What Are Thyroid Hormones
The thyroid is a small gland that sits at the front of your neck. Itâs responsible for controlling many of the bodyâs key activities â such as metabolism. It does this by releasing specific hormones into the bloodstream.
A hormone is small chemical messenger that allows different parts of your body to âtalkâ with each other. The thyroid makes two kinds of hormones: thyroxine and triiodothyronine . These hormones circulate in your blood, allowing the thyroid gland to regulate many of the bodyâs important functions, such as:
- Metabolism â Thyroid hormones tell the body when to burn fat, which gives you more energy. Thyroid hormones can also trigger the production of glucose â a sugar formed from carbohydrates â to provide your body with more energy.
- Heart rate â Thyroid hormones can affect your resting heart rate .
- Internal body temperature â Thyroid hormones are involved in regulating your bodyâs internal temperature â so the thyroid gland acts a bit like a thermostat that helps make sure your body doesnât get too cool or too hot.
Whatâs more, thyroid hormones can contribute to more wakefulness and alertness because of how they affect the nervous system.
In short, your body requires the right balance of thyroid hormone levels in order to effectively carry out many of its functions.
Are You Concerned About A Possible Thyroid Problem Schedule A Free Call To Speak With Parsley Health Today
This is how we identify thyroid problems before its too late and help people recognize that the weight gain and fatigue they have been suffering from isnt normal or their fault.
One of the main things other doctors miss is that a patient may have nutrient deficiencies contributing to their continued thyroid issues.
Proper thyroid function depends on key nutrients for the production of T4 and the conversion of T4 to T3, which is the thyroid hormone that is active on the cellular level. These nutrients include: Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin D and Iron.
We also test for all of these at Parsley Health. Nearly 90% of people we treat are Vitamin D deficient. We correct these deficiencies through supplements and dietary changes and retest in 3-6 months as appropriate to make sure we have fixed your problem.
At Parsley Health we test for heavy metals with something called a provoked urine test, because we know that blood levels only indicate recent exposure, not total body storage. We then help people naturally detoxify using diet, supplements and lifestyle practices like saunas and mineral baths. Then we retest in 4-6 months and show that their levels have been vastly decreased.
This isnt rocket science. For us, it is just the right way to treat patients.
Additional Lab Tests That Men With Thyroid Problems Should Order
The above lab tests listed will only test your thyroid function, they will not test the other systems that are often negatively impacted by thyroid dysfunction .
This is very important, especially for men, because thyroid dysfunction often alters testosterone levels.
And, as a man, you should consider anything that impacts your testosterone level as something that is of the highest priority.
As far as hormones are concerned, testosterone contributes more to your well-being than any other.
For this reason, checking your testosterone if you suspect a thyroid problem is mandatory.
The reverse is true as well.
If you have been diagnosed with low testosterone then you should also get your thyroid checked.
In addition to testosterone, there are other tests that should be assessed in conjunction with your thyroid.
These tests give you information on additional systems in the body such as the inflammatory cascade, hormone metabolism, and nutrient status.
Due to the nature of how your thyroid impacts other systems in your body, if you have a thyroid problem then you are at increased risk for developing problems in these systems as well.
Additional tests that ALL men should undergo who suspect that they have thyroid disease:
Admittedly, Ive included a fair amount of tests above but thats because Id rather err on the side of too much information than not enough.
You will also notice that not all of these tests are absolutely required.
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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.
- Step 2:
Select your lab tests and location or purchase an at-home kit.
What Are The Risk Factors For Thyroid Disease
The following risk factors, according to the Mayo Clinic, increase your risk for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism:Hypothyroidism:
- Adults over the age of 60
- People with a family history to thyroid disease
- People with an autoimmune disease
- People that have been treated with radioactive iodine or any-thyroid medications
- Have received radiation to neck or upper chest
- Have had thyroid surgery
- Vision problem so eye irritation
- Heat sensitivity
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Medications That Interfere With Thyroid Level Testing
Be sure to let your doctor know if you are taking birth control or another form of estrogen, or if you are pregnant, as it can cause high levels of T3 and T4.
Also, supplements that include biotin can cause thyroid function test measurements to appear abnormal. Biotin is also known as vitamin B-7.
How Having Hyperthyroidism Changed My Life
In early 2007, I found that I was tired all the time and felt very weak. My muscles seemed to get tired quickly even just walking down the street from my car to my house seemed to wear me out. I also had tremors in my hands, I was hot all the time, even in winter, and my eyesight seemed to be fading.
I chalked some of it up to stress at work but I began to get really scared when even on days off from work, I was still so exhausted. So I went to my primary care physician to see what was going on. He ran a battery of tests, including blood work, on me, and discovered my thyroid numbers were way off, indicating an overactive thyroid.
My physician referred me to an endocrinologist, a doctor who is a specialist in thyroid issues. All it took was him taking literally one look at me, as well as feeling my thyroid nodules in my neck, to figure out that I appeared to have Graves’ Disease, an autoimmune disease that causes hyperthyroidism. He also asked me about how I was feeling. I didn’t have all of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. For example, my hair didn’t change, and my skin stayed the same. But I had enough of the symptoms to indicate that there was an issue.
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How Can I Check My Thyroid At Home
To check your thyroid at home, order an online test, which you will receive by mail. Once you receive your kit, carefully read and follow the instructions, which may specify the time of day to do the test.
In addition to written directions, companies may provide instructional videos and online tutorials. Contact the company or a healthcare professional before taking the test if you have questions or if any of the information is unclear.
Most tests require using a lancet to prick your finger and collect a blood sample. Drop the blood onto a test strip or into a small tube before sending it to the laboratory. Youll usually receive your electronic results within a week.
What Is The Treatment For Thyroid Disease
Once thyroid disease has been diagnosed, you and your doctor can develop a proper treatment plan. Treatment will depend on whether you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is typically treated with the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine. Hyperthyroidism has several common treatments, ranging from radioactive iodine, anti-thyroid medications, beta-blockers, and sometimes surgery.
*It is solely your responsibility to promptly discuss all laboratory test results with a physician. Neither Sonora Quest Laboratories nor its Medical Director will provide interpretation, counseling, consulting, or care recommendations on the basis of any laboratory results provided to you.
Order Your Own Thyroid Screen
Order a Thyroid Screen for $36 & pay for your test in 3 easy steps.
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Why You May Need A Thyroid Test
Women of all ages are more likely than men to have low thyroid hormone levels. However, many of their symptoms are attributed to other conditions or written off as a consequence of aging.
A blood test for levels of TSH is the most sensitive test for determining whether you have hypothyroidism. Most laboratories use 0.45 5.00 mIU/L as a normal reference range for TSH. People with TSH between 5.00 and 9.99 mIU/L often have no symptoms , but some do. Another test called T4 will be done if your TSH is in this range. A low level of T4 usually means you will benefit from thyroid hormone replacement.
Many people with hypothyroidism or subclinical hypothyroidism aren’t aware anything is wrong because they haven’t been tested. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force doesn’t recommend thyroid screening because it hasn’t found sufficient evidence that testing thyroid hormone levels in large groups of people without symptoms is cost-effective. Dr. Garber agrees, and suggests a different approachtesting asymptomatic people who are most likely to develop thyroid disease and benefit from treatment.
Treating subclinical hypothyroidism with synthetic thyroid hormone may reduce the risk of developing more serious problems like cardiovascular disease. They note that low thyroid hormone can cause a high cholesterol level and treatment with thyroid hormone may make statin therapy unnecessary.
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:
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The Role Of Thyroid Function Tests
Thyroid function testing can be used in several ways, including:
- Diagnosis this testing aims to find the cause of symptoms. Thyroid function testing can reveal whether the thyroid gland is functioning normally or abnormally and what specific disorder you may have.
- Screening this is testing for disease in the absence of symptoms. All newborns in the U.S. are routinely screened for an underactive thyroid. Some adults may also be screened for thyroid disorders, although not all experts agree that this is beneficial.
- Monitoring thyroid blood tests provide valuable information about whether treatment for thyroid disorders is working as it should or if it needs adjustment.
Best For Home And Lab Testing: Health Testing Centers
- List price:$39$639 or $119, depending on the test
- Results time: 12 days
- Type of test: finger prick
- Insurance coverage: no insurance coverage
- Tests for antibodies: yes
- Medically reviewed: yes
This company offers individual tests for TSH, TPO, free T3, T4, and reverse T3. A person can take certain tests at home. All are available in a lab.
If a person orders an at-home test, shipping can take 57 days. Alternately, a person can give their sample at a LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics lab without making an appointment.
The company says that results arrive in 12 days.
Prices range from $39$639.
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How Do You Get A Thyroid Test Without A Doctor
To get a thyroid test without a doctor, order a test from an online supplier. After receiving your testing kit in the mail, collect a sample and send it to the lab. Most companies provide you with digital test results within a week.
Youll still need to visit a doctor to analyze your results and receive a diagnosis. Dont change your medication or treatment plan based on home test results.
Do I Have A Thyroid Disorder
VISIT YOUR GP
Statistics show that well over 1 million Australians are living with an undiagnosed thyroid disorder.
If you have either hypothyroid or hyperthyroid thyroid symptoms, or physical changes to your thyroid gland, please visit your GP to discuss and ask to have specific thyroid pathology tests and/or a thyroid ultrasound to either determine or eliminate a thyroid disorder.
Thyroid Disorders can be difficult to diagnose, due to many symptoms being similar to those of other medical conditions.
The Australian Thyroid Foundation recommend diagnosis using biochemical pathology testing . A thyroid ultrasound is essential to determine the structure of the gland and define any physical abnormalities within the gland. If further testing is required your treating doctor may order additional screening with radionuclide scans or CT to determine an accurate diagnosis.
Speak to your GP about your symptoms, your family history, if any member of your family has an Autoimmune Disease, a Thyroid Disease or Thyroid Cancer.
- Palpate or feel your neck for any sign of swelling or lumps
The Thyroid Jigsaw
Ultrasound & Scanning
Nodules need to be monitored regularly or treated. A Thyroid Pathology Test cannot show any physical change to the thyroid gland and therefore a thyroid ultrasound is an important diagnostic test.
Time to Have Pathology Tests?
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Types Of Thyroid Function Tests
The purpose of thyroid blood tests is to measure the thyroid glands function. This is done by looking at hormones and other substances produced by the thyroid gland and organs that control thyroid function.
A single test offers helpful information about your thyroid health, but it usually takes more than one test to get a complete picture.
Your Heart Rate Is Changing Or You’re Feeling Heart Palpitations
If you are feeling weird sensations around your chest, neck, or throat, it could be heart palpitations, and they may be caused by your thyroid, not your heart itself. The Mayo Clinic describes a number of things connected with your heart rate that can really indicate hyperthyroidism, including “rapid heartbeat commonly more than 100 beats a minute,” as well as “irregular heartbeat or pounding of your heart .” Dr. Goldfarb explained: “When your thyroid is making too much hormone , you can experience racing heart” as well as “palpitations.” On the other hand, a slower heart rate can indicate hypothyroidism, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Cohen said that “when thyroid levels are low, we are low” and “our hearts might beat slower.” He added, “If thyroid levels are high, a person will show signs of overactivity,” including a “racing heart.”
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How Does A Blood Test For Hyperthyroidism Work
A TSH test for hyperthyroidism evaluates your levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone , and the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 may also be evaluated. Because TSH signals the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones, unusually low levels of TSH can mean that your thyroid is making too many hormones. T3 and T4 measurements can also reveal just how high your thyroid hormone levels are, which can help your healthcare provider decide on a treatment strategy.
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What Are Thyroid Blood Tests
Doctors use blood tests to check for thyroid or pituitary problems. In kids already diagnosed with thyroid or pituitary problems, the tests are used to guide treatment.
Commonly ordered thyroid blood tests include:
- : This is done to measure the blood level of the hormone T4 . It might be done in one or both of the following ways:
- total T4, which measures the entire amount of thyroxine in the blood, including the amount attached to blood proteins that help carry the hormone through the bloodstream
- free T4, which measures only the thyroxine that’s not attached to proteins. This is the part of T4 in the blood that affects how the body’s cells work.The results of the T4 blood tests can help diagnose hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism and guide treatment.
In some cases, abnormal thyroid test results can be due to a medicine, an ongoing medical condition, or pregnancy. In these cases, there may be nothing wrong with the thyroid or pituitary glands themselves.
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