Thyroid related questions you should ask your doctor

Design: BOOST Thyroid.

Design: BOOST Thyroid.

When addressing your health concerns and symptoms, it can be helpful to ask your healthcare provider specific questions. Clear inquiries should be met with answers that assure you and action that aids you. Asking informed questions can help contribute to an improved doctor–patient relationship, which should be built on trust and respect.

Being well informed on your autoimmune condition can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, which will improve your symptoms. Knowing a lot about your thyroid condition can also help you realize when something feels off.

We’ve outlined five types of thyroid related questions (with subquestions) you should ask your doctor—based on how recently you’ve been diagnosed.

First, here are some questions applicable to all Hashimoto’s patients (whether you were diagnosed last week or a few years ago):

1. Ask about treatment options

  • How is Hashimoto’s managed?

  • What are my medication options?

  • Which treatment is most common for my condition?

  • Is a generic version of my medication as effective?

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of medication?

  • What would happen if I didn’t take any medication?

  • What would happen if I postpone taking medication (as in starting medication treatment in a few months or years) delay my treatment?

  • Is there anything I should avoid when taking this medication?

2. Ask about symptoms

  • What symptoms should I watch out for?

  • How will I know if this medication is working?

  • What should I do if I have side effects?

  • What side effects should I expect?

  • What are the risks and benefits associated with this treatment?

3. Ask about blood work

  • Will I need more tests done?

  • How accurate are thyroid tests?

  • How long will it take to receive my results?

  • What do my TSH levels actually tell me?

4. Ask about associated conditions

  • Is there another condition alongside Hashimoto’s that could be causing my symptoms?  If yes, should I be tested for it?

  • Will my job or lifestyle be affected?

  • Do I need to take precautions while doing activities?

5. Ask when to come back

  • When should I come for a follow-up?

If you were diagnosed with a thyroid condition a while ago,
here are some more important questions you should ask your doctor:

Ask about the treatment options

  • Is this medication working for me?

Ask about symptoms

  • What are the side effects of the medication I’m taking?

  • How do I know if my medication dose is too high?

  • Is my related to the overall thyroid status?

  • Will {specific food} worsen my symptoms/interfere with my thyroid medication?

  • How do my symptoms relate to low thyroid hormone levels?

Ask about blood work

  • What could have caused changes in my TSH levels?

  • How do I know if my T4 is being converted to T3 at a good rate?

Ask about associated conditions 

  • How much weight gain or loss is okay to stay on this medication dose? (Your dose of thyroid medication needs to change if you lose or gain weight)

If you were recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s,
here are some more important questions you should ask your doctor:

Ask about the treatment options

  • Which medications can I take?

Ask about symptoms

  • What is Hashimoto’s?

  • What caused my Hashimoto’s?

Ask about associated conditions 

  • How serious is Hashimoto’s?

  • What is the short-term and long-term prognosis of my health?

Tracking your symptoms, lab tests, medication, and supplements in the BOOST Thyroid app can help you have better conversations with your doctor.

Clar McWeeney