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How is thyroid disease diagnosed?

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Your doctor will start with a physical exam and questions about your symptoms and health history. From there, you'll likely need tests.

You'll start with blood tests to check your levels of:

From there, you may get other tests, like imaging or more bloodwork, to look for what's causing the problem.

  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Low TSH usually means you have an overactive thyroid.
  • Thyroid hormones, called T3 and T4. If they're high, you likely have hyperthyroidism.

SOURCES:

Hormone Health Network: "What Does the Thyroid Gland Do?"

UpToDate.com: "Patient education: Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) (Beyond the Basics)."

Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: "Thyroid disorders and heart conditions: What's the connection?"

AllThyroid.org: "Heart Problems: Arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, mitral valve prolapse."

Medscape: "Thyrotoxic Atrial Fibrillation."

Mayo Clinic: "Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)," "Atrial Fibrillation."

NIH, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)," "Thyroid Tests."

NIH, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Atrial Fibrillation Diagnosed?"

American Heart Association: "What are the Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF)?"

Columbia University: "Radioactive Iodine."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on July 25, 2017

SOURCES:

Hormone Health Network: "What Does the Thyroid Gland Do?"

UpToDate.com: "Patient education: Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) (Beyond the Basics)."

Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: "Thyroid disorders and heart conditions: What's the connection?"

AllThyroid.org: "Heart Problems: Arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, mitral valve prolapse."

Medscape: "Thyrotoxic Atrial Fibrillation."

Mayo Clinic: "Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)," "Atrial Fibrillation."

NIH, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)," "Thyroid Tests."

NIH, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Atrial Fibrillation Diagnosed?"

American Heart Association: "What are the Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF)?"

Columbia University: "Radioactive Iodine."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on July 25, 2017

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