If your doctor thinks you may have hyperthyroidism, he or she may order:
- 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:
- An antithyroid antibody test to see if you have the kind of antibodies that attack thyroid tissue. This test can help diagnose Graves' disease and autoimmune thyroiditis.
- A radioactive thyroid scan and radioactive iodine uptake tests, which use radiation and a special camera to find out the cause of your hyperthyroidism.
Experts do not agree on whether adults who don't have symptoms should have a thyroid test. The American Thyroid Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommend that testing be considered for those older than age 60.1 The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force makes no recommendation for or against screening for people who do not have symptoms of thyroid problems. The USPSTF states that there is not enough evidence to support screening.2
Talk to your doctor about whether testing is right for you.