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 an individual may be suffering from. The initial thyroid test is done through a blood sample. The thyroid test checks on the level of thyroid stimulating hormones or TSH and other thyroid hormones in the body.
A high level of thyroid stimulating hormones indicates that the thyroid gland is failing due to hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones responsible for metabolism in the body. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormones needed by the body.
If the thyroid stimulating hormones are low, this indicates that an individual is suffering from hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid gland. In this case, the thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones more than what the body needs. If an individual has a normal level of thyroid stimulating hormones in the body, this means that the thyroid gland functions normally.
Thyroid Blood Test
Thyroid blood tests are one of the tests conducted in an individual to gauge the thyroid stimulating hormones in the body. This test shows imbalances that often go undetected with other limited assessments. This test is not only able to determine hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. It may also point into sub-clinical manifestation of other thyroid dysfunctions. Thyroid blood tests are done to assess the following:
- Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies (anti-TG)
- Hypersensitive stimulating hormones (TSH)
- Free thyroxine (T4)
- Free triiodothyronine (T3)
The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for analysis. After which, a diagnosis can then be given to an individual for him to know which thyroid disorder he is suffering from.
Thyroid Test Ranges
The validity of a thyroid stimulating hormone test lies on the reference range. After one submits himself for a thyroid test, test results will then be compared and assessed with the normal thyroid hormone range. If test result fall under or above normal hormone range, it then shows that an individual is suffering from a thyroid disorder. When the thyroid gland is dysfunctional, numerous problems may arise. Some people will then feel symptoms leading to hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism or worst, thyroid cancer. With the help of thyroid tests, a physician will be able to diagnose which thyroid disorder an individual may be suffering from, thus a treatment and medication will be provided.
Thyroid Test T4
There are two types of T4 tests. Total T4 test and free T4 test. These tests help physicians evaluate the thyroid function. Total T4 test is used to diagnose hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. This is a very useful test but protein level in the blood may affect this test. With this common problem being encountered once total T4 test is done, free T4 test has replaced the latter. Free T4 test is not affected by protein levels in the body, thus providing a more accurate result and diagnosis.
Thyroid Test Results
Thyroid test results are provided after blood samples are assessed in the laboratory. Thyroid test results are then compared to the normal hormone range needed in the body. If thyroid test results show a high level or low level of hormone results, a diagnosis will then be provided. With this, a physician will then talk to the patient and inform him of his thyroid disorder. Proper treatment and medication will then be given to cure the thyroid disorder. Treatment and medication depends on the extent of the thyroid disorder.
Interesting Questions about Thyroid:
Graves’ disease is the most common form of hyperthyroidism. It affects many Americans, including Olympic athlete Gail Devers, who won a gold medal in track after being diagnosed with and treated for Graves’ disease.
Graves’ disease is caused by problems with the immune system. Normally, the immune system defends the body against germs and viruses. In autoimmune diseases such as Graves’, the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. In Graves’ disease, the body produces antibodies which make the thyroid gland produce too much thyroid hormone.
Diseases of the immune system tend to run in families and are about five times more common in women. Graves’ is linked to other autoimmune conditions, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, premature gray hair, diabetes mellitus, arthritis and patchy loss of skin pigment (vitiligo).
As with any disease, it is important that you watch for the early warning signs of hyperthyroidism. However, only your doctor can tell for sure whether or not you have the disease. Your doctor may examine:
- your history and physical appearance
- the amount of thyroid hormones, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), and thyroid stimulating antibodies in your blood
- the structure and function of your thyroid gland, using thyroid imaging, which takes a picture of the gland after you have been given a small amount of radioactive iodine
If you have thyroid disease, your doctor can discuss which treatment is right for you. The two basic goals for treating thyroid disease are to return thyroid hormone levels to normal and to remove potentially cancerous lumps. Treatments include radioactive iodine, antithyroid drugs, beta-blocking drugs, thyroid hormone pills, and surgery. There are several types of treatment:
- Radioactive iodine is used to shrink a thyroid gland that has become enlarged or is producing too much hormone. It may be used on patients with hyperthyroidism, a goiter, or some cases of cancer.
- Surgery is normally used to remove a cancer and may also be used to remove a large goiter.
- Thyroid hormone pills are a common treatment for hypothyroidism, for patients with a goiter, and for patients who have had thyroid surgery. The pills provide the body with the right amount of thyroid hormone.
- Anithyroid drugs and beta-blocking drugs are used to treat hyperthyroid patients.
Have more questions? Need more answers? Check our Full Thyroid FAQ below.
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 Tests are the different tests conducted to assess and determine the cause of an individual?s thyroid problems.|