Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism

Diagnosing Hyperthyroidism requires some blood testing

The first step in diagnosing hyperthyroidism is to suspect the diagnosis based on symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Sometimes, clinical scenarios such as miscarriage, weight loss, atrial fibrillation, or osteoporosis in patients with no other symptoms may prompt a laboratory analysis. Many types of blood tests are available to examine thyroid function- by evaluating a combination of thyroid hormone levels, pituitary hormone levels and thyroid antibody levels, a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism is made. Distinguishing between the different causes of hyperthyroidism can, however, become complicated and often requires a comprehensive interview and physical examination by a thyroidologist like Dr. Jogi or Dr. Elhaj.

Serum TSH should be the first screening test once hyperthyroidism is clinically suspected. Assuming proper hypothalamic and pituitary function, a low TSH in conjunction with a high free T4 or T3 value usually indicates primary hyperthyroidism. Often further testing is necessary to distinguish the categories of hyperthyroidism which includes nuclear medicine radioactive iodine thyroid scanning and thyroid ultrasonography. Hyperthyroidism can improve or worsen quickly and so an accurate diagnosis is crucial in avoiding the complications of uncontrolled thyroid disease.