Hypothyroidism: When to seek medical help?

By  , Expert Content
Mar 19, 2012

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Hypothyroidism is often difficult to diagnose as the symptoms are vague and many symptoms of hypothyroidism are often attributed to aging. There are no characteristic symptoms of hypothyroidism and many of its symptoms are observed in many other diseases. One way to assess if your symptoms are probably due to hypothyroidism is to think whether the symptom was always present; if it is so, hypothyroidism is less likely or if the symptom is a new one, hypothyroidism is more likely.

Consult your doctor if you have one or more of the following symptoms suggestive of some significant medical problem:

  • Feeling generally tired or fatigued (even after taking rest or doing modest work).
  • Depression.
  • Weight gain (even though you don’t overeat).
  • Cold intolerance (not being able to tolerate cold).
  • Excessive sleepiness.
  • Dry and coarse hair, dry skin and brittle nails.
  • Constipation.
  • Muscle cramps, vague aches and pains.
  • Change in voice (hoarse voice).
  • Irregular or heavy menstrual periods in women.
  • Infertility or reduced sex drive.
  • Pain or numbness of hands (carpal tunnel syndrome).
  • Memory loss or having trouble thinking clearly.
  • Puffiness around the eyes, swelling of leg.

These are some symptoms that may be present in a person with hypothyroidism. You may have one or more of the above mentioned symptoms and there are no symptoms, which are present in everyone with hypothyroidism. Most people with mild hypothyroidism do not have conspicuous symptoms. Signs and symptoms become apparent mostly as the condition worsens.

If you have hypothyroidism, consult your doctor if:

  • Symptoms do not improve within a few weeks of starting treatment.
  • If your blood tests (TSH and T4 test) or follow-up show that TSH and T4 are out of limits.
  • You develop any new symptoms or side-effects of medications (loss of weight, fast heart beat).

Who To Consult

Health professionals, who can be consulted, if you have any problem suggestive of thyroid disease include:

  • Family physicians.
  • Endocrinologist,
  • Physician assistants.
  • Internists.



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