Your thyroid plays a role in many of your body's functions, including metabolism, blood circulation, sleep, mood, temperature regulation, and reproduction. If your thyroid isn't working correctly, your health and well-being may suffer.

Thyroid disease affects as many as 20 million Americans, and more than half remain undiagnosed because symptoms are often similar to other medical conditions. If you're experiencing any of the common signs and symptoms of thyroid disease, speak with your health care professional about screening your thyroid while checking for other medical conditions.

During your medical appointment, your health care professional or endocrinologist may perform several screening tests to evaluate your thyroid health, including:

Assessment: Asking you about factors that could raise your risk of thyroid disease, such as your personal and family medical history.

A physical exam: Feeling your neck to check for lumps, nodules, and thyroid enlargement.

Symptom check: Asking you if you are experiencing symptoms of thyroid disease. Thyroid disease can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue or trouble sleeping
  • Unexplained weight changes
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Irritability, depression, or anxiety
  • Pain or weakness in joints or muscles
  • Changes in memory or concentration
  • Menstrual changes

Blood tests: Your health care professional may order tests to look for irregular levels of:

  • Thyroxine (T4), a hormone produced by your thyroid
  • Triiodothyronine (T3), another hormone produced by your thyroid
  • TSH, a hormone that stimulates thyroid function
  • Thyroid antibodies made by your immune system, which may attack your thyroid

If screening uncovers any concerns, your health care professional may order additional diagnostic tests, such as imaging, to learn more about your thyroid health. It may take some time to find the right treatment option for you, but the first step is to get screened to determine your thyroid condition. Remember, although thyroid disease is often a lifelong condition, it can be managed.

Self Exam

As many as 60% of the 20 million Americans with thyroid disease don’t know they have it. You can perform a simple neck check self-exam to help with early detection and check for lumps or enlargements in the neck that may point to a thyroid condition. Learn the six steps for how to check your thyroid at home by clicking HERE.