Although Graves' disease can be diagnosed from the results of one or two tests, your doctor may use several methods to double-check the findings and rule out other disorders. An analysis of your blood will show if the levels of two hormones -- tetraiodothyrinine (free T-4) and triiodothyronine (free T-3), which are produced or regulated by the thyroid -- are higher than normal. If they are, and if levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood are abnormally low, you are hyperthyroid,...
depression, or difficulty
An inability to tolerate cold.
brittle nails, or a yellowish tint to the
Heavy or irregular
menstrual periods that may last longer than 5 to 7
If you have one or two of the above symptoms that have not
changed or have changed very little over a long period of time, it is less
likely that the symptoms are caused by hypothyroidism. Consult your doctor.
Talk to a doctor if you are pregnant and have some
of the above symptoms. Also talk to a doctor if you have hypothyroidism and are
pregnant or are trying to become pregnant. Your dose of thyroid hormone
medicine may need to be changed.
Watchful waiting—a period of time during which
you and your doctor observe your symptoms or condition without using medical
treatment—is not appropriate for hypothyroidism that is causing symptoms.
Treatment should begin as soon as the condition is diagnosed.
Watchful waiting may be appropriate for certain adults with
mild (subclinical) hypothyroidism whose blood tests
show only modest changes. Talk to your doctor about treatment, its cost and
possible risks and benefits. Watch for any signs that you may be getting
hypothyroidism. Doctors often want people to have yearly thyroid
function blood tests to check to see if
thyroid hormone production is normal.