Glossary On Diagnosis

The history of the patient and certain clinical signs seen in the patient can give the treating physician clues regarding the disease. Some of the common findings are:

  • Poor muscle tone
  • Sluggish reflexes
  • Signs of anemia
  • Visible skin changes - dry coarse rough skin
  • Goiter - Abnormally enlarged thyroid gland
  • Basal body temperature

The patient's symptoms and the physician's clinical findings can be confirmed with the following investigations:

  • Serum T3
  • Serum T4
  • Serum TSH
  • 24 hour urine free T3
  • Antithyroid antibodies (for evidence of autoimmune disease)
  • Anti-TPO antibodies in the blood (for Hashimoto's thyroiditis)
  • Thyroid scan
  • Chest x-ray (may show an enlarged heart)
  • Serum cholesterol
  • Testing for anemia (including ferritin)
  • Prolactin level
  • If a pituitary or hypothalamic cause is suspected, an MRI of the brain
Hypothyroidism