Once target control is achieved and the results of self-monitoring become quite predictable, there is little gained in most individuals from repeatedly confirming this state. There are many exceptions, such as acute illness, when new medications are added, when weight fluctuates significantly, when A1c targets drift off course and in individuals who need monitoring to maintain targets. Self-monitoring is beneficial as long as one is learning and adjusting therapy based on the result of the monitoring.
Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee, et al. Monitoring glycemic control. Can J Diabetes. 2013 Apr;37 Suppl 1:S35-9. PMID: 24070960.
Davidson MB, et al. The effect of self monitoring of blood glucose concentrations on glycated hemoglobin levels in diabetic patients not taking insulin: a blinded, randomized trial. Am J Med. 2005 Apr;118(4):422-5. PMID: 15808142.
Farmer A, et al. Impact of self monitoring of blood glucose in the management of patients with non-insulin treated diabetes: open parallel group randomised trial. BMJ. 2007 Jul 21;335(7611):132. PMID: 17591623.
O’Kane MJ, et al. Efficacy of self monitoring of blood glucose in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes (ESMON study): randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2008 May 24;336(7654):1174-7. PMID: 18420662.Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Thyroid ultrasound is used to identify and characterize thyroid nodules, and is not part of the routine evaluation of abnormal thyroid function tests (over- or underactive thyroid function) unless the patient also has a large goiter or a lumpy thyroid. Incidentally discovered thyroid nodules are common. Overzealous use of ultrasound will frequently identify nodules, which are unrelated to the abnormal thyroid function, and may divert the clinical evaluation to assess the nodules, rather than the thyroid dysfunction. Imaging may be needed in thyrotoxic patients; when needed, a thyroid scan, not an ultrasound, is used to assess the etiology of the thyrotoxicosis and the possibility of focal autonomy in a thyroid nodule.
Bahn RS, et al. Hyperthyroidism and other causes of thyrotoxicosis: management guidelines of the American Thyroid Association and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Endocr Pract. 2011 May-Jun;17(3):456-520. PMID: 21700562.
Garber JR, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for hypothyroidism in adults: cosponsored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association. Endocr Pract. 2012 Nov-Dec;18(6):988-1028. PMID: 23246686.Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
T4 is converted into T3 at the cellular level in virtually all organs. Intracellular T3 levels regulate pituitary secretion and blood levels of TSH, as well as the effects of thyroid hormone in multiple organs. Therefore, in most people a normal TSH indicates either normal endogenous thyroid function or an adequate T4 replacement dose. TSH only becomes unreliable in patients with suspected or known pituitary or hypothalamic disease when TSH cannot respond physiologically to altered levels of T4 or T3.
Garber JR, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for hypothyroidism in adults: cosponsored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association. Endocr Pract. 2012 Nov-Dec;18(6):988-1028. PMID: 23246686.
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Many of the symptoms attributed to male hypogonadism are commonly seen in normal male aging or in the presence of comorbid conditions. Testosterone therapy has the potential for serious side effects and represents a significant expense. It is therefore important to confirm the clinical suspicion of hypogonadism with biochemical testing. Current guidelines recommend the use of a total testosterone level obtained in the morning. A low level should be confirmed on a different day, again measuring the total testosterone. In some situations, a free or bioavailable testosterone may be of additional value.
Bhasin S, et al. Testosterone therapy in adult men with androgen deficiency syndromes: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Jun;91(6):1995-2010. PMID: 16720669.
Wu FC, et al. Identification of late-onset hypogonadism in middle-aged and elderly men. N Engl J Med. 2010 Jul 8;363(2):123-35. PMID: 20554979.Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Positive anti-TPO titres are not unusual in the ‘normal’ population. Their presence in the context of thyroid disease only assists in indicating that the pathogenesis is probably autoimmune. As thyroid autoimmunity is a chronic condition, once diagnosed there is rarely a need to re-measure anti-TPO titres. In euthyroid pregnant patients deemed at high risk of developing thyroid disease, anti-TPO antibodies may influence the frequency of surveillance for hypothyroidism during the pregnancy. It is uncommon that measurement of anti-TPO antibodies influences patient management.
De Groot L, et al. Management of thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy and postpartum: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Aug;97(8):2543-65. PMID: 22869843.
Garber JR, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for hypothyroidism in adults: cosponsored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association. Thyroid. 2012 Dec;22(12):1200-35. PMID: 22954017.
Surks MI, et al. Age-specific distribution of serum thyrotropin and antithyroid antibodies in the US population: implications for the prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Dec;92(12):4575-82. PMID: 17911171.Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
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