Euthyroid sick syndrome history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Akshun Kalia M.B.B.S.[2]


Obtaining a history gives important information in making a diagnosis of euthyroid sick syndrome. Complete history should be obtained regarding past and any newly diagnosed medical condition, previous history of thyroid disease and current medications. Patients of euthyroid sick syndrome present with serious illness and are febrile with hypermetabolism. In euthyroid sick syndrome the symptoms of the underlying condition may overlap with features of hypothyroidism. Generally it takes atleast 2-3 weeks for thyroid hormone levels to decline and symptoms of hypothyroidism takes even longer period for expression. The common symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, cold intolerance, decreased sweating, hypothermia, coarse skin, weight gain, depression, emotional lability, and attention deficit.


Obtaining a history gives important information in making a diagnosis of euthyroid sick syndrome. It provides insight into the cause, precipitating factors, and associated comorbid conditions. A complete history will help determine the correct therapy and helps in determining the prognosis. In severe cases of euthyroid sick syndrome patients may be disoriented, therefore, the patient interview may be difficult. In such cases, history from the care givers or the family members may need to be obtained. The areas of focus should be:[1][2][3][4]


Common Symptoms

The common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:[5][6][7][8]




Other findings

Less common symptoms




  • Slowed speech and movements

Other findings


  1. O'Brien T, Dinneen SF, O'Brien PC, Palumbo PJ (1993). "Hyperlipidemia in patients with primary and secondary hypothyroidism". Mayo Clin. Proc. 68 (9): 860–6. PMID 8371604.
  2. Diekman T, Lansberg PJ, Kastelein JJ, Wiersinga WM (1995). "Prevalence and correction of hypothyroidism in a large cohort of patients referred for dyslipidemia". Arch. Intern. Med. 155 (14): 1490–5. PMID 7605150.
  3. Lania A, Persani L, Beck-Peccoz P (2008). "Central hypothyroidism". Pituitary. 11 (2): 181–6. doi:10.1007/s11102-008-0122-6. PMID 18415684.
  4. Fliers E, Bianco AC, Langouche L, Boelen A (2015). "Thyroid function in critically ill patients". Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 3 (10): 816–25. doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00225-9. PMC 4979220. PMID 26071885.
  5. Carlé A, Pedersen IB, Knudsen N, Perrild H, Ovesen L, Laurberg P (2014). "Hypothyroid symptoms and the likelihood of overt thyroid failure: a population-based case-control study". Eur. J. Endocrinol. 171 (5): 593–602. doi:10.1530/EJE-14-0481. PMID 25305308.
  6. Diaz A, Lipman Diaz EG (2014). "Hypothyroidism". Pediatr Rev. 35 (8): 336–47, quiz 348–9. doi:10.1542/pir.35-8-336. PMID 25086165.
  7. Samuels MH (2014). "Psychiatric and cognitive manifestations of hypothyroidism". Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 21 (5): 377–83. doi:10.1097/MED.0000000000000089. PMC 4264616. PMID 25122491.
  8. McDermott MT (2009). "In the clinic. Hypothyroidism". Ann. Intern. Med. 151 (11): ITC61. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-151-11-200912010-01006. PMID 19949140.

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