How is thyroid disease diagnosed?

Thyroid disease can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are easily confused with other conditions. Fortunately, there is a test, called the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test, that can identify thyroid disorders even before the onset of symptoms. The Journal of the American Medical Association found that screening for mild thyroid failure in women and men over age 35 is as cost-effective as screening for more common problems such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

When thyroid disease is caught early, treatment can control the disorder even before the onset of symptoms.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/30/2016.


  • Office on Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. Thyroid disease Accessed 7/1/2016.
  • American Thyroid Association. Thyroid Information Accessed 7/1/2016.
  • Bauer DC, McPhee SJ. Thyroid Disease. In: Hammer GD, McPhee SJ. eds. Pathophysiology of Disease: An Introduction to Clinical Medicine, Seventh Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2013. Accessed 7/1/2016.

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