Recently saw a returning patient in her early 40’s having heart racing that was preventing her from sleeping but told normal ECG when heart tracing done in the Emergency Room. As heart palpitations can have many causes, bloodwork was done for female hormones, male hormones and thyroid. This patient had a normal thyroid panel but had positive thyroid antibodies indicating Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or an auto-immune thyroid condition that would be missed except for a full thyroid panel. Hashimoto’s is more common that many think; it has flares and remissions that can mimic an overactive metabolism yet have a normal screening TSH blood value. If you have symptoms that may sound like this, get bloodwork to rule out this autoimmune Hashimoto’s.
This patient underwent baseline thyroid ultrasound as part of Hashimoto’s screening; this ultrasound showed an abnormal nodule that was then biopsied and showed cancer. Hashimoto’s does have a 15% increased risk of thyroid cancer and baseline ultrasound is highly imortant in Hashimoto’s management; ask your healthcare provider for this test.