What Should I Monitor with Hypothyroidism?

Jan 09, 2023

Katie Breazeale, MS, RD, LD


The thyroid affects other systems and organs of the body. It is important to have a routine checkup when managing hypothyroidism. The good news is that with treatment of your thyroid some of these labs will return to normal if being affected by your thyroid. 


First: Your lipid panel. A lipid panel will tell you your cholesterol, HDL, and your HDL levels. This is important because those with hypothyroidism can have an elevated lipid panel. The good news is treatment of the thyroid can assist with treatment of your cholesterol levels.


Second: Your blood count. The lab draw is called a CBC. This is important because depending on the severity of your hypothyroid disease you’re at risk for anemia or bleeding problems. Your CBC will tell your provider your red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, white blood cell count, and your platelet count.


Third: Liver enzymes. I find this very interesting how the thyroid and liver work together. The liver has a chemical process that develops your thyroid hormones. When your thyroid isn’t working correctly it can cause problems to your liver function. This test won’t give a diagnosis but can help with treatment of symptoms and limit further problems. Your liver function tests include ALT, AST, total bilirubin, and ALP.


Fourth: Prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that stimulates lactation. Galactorrhea, spontaneous production of milk, can occur in those with hypothyroidism. Your prolactin levels will be elevated. 


Fifth: Sodium. Sodium in your body is an electrolyte and used for fluid regulation. Hypothyroidism can cause a low sodium level.


Sixth: Magnesium. Magnesium is involved in several processes of the body a few being the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm. Magnesium may be low depending on the severity of hypothyroidism. 


Seventh: Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a key role in bone development. This is another nutrient that those with hypothyroidism can become deficient in.


Eighth: Sleep testing. Hypothyroidism can affect your sleep patterns. If they persist it can turn into sleep apnea or disordered sleep. Did you know hypothyroidism can affect your tongue’s mobility (movements) thus causing it to block breathing at night.


Ask your doctor for these blood tests for a clearer picture on your health. Knowledge from these tests also better determines diet needs and helps the dietitian your working with form the best plan for your health needs.

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