Because middle-aged women are in a high-risk category for developing hypothyroidism, it should be considered as a possible and even probable contributing factor for women over 40 who are having difficulties maintaining there weight.
Some doctors recommend a screening for the disorder as a part of the annual physical examination. Some doctors also recommend pregnant women or those of childbearing age to be tested for hypothyroidism. In addition, your doctor may recommend a test for hypothyroidism if you’re suffering from fatigue, have dry skin, constipation, and hoarseness, or if you have had any previous problems with either thyroid or goiter.
Diagnosis for hypothyroidism is the administration of a blood test that measures the TSH level and sometimes the thyroxine level. The indicators are that a low level of thyroxine and high level or TSH means you have an underactive thyroid because your pituitary produces more TSH in order to stimulate your thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone. In the past, it was impossible for doctors to detect hypothyroidism until the symptoms were well advanced, but with the sensitive TSH test that is now available, they can diagnose the disorder often before any symptoms are present.
The TSH test is the best screening test, so your doctor will more than likely check the TSH first, and then if it’s needed, he will follow up with a thyroid hormone test. TSH tests are important as more than just a diagnostic tool because they also help the doctor determine the right dosage of medication for your hypothyroidism initially and over time. TSH tests also help diagnose sub clinical hypothyroidism, which is a condition with no outward signs or symptoms but higher than normal levels of TSH with normal levels of T-3 and T-4.
Modern medicine has come a long way in both the diagnosis of treatment of hypothyroidism, and one only knows how far it will take us. Perhaps the time will come when we will be able to prevent the condition, or to cure the condition, but in the meantime, the best course of action is to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible in order to minimize the symptoms and retain the best quality of life. In addition, you want to prevent the potential for more serious problems later on. It’s important to report any symptoms to your doctor so that he can monitor your condition and adjust your medication accordingly.
Note: This is a traditional medical perspective.