Thyroid Guide – Thyroid Function Test: The thyroid gland plays a very important metabolic role in our body. It controls metabolism and other body functions. The thyroid gland also maintains normal body temperature and heart rate. If the thyroid gland no longer functions as it should, one’s appetite and digestive system will be affected.
The thyroid gland is located in the middle of the neck. It helps with the body’s muscle and bone development and the functions of the nervous system. This is basically the reason why one’s health is at risk if they are experiencing, or suffering from, thyroid problems.
Thyroid Function Tests are the different tests conducted to assess and determine the cause of an individual’s thyroid problems. These tests are done for physicians to be able to determine which thyroid problem an individual is suffering from. At times, the body may produce too much or too little thyroid hormones which may result to either hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism.
Thyroid function tests include T3 test, T4 test and the TSH test or thyroid stimulating test. These tests are done to check an individual’s thyroid functions. Thyroid function tests are normally conducted by getting blood tests from a patient suspected to be suffering from a thyroid problem.
Interesting Questions about Thyroid:
Thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can cause either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, or one followed by the other. It can also cause a goiter, an abnormal swelling in the neck due to an enlarged thyroid. It affects about 12 million people in the United States.
Thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. When patients with thyroiditis have any symptoms, they are usually the symptoms of hypothyroidism. It is also common to have an enlarged thyroid that may shrink over time.
The type of thyroiditis seen most often is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a painless disease of the immune system that runs in families. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis affects about 5% of the adult population, increasing particularly in women as they age.
Another form of thyroiditis affects women of childbearing age. Postpartum thyroiditis occurs in 5%-9% of women soon after giving birth and is usually a temporary condition.
Viral and bacterial infections can also cause thyroiditis.
A goiter is an abnormal swelling in the neck caused by an enlarged thyroid gland. It can become quite large. The problem occurs in at least 5% of the population.
Worldwide, the most common cause of a goiter is lack of iodine, a chemical which the thyroid uses to produce its hormones. About 100 million people don’t get enough iodine in their diets, but the problem has been solved in the United States and most developed countries by adding iodine to salt.
Even with the right amount of iodine, the thyroid gland can swell, creating a goiter. This can occur in any type of thyroid disease, including hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, and thyroid cancer. Many goiters develop with normal thyroid hormone levels and do not require treatment.
There are several different causes of hyperthyroidism:
- The entire thyroid gland may be overactive, producing too much hormone. Doctors call this problem diffuse toxic goiter, or Graves’ disease.
- One or more lumps (also called nodules) in the gland may be overactive. One such lump is called a toxic autonomously functioning thyroid nodule, and several lumps are called a toxic multi-nodular goiter.
- The gland may be inflamed, a condition called thyroiditis. It can release the thyroid hormone that was stored in the gland, causing hyperthyroidism that lasts for a few weeks or months.
- Some patients may take more thyroid hormone pills than needed or prescribed.
- Some drugs, such as Quadrinal®, amiodarone (Cordarone®), and Lugol’s solution, contain large amounts of iodine, a chemical the thyroid uses to produce its hormones, and may cause the thyroid to produce too much hormone.
® Quadrinal is a registered trademark of Knoll Pharmaceutical.
® Cordarone is a registered trademark of Wyeth Labs.
Have more questions? Need more answers? Check our Full Thyroid FAQ
Thyroid Function Test Result
A person who is suspected to be suffering from thyroid problems will undergo a series of tests. Thyroid Function tests vary depending on the symptoms an individual feels. Tests may include T3, T4 or TSH, thyroid stimulating hormones. These tests will be conducted by taking blood. The blood tests will be assessed and are able to show the thyroid functions of an individual. Once the thyroid functions are gauged and are proved to be either overactive or underactive, the physician will provide a diagnosis and may either run more series of tests or provide proper treatment.
Thyroid Function Test Interpretation
Once an individual submits himself for a thyroid function test, his thyroid functions will be assessed. Part of the thyroid function test is to get a blood sample from an individual suffering from thyroid problems. Thyroid function tests may include each of the following:
- T3 test or Triiodothyronine – These are thyroid hormones that circulate in the blood and are believed to be responsible for a number of biological actions. When one undergoes this test, the body is checked to see if it has enough of this thyroid hormone.
- T4 test or Tetraiodothyronine, Thyroxine – These are thyroid hormones that circulate in the blood primarily bound to protein molecules. One may also undergo a T4 test to check if the thyroid gland has produced enough thyroxine in the body.
- TSH test or Thyroid Stimulating Hormones – Thyroid stimulating hormones are produced by the pituitary gland in the brain to tell the thyroid to release more thyroid hormones into the blood circulation of the body. This is one of the thyroid function tests an individual goes through if one is suspected of having thyroid problems.
After any of these tests are conducted, thyroid functions will be interpreted by a physician. A physician can then detect the specific thyroid problem an individual may be suffering from. The physician will then provide medication or surgery depending on how severe the thyroid problem is.
Thyroid FAQ & Links to Related Articles
|There are four parathyroid glands that are normally having the size of a single rice grain. In some normal cases, they can be as big as the size of a pea.|
|Also called underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism is a disorder that is characterized by abnormal level of thyroid hormones in the body, which is too low.|
|The thyroid is a butterfly (pear)-shaped gland, it consists of 2 symmetrical lobes joined by a central isthmus that normally covers the 2nd & 3rd tracheal rings.|
|Congenital hypothyroidism is a thyroid gland disorder that may lead to deafness or mental retardation if left undetected.|
|Hypothyroidism can cause depression. Most people don?t realize that this feeling is depression caused by the thyroid gland not functioning as it should.|
|Papillary thyroid cancer is one of the thyroid cancer types. This type of thyroid cancer arises from the follicles in the thyroid gland.|
|The thyroid gland is located immediately below the larynx on each side of and anterior to the trachea. It is one of the largest of the endocrine glands|
|These thyroid hormones are responsible in regulating the body?s metabolism, which is how much food will be broken down into useful energy for consumption.|
|When the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, one may suffer from hyperthyroidism.|
|The thyroid stimulating hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. The thyroid stimulating hormone promotes the growth of the thyroid gland.|
|Thyroid hormones are chemical substances produced by the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck.|
|Natural thyroid supplements are helpful as a remedy to thyroid disorders. Its natural ingredients assure one of its safeties in taking it.|
|The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that is the primary responsible in regulating the body?s metabolism.|
|Thyroid surgery is used to treat people with thyroid problems such as thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules and hyperthyroidism.|
|Thyroid tests or thyroid function tests are done to check the thyroid function in one?s body. A doctor will be able to determine and diagnose the thyroid disorder.|
|Treatment for thyroid disorders should be done to prevent unwanted results caused by the severity of the condition. Consult a physician for more of these treatments.|
|Thyroidectomy is a surgical process wherein the whole or a part of the thyroid gland is removed. This surgical process is used to treat thyroid disorders.|
|Having an underactive thyroid is a minor problem but it seeks proper attention to avoid further health problems. Consult a physician about any thyroid problem.|
|Low thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, is a condition where the thyroid gland is under active.|
|Following a healthy meal plan, exercise and proper medication goes hand in hand to treat hypothyroidism. Consult a physician for a more individualized plan.|
|Each thyroid cancer treatment depends on the type of thyroid cancer and the extent or stage of the thyroid cancer one is suffering from.|
|Parathyroid hormones are considered to be the most important endocrine regulator. It basically regulates the calcium and phosphorus concentration in the body.|
|Studies show that since 1925, the standard treatment for parathyroid disease is to surgically remove the parathyroid gland(s) which are overproducing parathyroid hormones.|
|Parathyroid adenoma is a small tumor of the parathyroid gland and is known to be the most common disorder of the gland.|
|Medullary thyroid cancer is one of the types of thyroid cancer. This type of thyroid cancer is more common in women than in men.|
|Most people don?t feel any symptoms. Others can just lose weight and just feel depressed for no reason at all.|
|Suppose you go in for a routine checkup and your doctor decides to test your thyroid function. You?ve experienced no thyroid disease symptoms|
|Hypothyroidism develops for over a long period of time. It?s normally from several months to even several years.|
|People who are suffering from hypothyroidism are advised to get plenty of exercise and have a balanced and healthy diet. The diet must be rich in protein and iodine.|
|Self medicating one?s thyroid disorder with hypothyroidism diet pills without proper information of the diet pill does not address the problem.|
|Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormones more than the body needs.|
|Hypothyroidism is one of the chronic diseases in the world. Hypothyroidism is also known as underactive thyroid; hypo means under or below normal.|
|Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a type of thyroid cancer that is rare and aggressive. It affects the thyroid gland and most especially its function.|
|Problems arise if the thyroid gland is overactive or underactive. There are three common thyroid disorders. These are hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and the thyroid nodules.|
Thyroid Hair Loss
|Hair loss may happen for so many reasons but it is commonly associated to thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.|
Thyroid Function Test
|Thyroid Function Tests are the different tests conducted to assess and determine the cause of an individual?s thyroid problems.|