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Hyperthyroidism - Exams and Tests

Your doctor will ask questions about your medical history, do a physical exam, and order medical tests to diagnose hyperthyroidism.

If your doctor thinks you may have hyperthyroidism, he or she may order:

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  • A thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test, which is a blood test that measures your levels of TSH. If your TSH level is low, your doctor will want to do more tests.
  • Thyroid hormone tests, which are blood tests to measure your levels of two types of thyroid hormones, called T3 and T4. If your thyroid hormone levels are high, you have hyperthyroidism.

When you are being treated for hyperthyroidism, your doctor will test your TSH and thyroid hormones several times a year to see how well your treatment is working.

After you are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, your doctor may also want to do:

If you have Graves' ophthalmopathy, your doctor may also do an ultrasound, an MRI, or a CT scan to look more closely at your eyes.

Early detection

It is not clear whether people who do not have any risk factors and who do not have any symptoms of hyperthyroidism need to be tested regularly for thyroid problems. The American Thyroid Association recommends that adults, particularly women, be screened for thyroid problems every 5 years, beginning at age 35. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not think there is enough evidence to recommend either for or against regular thyroid testing. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to be tested for thyroid problems.1, 2

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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