How can we Diagnose Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism can be suspected in patients with fatigue, cold intolerance, constipation and dry, flaky skin.
A blood test is needed to confirm the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. The blood levels of thyroid hormones are usually decreased in people with hypothyroidism. However, the level of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) may be normal in early hypothyroidism.
Therefore, measuring blood levels of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is a more reliable laboratory test. The TSH levels are elevated in hypothyroidism as the pituitary gland secretes more TSH to encourage the production of thyroid hormone.
If a pituitary or hypothalamic cause is suspected, an MRI of the brain and other studies may be required.
T wave inversion showing up on electrocardiogram (ECG) may indicate hypothyroidism.