Thyroid #4 Comprehensive Blood Test Panel Includes:
Thyroid Panel with Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone : Thyroid function is critical to your metabolism and affects your energy level, heart rate, weight control, and more. The thyroid-stimulating hormone is produced in the pituitary gland and stimulates the production of thyroid hormones. The TSH helps identify an underactive or overactive thyroid state. This comprehensive evaluation of your thyroid hormone levels includes T-3 Uptake, T4, Free Thyroxine Index , and Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone .
Free T3: Free T3 is for evaluating thyroid function and assessing abnormal binding protein disorders.
Free T4: Free T4 may be indicated when binding globulin problems are perceived, or when conventional test results appear to be inconsistent with clinical observations. It is normal in those with high thyroxine-binding globulin hormone binding who are euthyroid . It should also be normal in familial dysalbuminemic hyperthyroxinemia.
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies: Antibodies to thyroid microsomes are present in 70% to 90% of patients with chronic thyroiditis. They are also present in smaller percentages of patients of other thyroid diseases. Antibody production may be confined to lymphocytes within the thyroid, and serum may be negative. Small numbers of people with no evidence of disease may have antibodies. This is more frequent in females and increases with age.
Thyroid-stimulating Immunoglobulin : TSI is a second-order testing for autoimmune thyroid disease, including:
Best For Support From Thyroid Specialists: Paloma Complete Thyroid Blood Test Kit
- List price:$79$99 or $16 monthly membership
- Results time: 7 days
- Type of test: finger prick
- Insurance coverage: insurance coverage for appointments only
- Tests for antibodies: yes
- Medically reviewed: yes
This test measures levels of TSH, free T4, free T3, and thyroid peroxidase antibodies , which can be in people with Hashimotos thyroiditis. This company only produces thyroid tests, and its medical team includes endocrinologists, dieticians, and wellness experts.
After a person receives their results, they get ongoing personal guidance from a thyroid specialist. A person also gets treatment recommendations generated by an algorithm that medical professionals supervise, according to Paloma.
The test requires a finger-prick blood sample, and its results are available within a week. A person can choose to add a vitamin D and reverse T3 test to their purchase at checkout.
The company accepts payments from flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts .
The Paloma Complete Thyroid Blood Test Kit costs $99 for non-members and $75 for members. Membership costs $16 a month.
Paloma members can also use their health insurance to pay for appointments with the companys doctors. These cost $42 for people without membership or insurance.
How Does The Thyroid Gland Function
The major thyroid hormone secreted by the thyroid gland is thyroxine, also called T4 because it contains four iodine atoms. To exert its effects, T4 is converted to triiodothyronine by the removal of an iodine atom. This occurs mainly in the liver and in certain tissues where T3 acts, such as in the brain. The amount of T4 produced by the thyroid gland is controlled by another hormone, which is made in the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain, called thyroid stimulating hormone . The amount of TSH that the pituitary sends into the bloodstream depends on the amount of T4 that the pituitary sees. If the pituitary sees very little T4, then it produces more TSH to tell the thyroid gland to produce more T4. Once the T4 in the bloodstream goes above a certain level, the pituitarys production of TSH is shut off. In fact, the thyroid and pituitary act in many ways like a heater and a thermostat. When the heater is off and it becomes cold, the thermostat reads the temperature and turns on the heater. When the heat rises to an appropriate level, the thermostat senses this and turns off the heater. Thus, the thyroid and the pituitary, like a heater and thermostat, turn on and off. This is illustrated in the figure below.
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Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Tsh Test
TSH levels may be high or low even when your thyroid gland is healthy. Serious illnesses not related to your thyroid may cause lower TSH levels for a short time. And TSH levels may be higher in people over age 80, even though they don’t have any thyroid problems.
Pregnancy also affects TSH levels. They are often a little low during the first three months. But sometimes, thyroid disease develops during pregnancy. If you develop thyroid disease during pregnancy, your provider will monitor your condition through your pregnancy and after your baby is born. That’s because hyperthyroidism, and less often, hypothyroidism, can continue after you give birth. If you have a history of thyroid disease, be sure to talk with your provider if you are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant.
Newborn babies are routinely screened with a TSH test to see if they were born with hypothyroidism .
Taking A Thyroid Test
The thyroid panel test is performed on a blood sample. If a doctor performs the test, the blood sample comes from drawing blood from a vein with a needle. And if the test is being performed at home, the kit typically contains a lancet, which pricks the finger to draw blood that you place on a card to send back to the lab.
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What More Should I Know About Thyroid Blood Tests
Ranges noted here are approximate your providers may differ slightly. Its important that you remember abnormal readings do not necessarily mean a thyroid disorder is present, as each test can be affected by a variety of factors.
No preparation is required for these tests. They can be taken any time of day without fasting.
Thyroid Labs To Request
There are 6 key tests that can unlock the mystery of your thyroid function and are what your doctor should be looking at. Thyroid testing should be simple to obtain from your primary doctor or local lab. However, the nuances may take some skill to interpret, depending on the results, and your doctor might be resistant to ordering more than the TSH test. Thats where an open-minded endocrinologist or a skilled Functional Medicine doctor can be of help!
In this blog I will discuss key hypothyroid testing. In a subsequent blog I will discuss interpreting the results to understand your situation, the variations that can point to whether you have an under functioning thyroid gland, thyroid hormone conversion problems, or thyroid hormone resistance. In yet another blog I will address the causes, prevention, and treatment of thyroid autoimmunity.
In my practice, if my patients symptoms are highly suggestive of hypothyroidism, I will run the entire thyroid panel described below right up front. If there are other diagnoses that are equally likely, I will run just the first 3 tests , and if these come back borderline or positive for thyroid or thyroid hormone problems, I will then add in the remainder of the test panel . I will also sometimes recheck test results for TSH, FT3, and FT4, if normal in a newly symptomatic patient, in 6-12 weeks, because Ive occasionally seen initial testing be normal then a short time later, voila the tests come back confirming the problem.
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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.
Which Lab Is Best For Thyroid Test
Females Health and wellness Related Hypothyroidism Symptoms: PMS. Uneven, Longer, Lighter, or Much Heavier Menstruation. Extreme Menstrual Cramps.
Guys Health and wellness Related Hypothyroidism Manifestations:
Loss of Libido.
Hopefully all these symptoms of hypothyroidism have opened your eyes and also offered you a much better understanding of the value of finding and appropriately treating hypothyroidism in order to appropriately bring back and maintain your health and wellness. The majority of people, doctors, as well as medical care professionals fail to make this connection and much frequently the underlying root cause of your health issue is missed or misdiagnosed.
Your thyroid is accountable for so much more than boosting your metabolism and also helping you to reduce weight. It plays an essential duty in harmonizing and producing hormonal agents, decreasing cholesterol, decreasing swelling within your body, dealing with cancer, lowering your danger of autoimmune illness, keeping your brain energized and also mentally alert, and reducing the natural aging procedure.
Numerous of the hypothyroidism symptoms detailed over can be both conveniently avoided or easily eliminated when you find out exactly how to appropriately restore the function as well as wellness of your thyroid. As well as it constantly starts with effectively enlightening and also equipping on your own to take control of your health and wellness.
Which Lab Is Best For Thyroid Test
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What Are Thyroid Blood Tests And Why Are They Taken
Thyroid blood tests are used to tell if your thyroid gland is functioning properly by measuring the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood. They are done by withdrawing blood from a vein in your arm. These blood tests help to diagnose thyroid diseases.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front part of your neck. Its job is to produce thyroid hormones, which travel through your bloodstream and regulate many aspects of your bodys metabolism, including temperature, weight, and energy.
Thyroid blood tests show if you have:
- Hyperthyroidism: Overactive thyroid producing more thyroid hormones than your body needs. Hyperthyroidism speeds up your metabolism, which can cause weight loss, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, puffiness around the eyes, anxiety and other symptoms. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves disease.
- Hypothyroidism: Underactive thyroid producing too few thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism slows down your metabolism, which can cause weight gain, menstrual irregularity, dry and puffy skin, fatigue and other symptoms. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimotos disease.
Thyroid blood tests are used to diagnose thyroid disorders associated with hyper- or hypothyroidism. These include:
Side Effects And Aftercare
A blood draw is a routine, minimally invasive procedure and doesnt have many side effects.
During the days immediately after the blood draw, you may notice slight bruising or soreness at the area where the needle was inserted. Placing an ice pack on the affected site or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever can help ease your discomfort.
If you experience a great deal of pain, or if the area around the puncture becomes red and swollen, follow up with your doctor immediately. These could be signs of an infection.
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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.
T4 Test In Thyroid Panel
T4 test measures the thyroxine or T4 hormone which regulates growth and metabolism in the body. The T4 test helps evaluate the function of the thyroid gland.
It is possible to have abnormally high TSH levels and normal TSH levels at the same time. Such a condition is termed subclinical hypothyroidism which is an initial phase of hypothyroidism.
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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.
What Should You Do Before Having The Thyroid Panel
Before having the thyroid panel, make sure to discuss with the healthcare practitioner any over-the-counter or prescription medications that you take. The tests have to take place before taking any dose of thyroid hormones for the treatment of thyroid diseases. However, no further preparation is necessary for the thyroid panel.
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How Do You Know If A Thyroid Test Kit Is Reputable
First, its important that the test kit itself is certified by Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments , which ensures quality laboratory testing. Youll also want to check if they are certified by the College of American Pathologists , which ensures best practices regarding obtaining accuracy of test results and meeting other important required standards.
According to Dr. Shah, The lab Paloma Health uses is a CLIA and CAP-certified lab, government-certified at the gold standard of the lab industry. The labs are tested versus commercially available labs to be equivalent in their results.
The same goes for other test kits made by other companies: Other services who use CLIA- and CAP-certified labs will also provide accurate readings, she says.
Dr. Shapiro also recommends asking your endocrinologist or healthcare provider if they can recommend a reputable thyroid test kit.
The good news is that at-home test kits, when bought by a reputable provider, are generally very reliable. According to a study in the Journal of Medical Screening, they offer accurate and inexpensive testing.
Who Should Get Thyroid Blood Tests
Individuals who experience symptoms of thyroid disease like neck enlargement, fatigue, trouble sleeping, muscle weakness, irregular menstruation, nervousness, and the like should take a test for thyroid function.
Additionally, those who are at risk for thyroid disorders should also get a thyroid test. This includes women above 60, those with a family history of thyroid disease, recently pregnant women, and individuals diagnosed with autoimmune disease.
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Reason #: T3 Hormone Is King
T3, also known as triiodothyronine, is the hormone that our body cells have receptors for. This means that for you to have beautiful hair, healthy nails, optimal gut health, a sharp mind and good mood, you need a sufficient amount of the T3 hormone, not T4.
Interestingly, the T3 hormone is produced from T4 by a metabolic conversion that happens in the gut and the liver. Can you see now how you could have a sufficient T4 hormone but if your T3 is low, you will still be feeling like a zombie?
Oh, and by the way, Synthroid is a synthetic version of T4 this means that you still need to convert it to T3 to feel good.
What Is The Thyroid
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits at front of your neck and sets your entire metabolic rate. Thus it controls your weight, whether you feel sluggish or energetic, mentally crisp or foggy, cheerful or blue, and is involved in the control of everything from your cholesterol to your female hormones.
When your thyroid is not functioning optimally, you can feel dull, tired, constipated, gain weight, your skin gets dry, your hair can become dry and even fall out, your muscles and joints might ache, your periods become irregular, you might have fertility problems, brain fog, sugar and carb cravings , high cholesterol even if your diet is amazing, and a host of other large and small symptoms.
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What About Those Already On Thyroid Medications
If youre already on thyroid meds, but still have symptoms, it is possible you may need to up your dosage so that your labs fall within the optimal range, to help you feel better.
Please take a look at my article on TSH for a letter that you can take to your physician if he/she is not familiar with the current optimal reference range. As I mentioned earlier, I personally feel best with a TSH a bit under 1 IU/mL, but you may need some trial and error to find your personal best TSH.
Once you establish a dose of medication thats working for you and as long as your symptoms dont change you can test your thyroid hormones every six months.