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 31, 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 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
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