothyroidism below). Thus, the measurement of TSH should be elevated in cases of hypothyroidism. However, there is one exception. If the decrease in thyroid hormone is actually due to a defect of the pituitary or hypothalamus, then the levels of TSH are abnormally low. As noted above, this kind of thyroid disease is known as "secondary" or "tertiary" hypothyroidism. A special test, known as the TRH test, can help distinguish if the disease is caused by a defect in the pituitary or the hypothalamus. This test requires an injection of the TRH hormone and is performed by an endocrinologist (hormone specialist).

Return to Thyroid Blood Tests

See what others are saying

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I don't know what is wrong-my doctor says that all of my blood work is in the "high normal" ranges. I am a 50 year old female. Up until 6 months ago I would have described myself as normal, healthy very active professional. Since December I have lost 50 lbs, have very frequent periods (two or three times an hour) where I sweat profusely, cannot sleep, yet am constantly exhausted, easily agitated, short temper, difficulty concentrating, cannot remember anything (walk out of the room and forget what I went to get and I get lost on my way to the store) cannot complete a task, I am in constant pain, my muscles ache, and my joints are throbbing. My menstrual periods suddenly stopped in January. Yet my doctor says he can find no reason for any of my symptoms, and thinks it is all due to emotional things, although there have been no drastic changes in my life to cause any upheaval.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Jenny in Arizona, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I am 38 and a mother of three. Just recently, I was scared by odd chest sensations that turned out to be heart palpitations brought on by thyroid problems. My other symptoms were: hot feelings on my face, sweating, dizziness after the palpitations, inability to concentrate on a task and tenderness in my muscles and tingling limbs. My first blood test showed an underactive thyroid. After taking .025 mcg for 30 days, my blood tests still came back that I needed a dosage increase. So now I just started taking .05 mcg. My symptoms have decreased some. The heart palpitations are down to about three a day and only happen when I am busy doing activities. I still get dizzy, mostly in the mornings. (And mom if you are reading this: No, I am not pregnant, haha.) I am feeling so much better than I did one month ago, and I am looking forward to feeling even better as they regulate my thyroid levels. I hope this will help someone. If I am to have any health issues, this is the one I would choose because I already feel so much better, and I am still not where they want me to be.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Stay Informed!

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox FREE!