Using incorrect methods to detect thyroid disorders would often lead to undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Moreover, a false diagnosis may ultimately lead to even more thyroid complications. However, under the right specialist, there are many ways to double-check your condition. Read on to learn more about why an undiagnosed hypothyroidism occurs.
7 Reasons Why Hypothyroidism Goes Undiagnosed
1. Doctors Rely Too Much on the TSH Test
The first reason for undiagnosed hypothyroidism is the overreliance of physicians on the TSH test. The Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test has been a well-used method for diagnosing thyroid problems since the 1970s. In fact, due to its popularity, many physicians rely solely on these tests. Additionally, an incorrect diagnosis will ultimately lead to even more thyroid complications than there initially were.
2. Symptoms Aren’t as Prominent
The second reason for undiagnosed hypothyroidism is when the patient’s symptoms aren’t as prominent. Many experts are discouraging the overreliance of physicians on the TSH test. “What I found was many people would develop classic signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism, but the TSH was ever so slow to become abnormal, rise and confirm the clinical diagnosis. Sometimes it never did,” states Dr. Derry in an interview with Mary Shomon.
3. The TSH Test Does Not Test Actual Thyroid Levels
The third reason for undiagnosed hypothyroidism is because the actual thyroid levels aren’t detected. Thyroid problems occur when the gland produces too many hormones. This often happens when the pituitary gland malfunctions and sends out signals to the thyroid gland telling it to produce more hormones. Hence, physicians commonly rely on the TSH test which shows the levels of a patient’s pituitary gland. However, there are multiple cases the TSH test cannot detect. For example, a conversion problem from an active to an inactive thyroid is something the TSH cannot identify.
4. TSH Doesn’t Pick Up Certain Problems
As we previously discussed, there are specific complications that the TSH cannot detect issues such as conversion problems. As such, this ultimately leads to an undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when a patient’s body lacks sufficient thyroid hormones to ensure proper metabolism. Some factors may lead to this, and an abundance of hormones attacking each other is just one of them.
5. The Standard Tests Are Not Followed
There are standard tests apart from the TSH which need to be followed to avoid undiagnosed hypothyroidism. These tests include:
- Free T3
- Free T4
- Reverse T3
However, many physicians blatantly skip all the other procedures and solely run a TSH test when in fact it should be used in combination with clinical assessment. Additionally, it is suggested that the patient must undergo a fundamental reflex speed and basal metabolic rate test.
6. The Patient Does Not Consult a Doctor
Moving the unreliability of the TSH test aside, another reason for undiagnosed hypothyroidism is the patient’s refusal to seek the help of a professional. This often occurs when the patient trusts the incorrect diagnosis of their former physician. Additionally, the patient may be unaware of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
7. Being Unaware of What the Symptoms Are
You don’t have to face your doubts alone. Immediately consult another physician if you feel like your current physician was not able to accurately assess your condition. In fact, your situation may even worsen exponentially if you were to leave it as it is. Also, it would be best if you research about the other hypothyroidism symptoms we weren’t able to tackle.
An undiagnosed hypothyroidism can be prevented by consulting the right people and doing the proper research. We highly suggest seeing a doctor if any of these symptoms start to occur. Overall, you can prevent being a victim of undiagnosed hypothyroidism by being aware of your condition and visiting the proper professionals.
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