Should You Get A Thyroid Test
Getting your thyroid function tested is a good idea no matter who you are, but some populations are statistically at higher risk of developing thyroid conditions:
- Those with a family history of thyroid disorders
- People who have symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
Women are around five to eight times more likely to have thyroid problems, with one in eight women developing thyroid disease during their lifetime.
Since thyroid issues are common, periodic testing is an excellent idea regardless of whether you are experiencing any symptoms of thyroid dysfunction.
Testing Your Adrenals With Btt
The way most people experience low morning cortisol would be in an inability to get out of bed. It just seems so hard to drag yourself out of bed. If this is the case, it is most likely a low functional HPA axis in the morning.
To test your BTT to analyze cortisol levels throughout the day, follow the following strategy:
We dont want to test in the evening or at night because cortisol should normally be low at that stage. Cortisol should be at its highest in the morning and slowly taper down as the day goes on.
If you are using a new adrenal supplement, give it 5 days before you begin testing to give it time to work on the HPA axis before doing a 5 day DATS. Some other home tests you could do to test your adrenal function include static blood pressure, orthostatic blood pressure and the pupillary constriction test. I explain these in great detail in this article.
How To Read Thyroid Test Results
A blood test showing a high level of TSH and low T4 may be an indicator that a person has hypothyroidism.
Higher levels of TSH and T4 levels in a typical range may mean that a person is at risk of developing hypothyroidism in the future.
People who receive results that show they have low levels of TSH and higher levels of T3 or T4 is an indicator that they have hyperthyroidism.
However, it is important to discuss any at-home thyroid test results with a healthcare professional to ensure a person is interpreting the results correctly.
If a persons symptoms persist, they should contact a healthcare professional.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism may include:
If symptoms indicate a thyroid disorder, but the result of an at-home test is negative, contact a doctor for advice.
Below are answers to some common questions about at-home thyroid tests.
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Best For Detailed Results: Zrt Laboratory
- List price:$175$349
- Results time: 57 days
- Type of test: finger prick and dried urine
- Insurance coverage: out-of-network provider with some insurance companies
- Tests for antibodies: yes
- Medically reviewed: yes
ZRT Laboratory has two thyroid test kits that a person can order online and take at home.
The companys Blood Spot Test Kits include:
- Essential Thyroid Profile: This checks levels of free T3, free T4, TPOab, and TSH.
- Elite Thyroid Profile: This checks levels of T4, thyroglobulin, free T4, free T3, TPO, and TSH.
The company also has these tests:
- Blood test: This checks levels of free T3, free T4, TPO, TSH, thyroglobulin, and T4.
- Dried urine test: This checks levels of iodine, bromine, selenium, lithium, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and creatine.
The detailed results include an overview of each symptom a person has reported, the ranges of each hormone and antibody measured, and a full explanation of the results by a doctor. A person can find a sample report online.
ZRT Laboratory does not offer follow-up advice, and discussing the results with a healthcare professional is key.
A person can expect to receive their results within 57 days of the lab receiving the sample.
Tests cost $175$349.
At-home thyroid tests typically measure several thyroid hormones, including:
Some tests also check for thyroid antibodies. The presence of these can indicate the autoimmune disease Hashimotos thyroiditis.
Examples that affect a persons thyroid hormone levels include:
What Are Early Warning Signs Of Thyroid Problems
Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism often create opposite effects in the body, making it difficult to determine whether you have a thyroid problem without testing. There are early warning signs of either condition as well as other potential thyroid problems that should warrant a test, especially when its as easy to test now as it has ever been.
- Elevated heart rate – An overworked thyroid gland can cause an escalation in heart rate and blood pressure.
- Excessive fatigue – An underactive thyroid can have the opposite effect, causing deep and consistent tiredness.
- Fluctuations in weight – Depending on whether you have hyper- or hypothyroidism, you may lose or gain weight without an apparent cause.
- Inconsistent body temperature – Your metabolism is crucial in regulating body temperature, and a thyroid problem can make you feel unusually hot or cold.
- Problems sleeping – This can result from either hyper- or hypothyroidism, depending on how your activity levels influence your energy at the end of the day.
- Brain fog – Trouble concentrating or remembering simple details can indicate issues with thyroid health.
These are just a few of the many warning signs related to thyroid health. Anything that makes you think you might have a thyroid problem is a good reason to get tested since you have nothing to lose by learning whether your thyroid is part of the problem.
Recommended Reading: What Can Help An Underactive Thyroid
How Long After My Thyroid Is Removed Will My Tiredness Go Away
Typically, you will be given medication to help with your symptoms right after surgery. Your body actually has thyroid hormone still circulating throughout it, even after the thyroid has been removed. The hormones can still be in your body for two to three weeks. Medication will reintroduce new hormones into your body after the thyroid has been removed. If you are still feeling tired after surgery, remember that this can be a normal part of recovering from any type of surgery. It takes time for your body to heal. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are still experiencing fatigue and other symptoms of thyroid disease after surgery.
Symptoms Of Thyroid Disease
Located below the larynx at the front of the neck, the thyroid is a small gland with two lobes connected by a bridge of tissue. Although not very large, the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland plays a significant role in ensuring the proper function of the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, metabolism, and skin.
Conditions arise when the thyroid is either overactive in its hormone production or underactive and produces too little. Overactive thyroid glands create a condition called hyperthyroidism, while an underactive thyroid gland results in hypothyroidism. Problems with the thyroid usually result in the overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormones.
The overproduction of thyroid hormones, known as hyperthyroidism, can be caused by conditions such as:
- Graves disease
- Subacute thyroiditis
- Dysfunction of the pituitary gland, which regulates the action of the thyroid, causing excess production of thyroid hormones
Hypothyroidism is the underproduction of thyroid hormones. This can be caused by:
- Hashimotos thyroiditis
- Exposure to toxic levels of iodine
Recommended Reading: Thyroid Cancer And Diabetes Medication
Perform A Physical Exam
The second test you can perform at home is a simple physical exam. For this, you will need both a mirror you can use to see your neck and a small glass of water.
Position yourself in front of the mirror where you can see the lower area of your neck, specifically the front of your neck. You’re looking for the area above the collarbone but below the voice box. You can find various diagrams of the location of the thyroid online, like this one.
Focus on looking at this area of your neck, and tilt your head back. This puts tension on the skin in the area and makes anything under the skin more visible.
With your head tilted up and while watching that area of your throat, take a sip of water. You’re looking for the moment when you swallow. What you’re looking for are any bumps, protrusions, or odd shapes moving. A small symmetrical lump moving is fine that’s your thyroid naturally shifting as you swallow. You’re looking for anything odd about it, like a lump sticking out. Something that protrudes to the side on one side of your throat but not the other, that kind of thing.
This is generally quite rare. A protrusion means you might have some kind of cancer, a cystic condition, nodules, or another physical malformation of your thyroid gland. This is definitely a case where you need to see a doctor, so call your physician immediately to make an appointment for an evaluation.
Best For Online Thyroid Treatment Planning: Paloma Health
Paloma Health Complete Thyroid Blood Test Kit
Website provides little information on testing procedure
Website provides little information about thyroid disease
Paloma Health is an online medical practice specializing in hypothyroidism, and thats why theyre the winner in this category. This test measures TSH, Free T4, Free T3, TPO. Paloma offers online consultations with a doctor or nutritionist once you get your results, and we value the continuity of testing their site provides.
Paloma Health is a newer company, founded in 2018. The company is a completely online medical practice specializing in hypothyroidism for patients over 18 who have hypothyroidism or whove had their thyroid removed. The site includes information on its 12 thyroid specialists, all of whom are board-certified in endocrinology, family practice, or internal medicine.
In terms of results, the samples are analyzed by CLIA-certified laboratories and physician-reviewed. The complete thyroid test is $99, which aligns with many of the other at-home tests we reviewed.
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How Does Everlywell Work
When a person orders an at-home test kit, Everlywell sends the test request to an independent network of doctors. A board certified doctor reviews the request and decides whether it is suitable for the customer.
If the test is suitable for the person, the doctor approves it, and the company sends a test kit to them. The person then follows the instructions in the kit to collect the necessary samples and sends them through the mail to undergo testing in a laboratory.
Once the laboratory technicians have analyzed the persons samples, they send the results to the doctor who approved the test. The doctor then sends the results to Everlywell, who sends a notification to the customer.
If the doctor believes that the test the person has ordered is not suitable for them, they notify Everlywell, who issues a refund to the customer.
Everlywell encourages customers to share their test results with a healthcare professional. The company states that it is easy for someone to share their test results with a doctor if they want to. However, the company will not disclose test results to anyone without the persons permission.
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Check For Thyroid Disorder Symptoms
Thyroid disorders can show several symptomsâfrom fatigue and weight gain to heart palpitations and anxiety. Many of these symptoms appear together, making it easier to detect a thyroid problem.
Letâs take a closer look at the symptoms associated with two of the most common thyroid disorders: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
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How To Get Free Covid
Take two minutes to order free at-home COVID-19 tests from the federal government.
When the White House suspended its free at-home COVID-19 test program on Sept. 2 due to a lack of funding, President Joe Biden’s administration said that it was reserving a supply of tests for the winter season.
That time, along with rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, is now upon us. CovidTests.gov is again accepting requests for free at-home COVID-19 tests delivered by the US Postal Service. Tests began shipping again on Monday, Dec. 19.
Earlier this year, the free COVID-19 test program delivered millions of free at-home COVID-19 tests via three shipments that added up to 16 tests total for every home. The White House’s COVID-19 Winter Preparedness Plan fact sheet, released on Dec. 15, explains the limited return of the program: “In the absence of Congress providing additional funding for the nation’s COVID-19 response, the administration has acted with its limited existing funding to add more at-home COVID-19 tests to the nation’s stockpile and support this round of ordering ahead of continued increases in COVID-19 cases.”
There’s no way to get the original 16 tests if you didn’t order them earlier this year, but there are now other ways to get more COVID at-home tests for free. Learn about all your options for finding free COVID-19 tests below.
For more on COVID-19 testing, learn why the expiration date on your COVID-19 test box might be wrong.
How We Chose The Best At
We evaluated kits from many different companies, and some of those companies offer more than one kit, as well.
The test-kit providers were evaluated on various criteria: cost, value, accuracy, speed, customer service/customer reviews, clear information presentation on the website, and clear instructions for collection, shipment, and kit registration. We then eliminated the companies that had higher prices but tested fewer biomarkers or offered fewer associated services, or that appeared to be disreputable.
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Why Would Someone Use An At
First, the kits might be an easy way to get a first glance at your thyroid health, especially if you have a sneaking suspicion that something could be off.
The kits are a great option for anyone looking to get more information on their thyroid function. They can be ordered by the consumer rather than having to go to a doctor to send your lab requisition, says endocrinolgist Sapna Shah MD of Paloma Health.
People experience all types of side effects from poor thyroid health, and starting with a thyroid screening can help to narrow things down and get to the root of the issue, Dr. Shapiro adds. On the flip side, theyre also for people who might already have a diagnosed condition and require regular lab results, he also notes.
When getting to a lab is difficult at-home tests can be a nice way to access care and information, says Dr. Shah.
And then theres the aspect of social distancing and safety: People are leaning towards at-home treatments now more than ever because of COVID, Dr. Shapiro says. Staying out of busy waiting rooms is a good enough reason alone.
At-home thyroid tests can also help cut down on costs and co-pays, as the test itself can be bought for a single fee. For example, the Everlywell kit tests for three main thyroid hormones: TSH, T3, and T4, as well as thyroid antibodies. It costs $99, which could be less than a doctors visit, copay, lab costs, or any potential out-of-network fees, depending on your health coverage.
Who Is This Test For
People who may benefit from having a thyroid function test include:
Individuals who are concerned that they may have a thyroid problem and those who wish to monitor a previously diagnosed condition.
Early signs and symptoms of thyroid dysfunction may often be very non-specific. The common symptoms hypothyroidism may include:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Bulging, dry, puffy or irritated eyes
- Difficulty sleeping
What will the result show?
Our thyroid test will report your levels for all three hormones . You will receive a personalised interpretation of what the results mean and what you should do about them. This may be as simple as all is well, to a recommendation to see your GP if we detect an abnormality.
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroxine, so the T4 and T3 levels are low.
This causes an increase in TSH to try and stimulate the thyroid to produce more thyroxine.
In hyperthyroidism the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine, so the T4 levels are high. This causes a decrease in TSH to try and stop the thyroid producing more thyroxine.
I use MMH to keep an eye on my thyroid levels and as its an NHS lab, my GP and endocrinologist can use the results to monitor me. I was grateful for having the option of home testing last year, when I was unable to get to my surgery due to ill health. Very quick service and I like the graphs showing my health journey.
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What You Need To Watch Out For
Costs: Health insurance rarely covers the cost of home bloodspot testing, and only some insurers reimburse all or part of DTC testing. In most cases, the costs can, however, be paid from flexible spending and health savings accounts
Overlooking or misinterpreting errors in your test results: A 2017 article in the Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Research explained that even under the best of circumstances, test results can have errors. Physicians may be able to detect those mistakes and make the necessary adjustments in diagnosis. Consumers, on the other hand, may not have that same level of knowledge and could make decisions based on incorrect information. Health conditions can worsenor be overlookedas a result.
Poor healthcare decisions: Some patients may decide on their own to increase or decrease the dosage of prescribed medications, or stop treatments all together, based on test results. Experts caution against making these types of healthcare decisions without first consulting your healthcare provider and having confirmatory testing.”The tests are reliable and use the exact same testing labs that I use, so I have no problem using the test results,” says integrative physician David Borenstein, M.D., founder of Manhattan Integrative Medicine in New York City. “However, I’ve had patients order thousands of dollars of tests that turned out to be unrelated and completely unnecessary.”