Monday, April 8, 2024

How To Test Your Own Thyroid

Whats Included In A Thyroid Function Test

How to Do a Self Thyroid Exam

A thyroid function test will usually measure your levels of:

A more advanced test will also test for the presence of any thyroid antibodies that could be causing an autoimmune disease. This might check your levels of:

  • thyroid peroxidase
  • thyroglobulin antibodies
  • TSH receptor antibodies

Its important to note that the presence of these antibodies in your blood doesnt automatically mean you have autoimmune thyroid disease but it can indicate an increased risk of developing one in the future.

Some vitamins and minerals are essential for your thyroid to function properly like vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate , and iron. A nutrient deficiency can sometimes mimic the symptoms of a thyroid disorder. If possible, its a good idea to test your thyroid hormones and these nutrients.

Dont Miss: What Happens If Thyroid Cancer Goes Untreated

In Most States You Can Order Your Own Thyroid Lab Tests And Other Lab Work Without The Time And Expense Of A Doctor’s Visit

In most states in the U.S., you can order your own blood and lab tests, without seeing a doctor, or having a lab order from your doctor. Direct-to-consumer or DTC lab testing lets you choose the tests you want, and get home test kits or blood draws at local labs. In addition to thyroid tests, more than 2,000 different types of tests are available. Lets take a look at just a few popular options for thyroid testing. at significantly lowered costs — often much lower than your insurance co-pays! You can usually pay for testing out of health savings accounts as well. It’s an affordable, convenient, and simple way to privately learn about your health without a doctors visit, and without insurers, HMOs or doctors dictating which tests you can get, and how often you can be tested. Tests cost as much as 80% less than in your doctor’s office or local hospital lab, and may even be less than your co-pays.

Online medical practice Paloma Health offers an at-home thyroid test kit. The kit, which provides comprehensive, highly-accurate bloodspot test results from a CLIA-certified lab, is available for $99. The kit tests:

As an independent contractor of Ulta Lab Tests, I provide access to a thousands of medical tests It’s simple to use Ulta

  • Find the tests you want, and order and pay for them at Ulta Lab Tests.

  • Go to a convenient lab for testing.

  • When your results are in, you’ll get an email from Ulta.

  • Tests included in this panel:

    • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone

    Who Should Use An At

    Experts in thyroid health like Barbour recommend at-home testing for anyone who has been previously diagnosed with a thyroid condition or suspects that they may have one, due to experiencing common signs of a thyroid issue. She explains that it’s a convenient tool for screening for thyroid disorders for those who don’t have health insurance or arent actively seeking a healthcare provider. It may also be a useful tool for monitoring your response to changes in your thyroid medication, if going to a lab center for a blood draw is not accessible. However, any adjustments in medication should only be done under the supervision of your health provider.

    And while at-home thyroid tests are definitely a useful tool for many, it’s important to turn to your healthcare provide to best understand your results. So even though some brands offer virtual consultations with a prescribing physician to help find the best treatment or remedies to help with thyroid issues, we still recommend partnering with a thyroid-focused endocrinologist. Remember: At-home testing should never be used as a replacement for care from a healthcare practitioner.

    You May Like: Thyroid Medication Made From Pigs

    What Thyroid Treatments Are There

    If you have low or high thyroid levels you should see your GP to find out the cause and to start treatment if appropriate.

    If you have low thyroid function, you may need to take replacement thyroid hormones. These can come in the form of tablets called Levothyroxine.

    If you have high thyroid function, there are different treatment options:

    • Medications: there are several different medications available which work to lower the thyroid function. The most commonly used ones are tablets called carbimazole and propylthiouracil. This can be stopped once your thyroid function comes back to normal. However, some people can be on these medications for a long time
    • Radioiodine: this treatment uses radiation delivered via a drink or a capsule to lower the function of your thyroid. It takes a few months for the treatment to reach its full effect, so some people may need to take medications in the meantime
    • Surgery: this treatment lowers your thyroid function by removing part or all of the thyroid. This is normally done if you have a very large thyroid , if you have severe eye-related symptoms from high thyroid function, or if your symptoms have come back after you have tried another treatment option. If all of the thyroid is removed, you will need to take the same medications used with low thyroid function to make up for not having a thyroid gland

    Why Would I Need These Tests

    Pin on makes me feel great and maybe look a little better(make

    The thyroid glandâs hormones help control some of your bodyâs metabolic processes, such as heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. Too much or too little of these hormones can make you ill.

    You might need thyroid tests if:

    • you have symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
    • you are taking some form of thyroid hormone replacement treatment
    • you are female and being investigated for infertility

    Very rarely, babies are born without a working thyroid gland. For this reason, all Australian newborns are screened for hypothyroidism with a TSH test using a drop of blood taken from a heel prick.

    You May Like: Thyroid Cancer Treatment Side Effects

    Recommended Reading: Recovery After Thyroid Cancer Surgery

    What Is The Thyroid

    The thyroid is a small gland below the skin and muscles at the front of the neck, at the spot where a bow tie would rest. It makes two types of thyroid hormones: T3 and T4 . It helps the body do many things, such as get energy from food, grow, and go through sexual development.

    The pituitary is a pea-sized gland at the bottom of the brain that makes thyroid stimulating hormone . TSH triggers the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. The pituitary gland and the thyroid gland send messages back and forth to each other about how much hormone to make to keep the levels normal.

    How To Check Your Thyroid For Any Issues

    Both Lee and Rao said there arent any recommendations for routine thyroid screenings in cases that dont involve symptoms or family history, so its important to speak to your doctor if any of these confusing red flags have you feeling off. From there, your doctor can do a series of tests in addition to bloodwork.

    Your doctor may start by examining the thyroid with their hands this is called palpation, Rosenfeld said. They will place their fingers on the bottom of the neck while they are facing or standing behind you. You may be asked to drink water to make the thyroid move, to see if they feel any abnormalities.

    If anything does feel unusual, Rosenfeld said, your doctor may order an ultrasound to check for any potential thyroid nodules or enlargement of the thyroid. They may also order bloodwork to check specific TSH, T3 or T4 levels or thyroid antibodies, which could signal an autoimmune thyroid condition like Hashimotos disease.

    From there, doctors can get a picture of your thyroid health and determine the next steps to take, or check for a separate issue behind your symptoms, such as anemia or a vitamin D deficiency unrelated to the thyroid.

    Its important to keep in mind that aside from eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting enough exercise there is no special thyroid diet you should be doing, Rosenfeld said.

    You should repeat this a few times to get a good visual. Heres a video that shows exactly how to do the at-home process.

    Also Check: Does Papillary Thyroid Cancer Come Back

    What Is Thyroid Function Testing

    A number of blood tests may be used to learn if your thyroid gland is working normally. These function tests reveal if your thyroid is producing the right amount of thyroid hormones. Thyroid blood tests may be ordered:

    • To check for thyroid disease before it causes symptoms, especially in newborns
    • To diagnose an underactive or overactive thyroid
    • To determine if an underlying disorder, such as Hashimotos thyroiditis, Graves disease, thyrotoxicosis, or thyroid inflammation, may be causing an underactive or overactive thyroid
    • To evaluate a lump on the thyroid gland, called a thyroid nodule
    • To evaluate an enlargement of the thyroid gland, called a goiter
    • To monitor treatment for thyroid disorders

    Understanding how your thyroid is functioning enables your doctor to treat a thyroid disorder if one is present.

    • Order your own lab tests online: its secure and easy.

    Dont Miss: Environmental Causes Of Thyroid Disease

    Costs Of Thyroid Testing

    How To Do A Thyroid Neck Check Self-Exam

    The cost of a thyroid test will vary by location and test type. Some clinics, usually community or nonprofit clinics, offer free or low-cost testing. Labs, clinics, and at-home testing companies may accept insurance to cover or lower your cost of testing. If you order you own thyroid lab tests, that could impact the cost of testing as well. As for how much blood work for thyroid costs without insurance, that depends on your testing facility.

    A thyroid profile from Testing.com costs $54, while an expanded thyroid panel is $99. A more comprehensive thyroid panel is $189. Or if you prefer at-home testing, an at-home thyroid panel test kit is $189.

    Read Also: Hashimoto Thyroid Disease Diet Plan

    The Importance Of The Adrenals

    As knowledge on Adrenal dysfunction continues to grow, many of us are also checking for this and its overwhelmingly common in thyroid patients.

    In Thyroid Pharmacist Izabella Wentzs experience, adrenal fatigue is present in 90% of us with autoimmune hypothyroidism.

    Symptoms of adrenal dysfunction include but are not limited to:

    weight gain, ongoing fatigue, trouble sleeping, sugar or salt cravings, being over-emotional, anxiety, hot flushes, brain fog, dizziness, jumping at sudden or loud noises and a lot more.

    For a lot of us, adrenal issues are half the problem and causing some of our ongoing symptoms.

    What To Consider When Searching For An At

    In your search for an at-home thyroid test, decide what is most important for your needs. Most tests measure TSH and T4 levels. You may need further tests that measure levels such as T3, T7, TSI, and antibodies. Find out what types of recommendations for additional testing or treatment plans each company offers.

    At-home tests can be considered if you have symptoms that cause you to suspect a thyroid disorder. You may also want to test your thyroid levels after implementing lifestyle changes, starting a new medication, or beginning a treatment plan. Its also a good idea to do a home test if you are at risk of developing a thyroid disorder.

    At-home thyroid tests offer plenty of advantages and drawbacks to consider.

    Don’t Miss: Can Breast Cancer Metastasis To Thyroid

    What Does The Thyroid Do

    Your thyroid has an important job to do within your body releasing and controlling thyroid hormones that control metabolism. Metabolism is a process where the food you take into your body is transformed into energy. This energy is used throughout your entire body to keep many of your bodys systems working correctly. Think of your metabolism as a generator. It takes in raw energy and uses it to power something bigger.

    The thyroid controls your metabolism with a few specific hormones T4 and T3 . These two hormones are created by the thyroid and they tell the bodys cells how much energy to use. When your thyroid works properly, it will maintain the right amount of hormones to keep your metabolism working at the right rate. As the hormones are used, the thyroid creates replacements.

    This is all supervised by something called the pituitary gland. Located in the center of the skull, below your brain, the pituitary gland monitors and controls the amount of thyroid hormones in your bloodstream. When the pituitary gland senses a lack of thyroid hormones or a high level of hormones in your body, it will adjust the amounts with its own hormone. This hormone is called thyroid stimulating hormone . The TSH will be sent to the thyroid and it will tell the thyroid what needs to be done to get the body back to normal.

    What’s Included In A Thyroid Function Test

    FREE 3

    A thyroid function test will usually measure your levels of:

    A more advanced test will also test for the presence of any thyroid antibodies that could be causing an autoimmune disease. This might check your levels of:

    • thyroid peroxidase
    • thyroglobulin antibodies

    It’s important to note that the presence of these antibodies in your blood doesn’t automatically mean you have autoimmune thyroid disease but it can indicate an increased risk of developing one in the future.

    Some vitamins and minerals are essential for your thyroid to function properly like vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin B9, andiron. A nutrient deficiency can sometimes mimic the symptoms of a thyroid disorder. If possible, it’s a good idea to test your thyroid hormones and these nutrients. In some cases, you might need to take supplements.

    Don’t Miss: Thyroid Disease That Causes Weight Gain

    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.

    Do Home Thyroid Tests Work

    Thyroid tests can show whether a person has levels of thyroid hormones or antibodies that suggest a health problem.

    The FDA considers home test kits to be helpful for detecting conditions in people without symptoms and useful for health monitoring in people who need to regularly adjust their treatment plans. However, the FDA does not describe the effectiveness or accuracy of thyroid tests.

    It is important to discuss the results of a home test with a doctor. These tests should not replace regular checkups. If a person has symptoms of a thyroid disorder but their results are negative, they should still speak with a doctor.

    Don’t Miss: Can Armour Thyroid Cause High Blood Pressure

    Lab Tests Of Biopsy Samples

    In some cases, doctors might use molecular tests to look for specific gene changes in the cancer cells. This might be done for different reasons:

    • If FNA biopsy results arent clear, the doctor might order lab tests on the samples to see if there are changes in the BRAF or RET/PTC genes. Finding one of these changes makes thyroid cancer much more likely.
    • For some types of thyroid cancer, molecular tests might be done to see if the cancer cells have changes in certain genes , which could mean that certain targeted drugs might be helpful in treating the cancer.

    These tests can be done on tissue taken during a biopsy or surgery for thyroid cancer. If the biopsy sample is too small and all the molecular tests cant be done, the testing may also be done on blood that is taken from a vein, just like a regular blood draw.

    Recommended Reading: Best Supplements For Underactive Thyroid

    Is There Any Special Preparation I Have To Do For The Thyroid Test

    How to Self Check Your Thyroid for Thyroid Cancer Symptoms

    This test does NOT require fasting before collecting the sample. However, not fasting may make a small impact on your result, so it is best to ask your health care provider if they would like you to fast before you collect your sample.

    Some medications may affect your test results. If you are taking any of the following medications, please speak with your health care provider about the recommended timing of testing with your medicine dosing:

  • Have symptoms of an overactive thyroid
  • Have an autoimmune disease
  • Have a history of taking performance-enhancing substances
  • Don’t Miss: Do I Fast For Thyroid Test

    What Type Of Sample Do I Have To Provide For The At Home Thyroid Test

    To keep is simple: a simple finger prick can be done at home to collect the sample needed

    This test is done using a small sample of blood. In your testing kit, you will receive the materials you need to collect your sample. You will warm your hands under running water and clean them using the alcohol prep pad included in your supplies. Then, you will twist off the cap of the lancet pen and press it onto your fingertip to puncture the skin. You will collect a few drops of blood on the enclosed card and mail the sample to our lab, using the enclosed pre-paid shipping materials.

    Latest news
    Related news