Subclinical hyperthyroidism is a condition of suppressed TSH in the presence of normal thyroid hormone levels. Patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism may have mild or no symptoms.
Subclinical hyperT can also occur in patients with less severe or slowly progressive thyroid disorders such as toxic multinodular or uninodular goiter.
Due to the greater availability and increased sensitivity of today's TSH assays, many individuals are being diagnosed with subclinical hyperthyroidism. Many of these patients are being rushed into aggressive treatment although the experts recommend waiting. Also,GD patients who are on ATDs or have been recently treated with RAI may have suppressed TSH levels for many months. For these patients, the TSH level is not valid. These patients are considered euthyroid if their FT4 and FT3 levels are within the reference range.
Newly diagnosed GD patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism are said to have subclinical Graves' disease.
Patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism do not require aggressive treatment measures. Dietary and supplement changes, along with stress reduction techniques, are often enough to reduce symptoms. ♦
© 21 May 2006 Copyrighted by Elaine Moore