How can I tell if my thyroid gland is working properly?


Both an underactive and overactive thyroid gland can cause symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, depression or anxiety, changes in sleep, changes in weight, intolerance to hot or cold temperature, hair loss, dry skin, muscles aches or tremors, or menstrual irregularities, you may have a thyroid problem. Additionally, symptoms of thyroid enlargement such as a swelling in the neck, hoarse voice, or increased discomfort wearing neckties or turtlenecks, should prompt a thyroid investigation. Ask your doctor to test your thyroid function if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

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Diseases of thyroid function: Hypothyroidism


An individual may not always present signs or symptoms of a thyroid condition during a physical exam. It is therefore critical to conduct a blood test to gauge the functions of the thyroid. 

There is a simple blood test that can be done that helps tell your doctor if your thyroid is working properly. This test is usually done only when there are symptoms that are suspicious for a thyroid problem. These symptoms can be variable and often have causes other than a thyroid problem.

Some common symptoms that may be due to a thyroid problem are:
  • heat or cold intolerance
  • hair loss
  • abnormal menstrual periods
  • dry skin
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • anxiety 
It's best to see your doctor if you have symptoms suspicious for a thyroid problem.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Dr. Oz discusses what a healthy thyroid gland does for the body. In this video, Dr. Oz. explains two do-it-yourself tests to see if the thyroid is working correctly.

Continue Learning about Thyroid


A member of our endocrine system, the thyroid gland produces hormones that help control many of our body functions, such as weight and temperature.Located at the base of our neck, this butterfly-shaped gland makes several hormones...

, which are collectively known as thyroid hormones. These hormones are especially key in the brain development of infants and children. Thyroxine, also known as T4, is the primary hormone secreted by the thyroid gland; this hormone helps control our metabolism, a chemical process that turns our food into energy. A lack of iodine in your food can cause the thyroid to swell, a condition called a goiter. Several other disorders and diseases can affect this gland, including cancer. If you notice swelling in your neck or feel a lump, make sure you see your doctor; this could indicate a problem with this important gland.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.