Tuesday, February 27, 2024

What Is Thyroid Blood Test

What Are Different Types Of Thyroid Diseases

Optimal Thyroid Lab Tests vs “Normal” (What Your Thyroid Lab Tests Should Look Like)

1. Hypothyroidism: this thyroid disease occurs when the thyroid glands do not produce enough hormones to regulate your bloodstream. As a result, it causes various functions of your body to be dysfunctional. It slows down your metabolism, which ultimately affects your body negatively.

2. Hyperthyroidism: this thyroid disease occurs when the thyroid glands produce excessive hormone hormones than the normal range. As a result, it fastens your metabolism, which may increase your blood pressure or heartbeat.

3. Thyroid nodules: these are lumps found in the neck either in groups or alone. These are harmless sometimes other times, they can cause hyperthyroidism or cancer in extreme cases. An ultrasound or a biopsy will be done to find out if the nodules are harmless or harmful. If they turn out to be dangerous, your doctor may advise you to get the surgery done to remove those nodules.

Side Effects Of Thyroid Blood Tests And Care

Thyroid blood tests are performed after a routine blood draw. That’s when blood is drawn from you by a syringe and sent to a lab. This is a safe procedure with few potential side effects.

It’s rare, but some people get nauseous or feel faint when they have blood drawn. Let the medical personnel know immediately if you experience these side effects.

Later, you may notice a small bruise or have some tenderness at the needle insertion site. An over-the-counter pain reliever or an ice pack can help with this.

You should get medical attention if the insertion site is:

These are signs of an infection, which needs to be treated with antibiotics.

What Is The Endocrine System

Your endocrine system is a network of several glands that create and secrete hormones.

A gland is an organ that makes one or more substances, such as hormones, digestive juices, sweat or tears. Endocrine glands release hormones directly into the bloodstream.

Hormones are chemicals that coordinate different functions in your body by carrying messages through your blood to your organs, skin, muscles and other tissues. These signals tell your body what to do and when to do it.

The following organs and glands make up your endocrine system:

Read Also: Why Does Armour Thyroid Cost So Much

What Can They Tfts Reveal Thyroid Disease Assessment

TFTs blood tests are conducted on blood samples. When analysed in a medical laboratory, varying levels of T4 will be assessed to determine the health of the patients thyroid. As you might expect, higher levels can suggest hyperthyroidism, and low levels the opposite.

When circulating in the bloodstream, T4 takes two forms: bound to carrier proteins or free. The latter form is referred to as free thyroxine, or FT4. As only this form is accessible to cells, thyroid function tests typically focus on FT4.

Its also common to measure levels of a third substance: thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH. This is secreted by another highly significant organ the pituitary gland, located in the central part of the brain. TSH is produced by the pituitary in response to fluctuating levels of T3 and T4.

When the amounts circulating in the bloodstream drop below a certain level, TSH is produced to trigger the thyroid into synthesising more hormones in order to maintain equilibrium and keep the body healthy. Therefore, if a thyroid function test detects high levels of TSH, it can be inferred that T3 and/or T4 levels are low and therefore, the persons thyroid may be underactive: in other words, they may have hypothyroidism.

T4/FT4 and TSH are the two metrics most commonly used in standard medical thyroid tests. T3 or FT3 levels may also be measured if results indicate a likely thyroid disorder.

How Can I Keep My Thyroid Healthy

Anemia, Thyroid, Bowel, Stomach Test Kits + 5x Urine Tests pH, Blood ...

The main way to keep your thyroid healthy is to make sure youre getting enough iodine in your diet. Your thyroid needs iodine to make thyroid hormones. The good news is that the majority of people get adequate amounts of iodine through iodized table salt and foods that are fortified with iodine.

Other food sources that contain iodine include:

However, its important not to consume too much iodine because it can cause problems. If you have any questions or concerns about your thyroid health, dont be afraid to talk to your healthcare provider.

Also Check: Thyroid And Menopause Weight Gain

What About Thyroid Medications For Subclinical Hypothyroidism

Starting thyroid medication in subclinical hypothyroidism is considered controversial by endocrine groups. Exceptions are made for women who are contemplating pregnancy and for those who have overt hypothyroid symptoms. Guidelines clearly state that in order to avoid pregnancy complications and impaired development of offspring, women with subclinical hypothyroidism need to be treated with thyroid hormones.

At this stage, many patients may also opt to wait and see and may forgo thyroid medications in an effort to do it naturally. I know that I was one of those people, and I waited six months to get on medications after my diagnosis, but knowing what I know now, I am in favor of starting medications for subclinical hypothyroidism.


Korzeniowska and colleagues at the Medical University of Gdansk found that treating children with subclinical hypothyroidism with thyroid hormones, resulted in a decrease of inflammation. This means that the medications gave their thyroids a rest and resulted in a slowing down of the autoimmune attack, manifested by lower levels of thyroid antibodies.

Additionally, in my clinical experience, most patients with subclinical hypothyroidism report feeling much better when they start on thyroid hormones.

Personally, when I was first diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism, I didnt want to take medications because I felt like it would be giving up, and that I should figure things out naturally.

Normal Results Depend On Factors Like Male Or Female Sex And Age

If you have undergone a thyroid-stimulating hormone test, it is important to understand what high and low levels mean. Generally speaking, high TSH levels suggest that you have hypothyroidism , while low TSH levels are suggestive of hyperthyroidism .

Generally speaking, TSH values are described as follows:

  • Normal: Between 0.4 and 4.0 mU/L
  • High: Over 4.5 mU/L
  • Low: Under 0.4 mu/L

But, there are exceptions to these interpretations as well as variations as to what a “normal” TSH level is. This is because TSH levels can vary by age, male and female sex, and other factors. In the end, the results need to be interpreted alongside other thyroid function tests to make the correct diagnosis.

This article looks at the causes of high and low TSH levels, what they mean, and the various factors that can influence test results.

You May Like: What Are The 5 Thyroid Tests

What Are Thyroid Blood Tests

Thyroid function blood tests are diagnostic tests conducted to check whether or not your thyroid gland is functioning properly. These blood tests evaluate the level of triiodothyronine and thyroxine hormones secreted from the thyroid gland. These hormones play important functions in your body, and thus their regulation and monitoring are essential. The major functions of T3 and T4 hormones include

  • These hormones regulate the rate at which calories are used in your body
  • These hormones can cause fluctuations in heart rate by either slowing down or speeding up the heart rate
  • Thyroid hormones also make changes in your body temperature
  • Thyroid hormones influence the movement of food in your digestive tract
  • They may also affect the development of the brain
  • These hormones control muscle contraction
  • These hormones maintain skin and bone health

How A Thyroid Test Works

Thyroid testing: How to get 100% accurate results (how and when to test your thyroid)

A thyroid test is very efficient and easy. One of our licensed medical professionals will travel to you and take a blood sample. This sample will then be sent into the lab to be evaluated. It will measure if the thyroid is creating the correct amount of hormones the body needs to function properly. The test takes about 5 minutes or even less. Once the lab results are back, the doctor will be in contact with you to go over the results with you. You can greatly benefit from getting this test.

Recommended Reading: Doctors Who Specialize In Thyroid

Preparing For The Tests

You dont need to do anything special to prepare for the thyroid function tests. If a healthcare professional has ordered other blood tests to be taken at the same time, you may need to fast for several hours before the test. They will let you know of any special instructions to follow.

Otherwise, you will not need to follow any specific directions before the test.

Why Do I Need A Tsh Test

You may need a TSH test if you have symptoms of too much or too little thyroid hormone in your blood.

Hyperthyroidism is also called overactive thyroid. Having more thyroid hormones than you need speeds up your body functions and causes symptoms that include:

  • Weight loss, even though you may be eating more than usual
  • Sweating or being very sensitive to heat
  • Frequent bowel movements

Hypothyroidism is also called underactive thyroid. Not having enough thyroid hormone slows down your body functions and causes symptoms that include:

  • Being very sensitive to cold
  • Joint and muscle pain

You may also have a TSH test, along with other tests, to help diagnose unusual bumps or lumps on your thyroid that may be thyroid cancer or thyroid nodules .

Recommended Reading: Can Overactive Thyroid Cause Eye Problems

How Big Is The Thyroid

Your thyroid is about 2 inches long. A healthy thyroid usually does not stick out from your throat and you cant see it by looking at your neck.

However, certain conditions can cause your thyroid to become enlarged. This is known as goiter. If you have a goiter, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Swelling in the front of your neck, just below the Adam’s apple.
  • A feeling of tightness in your throat area.
  • A change in your voice, such as hoarseness .

In People Without Known Thyroid Disease

One Step Underactive Thyroid TSH Blood Test

A high TSH in people who are not undergoing thyroid disease treatment usually indicates the presence of primary hypothyroidism.

This is by far the most common form of hypothyroidism, and it occurs because the thyroid gland produces an inadequate amount of thyroid hormones. The pituitary gland senses these low levels and increases the production of TSH.

An elevated TSH may also occur with normal thyroid function due to the presence of antibodies, proteins made by the immune system.

Recommended Reading: What Are The Signs Of Thyroid Cancer Returning

What Are Thyroid Function Tests

Thyroid function tests are a series of blood tests used to measure how well your thyroid gland is working. Available tests include the T3, T3RU, T4, and TSH.

The thyroid is a small gland located in the lower-front part of your neck. Its responsible for helping regulate many bodily processes, such as metabolism, energy generation, and mood.

The thyroid produces two major hormones: triiodothyronine and thyroxine . If your thyroid gland doesnt produce enough of these hormones, you may experience symptoms such as weight gain, lack of energy, and depression. This condition is called hypothyroidism.

If your thyroid gland produces too many hormones, you may experience weight loss, high levels of anxiety, tremors, and a sense of being on a high. This is called hyperthyroidism.

Typically, a doctor who is concerned about your thyroid hormone levels will order broad screening tests, such as the T4 or the thyroid-stimulating hormone test. If those results come back abnormal, your doctor will order further tests to pinpoint the reason for the problem.

If youre concerned about your thyroid function and dont already have a primary care doctor, you can view doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.

There are also at-home thyroid function tests available from LetsGetChecked and Everlywell. Healthline has also created a list of best at-home thyroid tests here.

What Does My Thyroid Do

As an endocrine gland, your thyroid makes and secretes hormones. Your thyroid produces and releases the following hormones:

  • Thyroxine : This is the primary hormone your thyroid makes and releases. Although your thyroid makes the most of this hormone, it doesnt have much of an effect on your metabolism. Once your thyroid releases T4 into your bloodstream, it can convert to T3 through a process called deiodination.
  • Triiodothyronine : Your thyroid produces lesser amounts of T3 than T4, but it has a much greater effect on your metabolism than T4.
  • Reverse triiodothyronine : Your thyroid makes very small amounts of RT3, which reverses the effects of T3.
  • Calcitonin: This hormone helps regulate the amount of calcium in your blood.

In order to make thyroid hormones, your thyroid gland needs iodine, an element found in food and water. Your thyroid gland traps iodine and transforms it into thyroid hormones. If you have too little or too much iodine in your body, it can affect the level of hormones your thyroid makes and releases.

Your thyroid hormones affect the following bodily functions:

  • How your body uses energy .

Don’t Miss: How To Fix Thyroid Problems Naturally

What Is Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease is a generic term for any type of dysfunction in the thyroid gland. A dysfunction in the gland occurs when the gland starts producing too little or too much of one of the metabolism-regulating

In some cases, the thyroid may produce too little of the necessary hormones, which can result in symptoms like fatigue and weight gain from low metabolism, as well as increased decreased heart rate and slowed breathing.

In other cases, the opposite is true. The metabolism increases, blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate may increase, and weight loss occurs. In either case, it can be incredibly detrimental to a persons health if left untreated and can lead to a host of other medical conditions.

Differences In Tsh Levels In Females And Males

What Thyroid Tests Do You Need To Get?

Some studies suggest that a normal TSH range in younger females may be closer to 0.4-2.5 mU/L. This is due to the fact that TSH concentrations are higher in females than in males whose normal TSH range is closer to 0.4-4.0 mU/L

In addition, some healthcare providers believe that older patients should have a TSH level that is greater than 4.0 mU/L or 5.0 mU/L, since TSH normally increases with age.

Many healthcare providers sidestep this controversy by simply looking at each person as an individual. For example, a person who still has significant symptoms of hypothyroidism at a TSH of 4.0 mU/L may do better with a goal TSH of around 1.0 mU/L.

In contrast, someone who has health riskssuch as heart disease or osteoporosismay benefit from having a goal TSH that is higher, perhaps around 5.0 mU/L or 6.0 mU/L

During pregnancy, TSH should not be allowed to rise above 2.4 mU/L in the first trimester or 3.0 mU/L in the second and third. That protects the health of both the baby and mother.

Don’t Miss: Castor Oil Pack For Thyroid

What Is Thyroid And What Does It Do

The thyroid is a small specialized endocrine gland located in your neck. It creates two special hormones important to all the cells and the functions of the body. These hormones are called thyroxine and triiodothyronine T3. If one or both of these hormones are out of balance, it can start to wreak havoc on the body. It is important to get tested to know how healthy your thyroid is. There are two main conditions of the thyroid. These are called hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid creates too much hormone. Hypothyroidism is the opposite when the thyroid is not making enough hormones. Continue reading, and you will learn about thyroid testing.

Everything You Need To Know About Thyroid Blood Tests

The thyroid is a gland that produces certain substances. These substances circulate in your body to do specific functions to regulate your daily activities. The gland is responsible for making hormones if these hormones are imbalanced, it causes thyroid disease. It can ultimately affect the functions of your whole body.

You May Like: Thyroid Cancer In The Neck

What Is The Need For Thyroid Blood Tests

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , thyroid blood tests may be recommended by your doctor if they suspect the prevalence of any thyroid diseases. Various signs and symptoms can suspect thyroid disease. The thyroid diseases that can be diagnosed through thyroid tests include:

  • Hypothyroidism: Condition wherein the levels of thyroid hormone is too low
  • Hyperthyroidism: Condition wherein the levels of thyroid hormone are too high
  • Graves disease: It is one of the most common causes of hyperthyroidism
  • Hashimotos disease: It is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism
  • Thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer

What Is It Used For

Thyroid Test Kit

A TSH test is used to find out how well your thyroid is working. It can tell if you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism in your blood. But a TSH test can’t show what is causing a thyroid problem.

If you take prescription thyroid hormone medicine because of hypothyroidism or because you had your thyroid removed, you’ll have regular TSH tests to check your thyroid hormone levels. TSH tests are also used to monitor your thyroid hormone levels after treatment for hyperthyroidism.

You May Like: When Should I Have My Thyroid Checked

What Are The Risk Factors For Developing A Thyroid Condition

Thyroid conditions are common and can affect anyone at any age. However, some factors put you at a higher risk of developing a thyroid condition, including:

Being older than 60, especially if youre a woman or a person who was assigned female at birth .

Latest news
Related news