A doctor diagnoses mild, or subclinical,
hypothyroidism through a medical history and physical
examination. If your doctor suspects that you have subclinical
hypothyroidism, you will have lab tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Subclinical hypothyroidism is diagnosed when you have:
No symptoms or mild symptoms of hypothyroidism. Examples are fatigue, cold intolerance, consistent weight gain,
depression, or memory problems.
Some people with subclinical hypothyroidism may test positive
antibodies. These point to
Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which may cause a gradual
loss of thyroid gland function.
Some studies have shown that older adults with subclinical
hypothyroidism may be more likely to have
heart failure. But more research is needed.
Research does not provide clear evidence to support treatment of
every person who has subclinical hypothyroidism. And many doctors disagree whether
it should be treated. When making the decision to treat subclinical
hypothyroidism, you and your doctor will talk about the benefits
of treatment (reduced symptoms) compared to the cost of medicine and monitoring
symptoms. Some studies have shown that treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism
cholesterol levels. But more research is
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerMatthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology