How do doctors test for hypothyroidism?

The doctor will go over your child’s medical history and do a physical exam. Your child will also have a blood test to measure the following:

  • The amount of thyroid hormone (made by the thyroid gland) and thyroid stimulating hormone (or TSH, made by the pituitary gland) in the blood
  • Certain antibodies to the thyroid gland that help diagnose autoimmune hypothyroidism

How do doctors treat Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?

Treatment depends on your child’s symptoms and laboratory tests of thyroid function. In very mild cases, your child might not need treatment.

The treatment for hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a pill called levothyroxine. This medication is the synthetic thyroid hormone, and replaces the thyroid hormone that your child’s thyroid gland is not making. The doctor will tell you how and when your child should take the pill.

After starting levothyroxine, the doctor will check your child’s thyroid stimulating hormone and thyroid hormone levels at regular intervals. How often the doctor checks these is based on your child’s age and whether he is still growing.

What is the outcome for Hashimoto's thyroiditis?

Your child should live a healthy, normal life if he receives levothyroxine replacement and takes this correctly.

Rev. 9/2017. Mass General for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.