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How to Tell If You Are Hyperthyroid

Here's how you can determine if you have an overactive thyroid condition called hyperthyroidism.

Difficulty Level: Easy      Time Required: 5 minutes


Here's How:
  1. List your risk factors, including: family history, previous treated/untreated problems (nodules, hyperthyroidism, goiter, hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer), previous thyroid surgery, another autoimmune disease.
  2. Note symptoms including: weight loss, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, hair loss, palpitations, rapid heartbeat, sweating, diarrhea, weakness, eye/vision changes.
  3. Note related conditions, including: atrial fibrillation, recurrent pregnancy loss, panic disorder, attention deficit disorder, depression.
  4. Meet with your doctor for a thyroid examination and blood test.
  5. Request a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood test, along with T4, T3, Free T4 and Free T3 tests.
  6. Review your test results with the doctor.
  7. At most labs in the U.S., up until late 2002, the normal range is from around 0.5 to 5.5. That range changed to .3 to 3 as of early 2003. If the TSH level is at the lower end of the range, or below the range, your doctor may determine that you are hyperthyroid (overactive thyroid.)
  8. If your doctor ran a test called Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 4.5 to 12.5. If you had a high reading and a low TSH, your doctor might consider that indicative of hyperthyroidism.
  9. If your doctor ran a test called Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 4.5 to 12.5. If you had a high reading, and a high TSH, your doctor might look into a possible pituitary problem.
  10. If your doctor ran a test called Free T4, or Free Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 0.7 to 2.0. If your result was greater than 2.0, your doctor might consider that indicative of hyperthyroidism.
  11. If your doctor ran a test called Total T3, normal range is approximately 80 to 220. If your result was greater than 220, your doctor might consider that indicative of hyperthyroidism.
  12. If your doctor ran a test called Free T3, normal range is approximately 2.3 to 4.2. If your result was greater than 4.2, your doctor might consider that indicative of hyperthyroidism.
  13. If your test results come back "normal" but you have many of the symptoms or risk factors for thyroid disease, make sure you ask for an antibodies test for Graves' Disease.
  14. If your test results come back "normal" but you have many of the symptoms or risk factors for thyroid disease, consider going to a reputable holistic M.D. or alternative physician for further interpretation and diagnosis.
Tips:
  1. Keep in mind that laboratory normal values vary somewhat from lab to lab. Make sure you find out your lab's normal ranges and review these with your doctor.

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