How Your Doctor can Diagnose for Hypothyroidism
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How Your Doctor can Diagnose for Hypothyroidism

08,Jan,2020

Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed and assessed by your primary care doctor or an endocrinologist. Some signs, symptoms and blood tests are usually considered when detecting the chances of underactive thyroid glands. This will enable you to know the exact cause and severity of the disease.

Proper diagnosis will be done after a thorough assessment of the patient’s family and medical histories, risk factors, any findings on the physical examination, apart from the results of thyroid function levels. There are different kinds of hormones checked in the blood test to evaluate your thyroid status and the most common is the TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone. The physicians at the walk in centre usually decide to check the free thyroxine, free T4 index, T4 or total T4 to help with complete diagnosis.

Why Hypothyroidism is Not Diagnosed on the Symptoms

Some symptoms of hypothyroidism are quite common and are usually found in people who have a normal functioning thyroid gland. Hence, it might be difficult to interpret if the symptoms are associated with the thyroid. One of the ways to know if your symptoms are related to a thyroid condition is to find out how long you have been experiencing them for. 

For example, do you feel cold all the time even when others are warm? Have you started to notice a decrease in your energy? Thus, if you find new signs and symptoms, then this might be related to a thyroid issue. However, only a physician or an endocrinologist may be able to detect a thyroid problem.

What You Should Know About Your Medical and Personal Histories

You need to provide all the details about your medical and family history to the physician at the blood testing clinic. Make sure you inform them about:

  • Your present condition in case you find any changes in your overall health.
  • Your family’s health record, particularly if your relative has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or thyroid-related concerns.
  • Whether you have had undergone thyroid surgery or radiation to the neck for treating cancer.
  • Any medicines you take that may lead to hypothyroidism such as – amiodarone, interferon alpha, lithium, interleukin-2 before chemotherapy.

 How to Detect Signs of Hypothyroidism

 Your doctor at the Harley Street blood test clinic performs a thorough examination to detect any signs of hypothyroidism. These may include:

  •  Confirmation of your dry skin.
  • Swelling around the legs and eyes.
  • Slower heart rate.
  • Slower reflexes.

 Blood Tests: 

Hypothyroidism may be detected by performing different blood tests.

  • TSH Test –

    A thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH is the kind of blood test that calculates the amount of T4 (thyroxine) the thyroid is signaled to form. In case you are having an unusually high level of TSH, then this means you have hypothyroidism.
  • T4 (Thyroxine) Test –

    The thyroid gland produces T4 (thyroxine). The T4 index and the free T4 are blood tests with a TSH test that allows your physician to know how your thyroid is functioning. 

 About the Normal and Abnormal TSH Ranges

  • 4 mU/L to 4.0 mU/L is usually the reference range and people with a normally functioning thyroid gland generally fall within this range.
  • If TSH measures > 4.0 mU/L, then a second test (T4) will be done to confirm the results. If TSH > 4.0/mU/L has a lower T4 level, then this indicates hypothyroidism.
  • If the TSH is > 4.0 mU/L and T4 level is normal, then this will prompt the physician to test your serum anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) antibodies. With the presence of these antibodies, it might indicate an autoimmune thyroid disorder that is considered to be a risk factor for developing hypothyroidism.  When you already have these antibodies, contact walk in clinic where your doctor will perform the TSH test regularly,

The easiest way to know how the thyroid works is when the T4 level falls, there is a rise in TSH. But, not everyone with hypothyroidism will have increased levels of TSH.

If the pituitary gland isn’t working, then this may not send out a normal amount of TSH. The thyroid may be healthy for this case. However, if the amount of TSH is off, then the thyroid won’t produce the right amount of T4. This is very rare and is called central or secondary hypothyroidism.

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About Us


At Walk in Clinic, we provide convenient and affordable private gp services to patients. If you are staying, visiting or working in London, then our gp appointments can be conducted in person by walking in at the clinic.