4 Thyroid Checklists You Can Take To Your Doctor

Doctor and patient sitting down and discussing risk and symptoms checklist
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An important part of getting properly diagnosed or treated with a thyroid condition -- or any health issue -- is maintaining clear communications with your health care practitioner.

If you suspect that you might have a thyroid or other health problem, your first step should be to schedule an appointment with your health care practitioner.

While you don't want to overwhelm your practitioner with volumes of research, printouts, and information, it can be very helpful to come to your appointment with a checklist.

For example, if you suspect that you may have a thyroid condition, filling out a checklists of your risks and symptoms can be a clear and easy way to communicate important risk factors -- such as family or personal medical history -- and to highlight key symptoms.

Even if you have already been diagnosed and are receiving treatment, when you go in for a followup appointment, having a symptoms checklist can be useful to open up the discussion with your practitioner of unresolved symptoms and concerns that you are still experiencing. 

Here are some helpful checklists that you can review and bring to your appointments with health care practitioners. Note: bring at least one or two extra copies -- one for you, one for the practitioner, and an extra one that you make sure is put into your medical file.

  • Hyperthyroidism Risks and Symptoms Checklist -- An overactive thyroid -- known as hyperthyroidism -- frequently results from the autoimmune condition known as Graves' disease. This checklist points out the various risks and symptoms that are typical when the thyroid becomes overactive.
  • Autoimmune Disease Risks and Symptoms Checklist -- Thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Graves' disease are among the most common autoimmune diseases. Having one autoimmune condition -- or a family history of autoimmune disease -- means that you and your family members are at greater risk of other autoimmune diseases. This checklist provides an overview of frequently seen symptoms of autoimmune disease, along with risk factors.

Remember that you can't definitively diagnose yourself using a checklist. So in order to have a constructive appointment, you will want to avoid presenting your filled out checklists as conclusive evidence. Instead, use them as a way to open the discussion. 

For example: 

"Doctor, my mother and grandmother had thyroid conditions, and I've had a number of symptoms lately that made me think that it's something worth looking at in my case. I've filled out this checklist as a way to summarize my risks and symptoms." 

Ultimately, the more information about your risks and symptoms that you can concisely provide, the more productive your medical appointments will be. It's all part of being an empowered patient

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