Dr. Ladenson explains how a woman can determine if her symptoms are from a thyroid condition or just aging.
It's hard to know whether symptoms that a woman might commonly have are due to a thyroid condition or not. After all, many people from time-to-time might feel tired, unhappy about gaining weight, perhaps colder than others, have constipation or dry skin. Each of those is a symptom of an underactive thyroid gland, but they can also be just due to life and getting older.
The test that can enable a woman to know if she has an underactive thyroid gland that might be responsible for fatigue, overweight, a depressed mood, dry skin, constipation, the test is a TSH blood test. Now, there are also some ways that a woman can decide when it’s appropriate to ask for that blood test, and I tell my patients that if they’ve had a complaint that is new for them, a complaint that lasts more than two weeks or a complaint that’s occurring in combination with others that suggest a thyroid problem, that’s a time to see one’s doctor and get a TSH blood test.
About Dr. Ladenson:
Dr. Ladenson is Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, where he is the John Eager Howard Professor of Endocrinology and Professor of Medicine, Pathology, Oncology, and International Health. Dr. Ladenson was raised in Missouri and educated at Dartmouth College, Oxford University, and Harvard Medical School before training in Internal Medicine and in endocrinology and metabolism at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is also the past-president for the American Thyroid Association. Dr. Ladenson’s research interests include the effects of thyroid hormone on the cardiovascular system, applications of thyroid hormone analogs, novel approaches to thyroid cancer diagnosis and management, and health economic analyses related to thyroid patient care.
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