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Thyroid Diseases

Can You Have Hypothyroidism and Not Know It?

05/28/2006

Question:

Is it possible to have hypothyriodism for 30 years and not know it?

Answer:

Yes, for two reasons.  First, mild hypothyroidism can be present with no symptoms, or with very mild symptoms easily explained away.  Second, even more serious hypothyroidism can cause symptoms that are blamed on other things and allowed to continue without diagnosis.  However, it would be pretty unusual for really florid, severe hypothyroidism to go that long without someone noticing there was a problem and diagnosing it correctly.  Thyroid blood tests are easy to order and most doctors have a fairly low threshold for ordering them.

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Response by:

Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University