ZocdocAnswersWhen should one take a thyroid test?

Question

When should one take a thyroid test?

A lot of the symptoms of thyroid disorders just seem like my being lazy, sluggish, tired. I sort of feel like I should just snap out of it and get some exercise ? and it does seem to help when I do. But at what point should I go get my thyroid tested? When is it worthwhile?

Answer

Hypothyroidism is one of the most common endocrine disorders. Typical symptoms are cold intolerance, fatigue, slow heart rate, constipation, course hair, weight gain, and depression. These symptoms can definitely be construed as laziness, sluggishness, and being tired. Hypothyroidism is diagnosed by a blood test looking for high levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). TSH is a pituitary hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormone. If the thyroid isn't working properly, then TSH will be high. Treatment for hypothyroidism is the replacement of the hormone with levothyroxine also known as Synthroid. Testing for hypothyroidism is very easy and therefore is done anytime a patient reports a suspicious symptom. It sounds to me that you fit the criteria for immediate TSH testing. These symptoms can also be a sign of depression that is unrelated to the thyroid. Getting your thyroid checked out can sort this out. If your thyroid turns out to be normal, then you may be suffering from depression that is manifesting itself as decreased energy. All of these possibilities can be sorted out by your primary care physician. I would schedule an appointment to see him or her very soon so that you can get tested and discuss if there are steps that need to be taken. Good luck.

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