How is postablative hypothyroidism diagnosed?
A diagnosis of postablative hypothyroidism can be made when blood tests reveal changes in thyroid hormone and TSH levels that are consistent with an overall deficiency of thyroid hormone. Doctors following patients with Graves’ disease who have undergone treatment with radioactive iodine are usually aware of the high likelihood that these patients may eventually develop postablative hypothyroidism. As such, these doctors usually make arrangements to check thyroid function tests on a regular basis to keep track of changes in thyroid hormone and TSH levels. The actual thyroid function tests that are checked to monitor a patient’s response to treatment with radioactive iodine may vary over time. While TSH levels usually provide the most sensitive indication of whether there is an adequate amount of thyroid hormone present in the body, they may not provide accurate information during the first few months after treatment with radioactive iodine. Long-term exposure to excess amounts of thyro