How is a diagnosis of hypothyroidism made?
Primary hypothyroidism is typically diagnosed by a blood test measuring levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). If a patient has normal levels of TSH, but has many of the above symptoms of hypothyroidism, doctors may complete further tests for secondary or tertiary hypothyroidism. This involves measuring both the total and free levels of T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine) in the blood. If still inconclusive, doctors may require other diagnostics such as a urine test, cholesterol test, or prolactin measurements. What are the treatments? Hypothyroidism is treated by replacing the missing hormone(s). Most doctors prescribe T4 only. However, if a patient continues to be symptomatic, they should discuss a combination of T3 and T4 with their endocrinologist. In addition, some patients are allergic to the dyes in T4 products. Some also have additives that affect their performance. Dye-free formulations are available. T4 – levothyroxine (e.g. Levoxyl, Synthroid, etc.) T3/T4 combinat