Madison (WKOW) -- Recent studies suggest that about 13 million Americans have an undiagnosed thyroid condition.
And as Barbara Vaughan reports, there's new information about preventing a misdiagnosis.
Jacquie Beers has a thyroid condition that went undiagnosed for years.
She said, "it took a huge toll on my social life and dating and everything. It was, it was very disappointing to me. It was hard."
Throughout her 20's, she felt exhausted, a classic symptom of an underactive thyroid.
Yet, the standard thyroid blood test showed her thyroid was normal.
She added, "by the time I had come here, dr. G had tested me that my thyroid actually wasn't normal and I have what they call hashimoto thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid."
Doctor "g" is Andre Garabedian.
He checks a lot of thyroids and says a routine test to measure T.S.H., thyroid stimulating hormone, is the first step.
Garabedian said, "that's, those are the traditional tests. But we now know that those are not sufficient."
Doctors can test for thyroid antibodies and other thyroid hormones besides TSH, including free t-3, free t-4 and reverse t-3.
He added, "for the thyroid to work, you don't necessarily have to have only thyroid hormone in the blood. You have to have these hormones reach the tissue level and exhibit their thyroid function.
Even if your routine test shows up normal, make sure you tell your doctor about all of your symptoms.
Garabedian also said, "there are a lot of subtle conditions now that we have discovered that have nothing to do with the blood test."
Jacquie's relieved she finally got the right diagnosis and the proper treatment.
She said, "things are starting to go in the right direction, so... It's been a long time."
Now she plans to get her life back on track.
Experts have narrowed the range for the standard test so more people will be able to fall outside the "normal" range.
Researchers are also looking at links between abnormal thyroid function and high cholesterol, depression, and infertility.