Thyroid Self-Assessment Test

From the book Thyroid Power: Ten Steps to Total Health [Paperback] by Dr Richard L Shames, M.D. and Dr. Karilee Halo Shames, R.N., Ph.D.

The following is a list of symptoms, conditions, and signs that could be indicators of low thyroid. Take this self-assessment to see if you should receive further testing, or a trial of Thyroid hormone, regardless of test results.

 

 

 

Symptoms
Give yourself 5 points for significant fatigue, and 1 point for each additional ‘yes’ answer:

      • Significant fatigue, lethargy, sluggishness, or history of low thyroid at an early age (5 points)
      • Hoarseness for no particular reason
      • Chronic recurrent infection(s)
      • Decreased sweating even with mild exercise
      • Depression, to the point of being a bothersome problem
      • A tendency to be slow to heat up, even in a sauna
      • Constipation despite adequate fiber and liquids in diet
      • Brittle nails that crack or peel easily
      • High cholesterol despite good diet
      • Frequent headaches (especially migraines)
      • Irregular menses, PMS, ovarian cysts, endometriosis
      • Unusually low sex drive
      • Red face with exercise
      • Accelerated worsening of eyesight or hearing
      • Palpitations or uncomfortably noticeable heartbeat
      • Difficulty in drawing a full breath, for no apparent reason
      • Mood swings, especially anxiety, panic, or phobia
      • Gum problems
      • Mild choking sensation or difficulty swallowing
      • Excessive menopause symptoms, not well relieved with estrogen
      • Major weight gain
      • Aches and pains of limbs, unrelated to exertion
      • Skin problems of adult acne, eczema, or severe dry skin
      • Vague and mildly annoying chest discomfort, unrelated to exercise
      • Feeling off balance
      • Infertility
      • Annoying burning or tingling sensations that come and go
      • The experience of being colder than other people around you
      • Difficulty maintaining standard weight with a sensible food intake
      • Problems with memory, focus, or concentration
      • More than normal amounts of hair come out in the brush or shower
      • Difficulty maintaining stamina throughout the day

Related Conditions
Give yourself 5 points for autoimmune illness, and one point for each additional ‘yes’ answer.

Have you ever had:

      • Any of these autoimmune disorders: rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sarcoidosis, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, biliary cirrhosis, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, thrombocytopenia (decreased blood platelets) 5 points
      • Prematurely gray hair
      • Anemia, especially the B-12 deficiency type
      • Dyslexia
      • Persistent unusual visual changes
      • Rapid cycle bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness)
      • Raynaud’s syndrome (white or blue discoloration of fingers or toes when cold)
      • Mitral valve prolapse
      • Carpal tunnel syndrome
      • Persistent tendonitis or bursitis
      • Atrial fibrillation
      • Alopecia (losing hair, especially in discrete patches)
      • Calcium deficiency
      • Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
      • Vitiligo (persistent large white patches on skin)
      • Neck injury, such as whiplash or blunt trauma

Family History
Give yourself 5 points for blood relatives ever having a thyroid problem, and 1 point for each additional ‘yes’ answer.

Have any of your blood relatives ever had:

      • High or low thyroid, or thyroid goiter (5 points)
      • Prematurely gray hair
      • Complete or partial left-handedness
      • Diabetes
      • Rheumatoid arthritis
      • Lupus
      • Sarcoidosis
      • Scleroderma
      • Sjogren’s syndrome
      • Biliary cirrhosis
      • Myasthenia gravis
      • Multiple sclerosis
      • Crohn’s disease
      • Ulcerative colitis
      • Thrombocytopenia (decreased blood platelets)

Physical Signs
Give yourself 5 points for low basal temperature, and 1 point for each additional ‘yes’ answer.

Have you or your doctor observed any of the following:

    • Low basal temperature in early morning (average of less than 97.6 degrees over 7 days)
*
    • Slow movements, slow speech, slow reaction time
    • Muscle weakness
    • Thick tongue (seemingly too big for mouth)
    • Swelling of feet
    • Swelling of eyelids or bags under eyes
    • Decreased color of lips or yellowing of skin
    • Swelling at base of neck (enlarged thyroid gland)
    • Asymmetry, lumpiness, or other irregularity of thyroid gland
    • Swelling of face
    • Excess ear wax
    • Dry mouth and/or dry eyes
    • Noticeably cool skin
    • Excessively dry or excessively coarse skin
    • Especially low blood pressure
    • Decreased ankle reflexes or normal reflexes with slow recovery phase
    • Noticeably slow pulse rate without having exercised regularly
    • Loss of outer one-third of eyebrows

*A great way to test at home is by doing basal body temperature! This is done first thing in the morning, using a basal body thermometer under the arm pit for 3 minutes, before you move out of bed.

Score interpretation:
Add up your grand total of points from all four categories above.

5 points: only mildly indicative of low thyroid

10 points: somewhat suspicious for low thyroid. Possible actions: obtain TSH level as first screening test

15 points: very suspicious for low thyroid. Possible actions: obtain additional tests if TSH is normal

20 points: likely to be low thyroid. Possible action: obtain all possible blood testing to help confirm a diagnosis

25 or more points: very likely to be low thyroid. Possible actions: obtain a trial of thyroid medicine, regardless of blood test results

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