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Talking to Your Doctor About Hypothyroidism

Written by FoundHealth.

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with hypothyroidism. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.

If available, bring all previous records of radiology (thyroid ultrasounds, nuclear medicine thyroid scan and/or uptake), lab tests of thyroid function, and treatments. Plan ahead to contact previous doctors to collect and gather this information to bring it with you. Bring a current medication list with name and dose.

Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Other Medical Problems

  • Could my hypothyroidism be caused by another, more significant health problem?
  • Will hypothyroidism lead to any further health problems for me?
  • Could my hypothyroidism be passed on to my children?

About Treatment

  • Which hormones will I need to take?
  • Are there any symptoms or dangerous side effects that I should report to you?
  • How soon after I begin treatment can I expect to have a normal level of thyroid hormone?
  • How will I know if my level of thyroid hormone is stable?
  • How soon will I start to feel better?
  • Will synthetic hormones interact with any other medications or dietary supplements that I'm taking for other conditions?
  • Is it safe for me to get pregnant and breastfeed while taking these hormones? Will I need a change in my medicine dosage during pregnancy?
  • Are there any other treatment options? What about alternative and complementary approaches to treatment?
  • Do I need to worry about gaining weight? Can you refer me to a registered dietitian or someone who can help me to control my weight?
  • Should I take my thyroid pill with food or on an empty stomach?
  • Does it matter if I take my thyroid pill in the morning or at night before bed?

About Outlook

  • What is the possibility of my thyroid returning to normal function?
  • How often do I need to see the doctor for follow-up care after my thyroid hormone level is normal?
  • Will I gain weight?



American Thyroid Association website. Available at: http://www.thyroid.org/ .

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine.15th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2001.

Roberts CG, Ladenson RW. Hypothyoidism. Lancet.2004;363:793-803.

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