Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Concern Over Inappropriate Diagnosis And Treatment Of Thyroid Problems

Date:
April 6, 2009
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
More and more people are being inappropriately diagnosed and treated for underactivity of the thyroid gland (known as primary hypothyroidism), warn doctors in an editorial.

More and more people are being inappropriately diagnosed and treated for underactivity of the thyroid gland (known as primary hypothyroidism), warn doctors in an editorial published on the British Medical Journal website.

Related Articles


Hypothyroidism is caused by insufficient production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. It affects about three per cent of the population and is usually treated in primary care. Blood tests are essential in confirming the diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

But doctors at the British Thyroid Association are concerned that, in recent years, increasing numbers of patients with and without confirmed thyroid disease have been diagnosed and treated inappropriately with thyroid hormones.

"This is potentially an enormous problem, given that in any one year one in four people in the United Kingdom have their thyroid function checked," they warn.

The Royal College of Physicians recently set out clear guidance for the diagnosis and treatment of primary hypothyroidism in the United Kingdom, so why have these problems arisen, ask the authors?

Hypothyroidism is common and is becoming more prevalent because of increased life expectancy and an ageing population, they explain. Thyroid hormones also affect most organs, so hypothyroidism presents with symptoms that can mimic other conditions. This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis which could expose some patients to the harmful effects of excess thyroid hormones, while other serious conditions may go undiagnosed.

Information available on the internet and media interest in alternative modes of diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism, have also caused an increase in requests for inappropriate investigations and non-standard treatments, as well as referrals to non-accredited practitioners, they add.

These factors have led to a rise in awareness and confusion about hypothyroidism, and they have increased the workload in primary care.

The authors stress that, in most cases, the management of primary hypothyroidism is straightforward and should be undertaken in primary care.

But they suggest that if wellbeing is not restored despite normal concentrations of thyroid stimulating hormone, it is important to exclude other conditions as the cause of ongoing symptoms. If no obvious cause is found the patient should be referred to an accredited hospital endocrinologist or general physician.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Concern Over Inappropriate Diagnosis And Treatment Of Thyroid Problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326215104.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2009, April 6). Concern Over Inappropriate Diagnosis And Treatment Of Thyroid Problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326215104.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Concern Over Inappropriate Diagnosis And Treatment Of Thyroid Problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326215104.htm (accessed March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins