Most cases of
hypothyroidism in the United States are caused by
Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which cannot be
Although you cannot prevent hypothyroidism, you can
watch for signs of the disease so it can be treated promptly. Some people who
are at high risk of having hypothyroidism but do not have symptoms can be
tested to see whether they have mild, or subclinical, hypothyroidism.
Expert groups differ in their recommendations for screening:
- The American Thyroid Association recommends
that all adults be tested beginning at age 35 and continuing every 5
years.7 Older adults, especially women older than 60,
those with a
family history of hypothyroidism, and those with
pernicious anemia, and
type 1 diabetes should also be tested, according to
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force makes no
recommendation for or against thyroid screening for people who do not have
symptoms of hypothyroidism. Its statement indicates there is not enough
evidence to support screening.8
panel of experts from several medical specialties recommends against widespread
screening.4 But these health professionals say that if
you are high risk, you may want to be screened. Those at high risk include
women older than age 60 and people who have type 1 diabetes or other
autoimmune diseases.4 Talk to
your doctor about whether you should be screened.
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