What is hypothyroidism and when should you get routine lab testing for hypothyroidism? According to the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service,* a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH), hypothyroidism (also referred to as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis) is the result of the thyroid gland failing to produce enough thyroid hormone to meet the body’s needs. As far as routine screening, you may need to be proactive, starting with knowing about the disorder and its symptoms.
Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are two hormones that the thyroid gland produces. These thyroid hormones affect such things as metabolism, brain development, breathing, heart and nervous system functions, body temperature, muscle strength, skin dryness, menstrual cycles, body weight, and cholesterol levels.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), made by the pituitary gland, regulates T3 and T4 hormone production.
Millions of Americans have some type of thyroid disease. The problem is that for many, the symptoms go undiagnosed.
Thus, people should be aware of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, which are:
If you find that you have one or more of these symptoms, you should look into thyroid blood testing.
According to the American Family Physician, in 2004 the U.S. Preventative Task Force updated their 1996 recommendations regarding thyroid screening, saying, “The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against routine screening for thyroid disease in adults.”**
As you can see from other prominent organizations mentioned in this medical news source as well, it seems each has its own view on what age is appropriate for routine thyroid testing:
Work with your doctor regarding routine lab testing but know that the choice is always yours and that accurate, affordable and confidential direct-to-consumer lab testing is available.