S To Ensure That Your Lab Tests Are Reliable
If you are new to the thyroid game then be sure to read through this article slowly because following these rules will allow you to get the most ACCURATE results possible on your lab tests.
What if you’ve done some of these things but not all of them?
My recommendation is to follow all of these rules for at least one set of thyroid lab tests.
This set of labs will then become your baseline which you can accurately compare future lab tests to.
With this in mind, let’s talk about how to accurately check your thyroid lab tests and what you should be doing…
#1. Get the full thyroid lab panel.
Your first step, if you are serious about testing your thyroid accurately, is to get the COMPLETE thyroid lab panel.
Many patients have never actually had this complete set of thyroid lab tests.
They are often surprised to know that there are thyroid tests that exist outside of the typical TSH and free T4.
The reason for this is complicated and has to do with the fact that most doctors don’t think that these other tests are necessary.
I disagree with this notion for many reasons but probably the most pressing issue is the simple fact that so many thyroid patients are suffering despite receiving ‘treatment’.
How can you base treatment on an incomplete picture and why wouldn’t you order all of the tests available for the thyroid if you can?
The concept that you need to test more than just the TSH may be foreign to many of you but it’s incredibly important.
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Tsh Test
Thyroid changes can happen during pregnancy. These changes are usually not significant, but some women can develop thyroid disease during pregnancy. Hyperthyroidism occurs in about one in every 500 pregnancies, while hypothyroidism occurs in approximately one in every 250 pregnancies. Hyperthyroidism, and less often, hypothyroidism, may remain after pregnancy. If you develop a thyroid condition during pregnancy, your health care provider will monitor your condition after your baby is born. If you have a history of thyroid disease, be sure to talk with your health care provider if you are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant.
Preparing For A Thyroid Blood Test Will Include The Following
Some researches, however, claim that T3, T4 and TSH levels did not show any significant difference in fasting and non-fasting conditions in the same patient. For this reason, fasting for 8-12 hours is advised. You will be asked to report to the laboratory in the morning.
If you go for a thyroid blood test routinely or if you have been on thyroid treatment, it is usually advisable to go for the test at the same time and in the same manner, that is, fasting or non-fasting.
Drawing blood takes less than 5 minutes. You can resume your regular work immediately.
There are no specific risks for a thyroid blood test. You may notice slight bruising at the site of the punctured vein. This goes away in a day or so without doing much to it. You can even apply ice packs if the bruise hurts too much. Contact your doctor immediately if the punctured vein site becomes red and swollen.
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What Does Your Thyroid Gland Do
Your thyroid gland is a gland found at the front of your neck, just below your Adams apple. Your thyroid gland produces hormones that play a key role in regulating your metabolism and affects things like your heart rate, body temperature, and breathing. These hormones are:
The levels of these hormones are controlled by thyrotropin-releasing hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone .
Do You Need To Fast For A Thyroid Test
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There Are Two Things I Know When It Comes To Achieving And Maintaining Good Health: Fasting Is Second To None And Having A Healthy Thyroid Function Is A Must Can Fasting And Thyroid Conditions Coincide
Fasting and thyroid conditions can be compatible, if done correctly. The thyroid is a small, but extremely important gland in the human body. TheNational Institute of Health describes the thyroid as a 2-inch-long, butterfly-shaped gland weighing less than 1 ounce. Located in the front of the neck below the larynx, or voice box, it has two lobes, one on either side of the windpipe. The thyroid is one of the glands that make up the endocrine system. The glands of the endocrine system produce and store hormones and release them into the bloodstream. The hormones then travel through the body and direct the activity of the bodys cells. Can we fast with thyroid conditions? Lets take a closer look.
Thyroid conditions can have a tremendous impact on a persons health and are on the rise: Autoimmune thyroid affects millions, and oftentimes goes undiagnosed. According to theNational Cancer Institute, there were 53,990 estimated new cases of thyroid cancer in 2018, with rates for new cases rising on average 3.1% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have been rising as well, 0.7% each year over 2006-2015.1
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, other thyroid conditions are problematic as well: approximately 4.6 percent of the U.S. population ages 12 and over has an underactive thyroid 2, and 1 person out of 100 in the U.S. have an overactive thyroid 3.
What Is The Thyroid
Located on the lower part of the front of the neck, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that measures two inches in length. For men, the gland is located underneath the Adams apple, near the windpipe.
The thyroid, which is part of the endocrine system, is responsible for the metabolism.
When there are no issues with the thyroid, and its a normal size, it cannot be felt however, when it doesnt work right, it may become enlarged or could grow lumps of extra tissue.
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What Is A Tsh Test And What Do Your Results Mean
The thyroid-stimulating hormone test evaluates thyroid function and thyroid hormone levels. Its produced by the pituitary gland, which tells your thyroid, located in the lower front of your neck, to make and release hormones that control our body temperature, metabolism, and keep our brains, hearts, and other organs working properly.
The American Thyroid Association recommends that adults begin TSH testing at the age of 35 and repeat tests every five years if results are in the normal range. Your doctor may also order a TSH test if youre experiencing symptoms of an underactive or overactive thyroid. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include fatigue, brain fog, extremely dry skin, hair loss, and feeling cold. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include sweating, a fast heart rate, muscle weakness, anxiety, and irritability. In either case, youor your healthcare providermight find that your thyroid is enlarged, which is called a goiter, or thyroid nodules, which are small lumps on the thyroid gland.
What Should Be Tested
A full thyroid panel is required to obtain the most comprehensive and accurate look at how youre doing, as TSH alone and even TSH and Free T4 test without the other components of the thyroid panel, dont give the full picture.
Free T3 and Thyroid Antibodies TpoAB and TgAB are important to monitor too. Many thyroid patients find that whilst their TSH is OK, their Free T3 and Free T4, or even Reverse T3 isnt optimal and so they still feel unwell. If your doctor wont order the full thyroid panel, do know that it is relatively inexpensive and simple to order these tests yourself. UK thyroid patients can order them from here and a worldwide link can be seen here.
TSH serves as an average read out over the previous four to six weeks of your thyroid levels but doesnt give the most comprehensive view.
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Fasting And Thyroid Conditions: Fixing The Thyroid
Im always asked, Can these thyroid conditions be reversed? Absolutely. Get rid of the cause and the body reverses them. Contrary to popular belief, the doctor doesnt do it, the body does. When you get rid of the causes through my multi-therapeutic approach , the body can do amazing things.
Heres a common scenario for many thyroid patients: youre taking the thyroid medication that your doctor prescribes, and your blood work looks normal. However, youre still losing your hair, your skin is still dry, and you have no energy. Youve even gained 20 pounds. Youre doing everything the doctor suggested, but its not working. Why? We havent gotten to the exact cause of the thyroid condition.
Most doctors simply address thyroid conditions without an understanding of the cells ability to receive the messages needed to function properly. This is where fasting and thyroid health fit together. Fasting makes the body more responsive to the hormones we are producing. Therefore we start to feel better.
What Are Thyroid Hormone Blood Tests
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located near your Adam’s apple that produces the hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine .4 T3 and T4 regulate all aspects of your metabolism, such as the rate at which your body uses carbohydrates, your body temperature, and your protein production.3
When your thyroid does not produce enough of these hormones , you may experience a lack of energy, weight gain, and depression. 2 Thyroid function blood tests–also known as thyroid hormone blood tests–can determine whether your thyroid is functioning correctly.7 A healthcare provider can administer these tests to help determine what’s causing your symptoms and which treatment may work best for you.
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We Need Insulin To Make Many Hormone Conversions
Once a month adding in these carbs , we magically start converting our hormones and feeling better! This applies to the rest of the month. This is imperative for those people with thyroid conditions. Fasting and diet variation are both great ways to increase your thyroid health, in conjunction with my multi-therapeutic approach to healing.
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Do I Have To Fast For A Thyroid Blood Test
Studies have shown that early morning fasting causes higher TSH levels compared to tests taken in the afternoon on patients that did not fast. Since fasting affect TSH levels, fasting might make it difficult to diagnose subclinical hypothyroidism, as the condition is diagnosed by specifically looking at TSH levels.5 Ask your healthcare provider whether you should fast before taking your thyroid blood test.
1. ADAM. “Everything That You Need To Know Before Getting A Full Thyroid Panel.” ThyroMate. ThyroMate.com, April 25, 2017, . Accessed April 3, 2018.
2. Luo, Elaine K. “Thyroid Function Tests.” healthline. Healthline Media, February 27, 2018, . Accessed April 3, 2018.
3. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Hypothyroidism .” MayoClinic.org. . Published December 6, 2017. Accessed April 3, 2018.
4. Northrup, Christiane. “What is Thyroid Disease? Common Thyroid Disease Symptoms To Look For.” Christiane Northrup, M.D. Christiane Northrup, October 24, 2017, . Accessed April 3, 2018.
7. “Thyroid Blood Tests.” Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, . Accessed April 3, 2018.
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Should I Take Thyroid Tablets Before Thyroid Blood Test
If you are taking medicines for thyroid conditions to treat your thyroid disease, it is recommended that your blood sample be taken before you take your dose for that day. Have your medicine post the test. Always consult your doctor for such suggestions as they know your health condition best and might advise otherwise too.
T3 Resin Uptake Results
A T3 resin uptake, also known as a T3RU, is a blood test that measures the binding capacity of a hormone called thyroxin-binding globulin . If your T3 level is elevated, your TBG binding capacity should be low.
Abnormally low levels of TBG often indicate a problem with the kidneys or with the body not getting enough protein. Abnormally high levels of TBG suggest high levels of estrogen in the body. High estrogen levels may be caused by pregnancy, eating estrogen-rich foods, obesity, or hormone replacement therapy.
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What You Need To Know About Doing Thyroid Blood Tests
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Originally published on 30th May 2017
Common questions about thyroid blood tests for those with medical conditions such as a thyroid disorder include:
- Do I take my thyroid medication as normal before the blood draw?
- Do you need to fast for thyroid blood work?
- How often should it be done?
- Does it need to be in the morning?
- Can it be done in the afternoon?
- Is fasting required for a TSH test?
- What should be tested?
Probably the most important thing to be aware of as someone with a thyroid condition, is whether you should take your thyroid medication before or after having any testing done.
This Is Where I Will Introduce My Concept Of Diet Variation
Our ancestors varied their diet based upon what was available. Insulin carries many roles in its relation to other hormones, especially regarding the hormone convergence. Hormone convergence means hormones need to be converted from one form to another for active use. One of the best examples of this conversion is thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone T3 is the active form of the hormone that helps our body use fat for energy. Active Free T3 has many other functions as well, such as the overall health of our skin and hair, and even daily energy. Therefore, if your cells dont get enough of the message, you will not feel well or burn fat efficiently. T4 is the inactive form that must be converted to the active T3. If the conversion is hindered in any way, the lack of T3 will affect how you feel and use fat as energy.
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How Is The Test Used
A thyroid panel may be used to evaluate thyroid function and/or help diagnose thyroid disorders.
Typically, the preferred initial test for thyroid disorders is a TSH test. If the TSH level is abnormal, it will usually be followed up with a test for free T4. Sometimes a total T3 or free T3 will also be performed. Often, the laboratory will do this follow-up testing automatically. This is known as reflex testing and it saves the healthcare practitioner time from having to wait for the results of the initial test and then requesting additional testing to confirm or clarify a diagnosis. Reflex tests are typically performed on the original sample that was submitted when the initial test was requested.
As an alternative, a thyroid panel may be requested by your healthcare practitioner. This means that all three tests will be performed at the same time to get a more complete initial picture of thyroid function.
What Are The Different Types Of Thyroid Blood Tests
Thyroid function tests are a set of blood tests used to measure how well your thyroid gland is working. They help detect an overactive or underactive thyroid gland and also give hints about other related conditions. There are three main types of thyroid blood tests:
- TSH test: A thyroid stimulating hormone is not released by the thyroid gland. It is made in the pituitary gland in the brain. When thyroid levels in your body get low, the pituitary gland makes more TSH which serves as a signal for the thyroid gland to compensate and release more thyroid hormones. When thyroid levels are high, the pituitary gland makes less TSH. Hence, the TSH levels that are too high or too low can tell if your thyroid is working well.
- T4 test: Measures the blood level of the hormone T4 .
- T3 test: Measures the other major thyroid hormone T3 in the blood.
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What Are Thyroid Function Tests
If your doctor suspects you are having problems with your thyroid, he or she may recommend a thyroid function test.
These simple blood tests are used to determine how well your thyroid gland is working based on your hormone levels.
There are four different types of thyroid function tests: T3, T3RU, T4 and TSH.
If your doctor is concerned about the levels of your hormones, broad screening tests, like the T4 or the TSH test will be ordered.
Further tests may be needed to help determine whats going on if the results of these tests come back abnormal.
Thyroid Disorders And Symptoms
If you dont produce enough thyroid hormones your bodily processes start to slow down. Signs of an underactive thyroid include:
Autoimmune thyroid diseases An autoimmune disease is when your immune system mistakenly attacks your body in this case, thyroid antibodies attack your thyroid. This can lead to a thyroid disorder. Types of autoimmune thyroid diseases include Graves disease or Hashimotos disease .
Explanation Of The Thyroid Markers
TSH Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is released by the pituitary gland. This is the most commonly used marker of thyroid health. TSH increases when T4 drops as the pituitary gland tries to wake up the thyroid by releasing more TSH to stimulate T4 production. In hypothyroid cases, TSH is typically high. This is a good starting point of a diagnosis but should not be used as the only marker. Typical lab range is 0.5-5.0 mU/L whereby functional practitioners like to use 1-2 mU/L range.
Free T4 Measures the amount of free thyroxine found in the blood. T4 is produced by the thyroid gland when it binds with iodine. It is largely an inactive hormone that gets converted to T3, which is the active hormone.
Free T3 Measures free triiodothyroxine and is the best marker for measuring the amount of an active hormone available for our body cells to utilize.
Reverse T3 This marker is elevated if a person went through a major trauma, surgery or severe chronic stress. When the body is under stress, instead of converting T4 to T3 , the body conserves energy by making what is known as Reverse T3 , an inactive form of the T3 hormone. A high rT3 will block T3 from entering the cells making all symptoms of hypothyroidism even worse.
As Im writing this article, I think to myself Wow, I wish this information was available back in 2008 when I was first diagnosed and felt so lost and helpless. So here you have it, I hope you find this information helpful in getting on your healing journey!