Wednesday, June 15, 2022
HomeExclusiveHow Do You Do A Thyroid Test

How Do You Do A Thyroid Test

What Is A Thyroid

Do You Need a Thyroid Test?

Your thyroid is a small gland found at the front of your windpipe . It produces two hormones that help control your metabolism the chemical processes that occur in your body that keep you alive, like breathing and breaking down food into energy. These hormones are called triiodothyronine and thyroxine .

Treat Your Thyroid Issues

Experiencing unexplained changes in your weight, mood issues, and sensitivities to changing temperatures can be early warning signs that you have developed a thyroid problem. We can use medications and other methods to treat your thyroid issue and improve your health. If you would like to treat your thyroid problems, contact us at the Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, KY to schedule an initial consultation.

You May Like: What Are Early Warning Signs Of Thyroid Cancer?

Medical History And Physical Exam

If you have any signs or symptoms that suggest you might have thyroid cancer, your health care professional will want to know your complete medical history. You will be asked questions about your possible risk factors, symptoms, and any other health problems or concerns. If someone in your family has had thyroid cancer or tumors called pheochromocytomas, it is important to tell your doctor, as you might be at high risk for this disease.

Your doctor will examine you to get more information about possible signs of thyroid cancer and other health problems. During the exam, the doctor will pay special attention to the size and firmness of your thyroid and any enlarged lymph nodes in your neck.

You May Like: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid

Knowing When To Check Your Thyroid

  • 1Monitor for symptoms of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is the condition where you have an underactive thyroid. All forms of hypothyroidism can be caused by viral infections, radiation damage, some medications, pregnancy, and other rarer causes. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include:XResearch sourceXTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Severe and constant fatigue
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle
  • Constipation
  • Disturbed sleep cycle, such as wanting to sleep all the time
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Muscle weakness
  • Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • 2Watch for symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is the condition where you have an overactive thyroid. This condition can be a result of Graves disease, tumors, thyroiditis , thyroid nodules, and some medications.XResearch source Symptoms of an overactive thyroid include:XResearch source
  • Rapid heart rate or palpitations
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Frequent and loose bowel movements or diarrhea
  • Fine hair that may be falling out
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nervousness, irritability, a feeling of high energy
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Sweatiness
  • Reddish skin which may be itchy
  • 3Understand the symptoms may be due to another condition. Remember that many of these symptoms are not specific to thyroid disease. Determine if you have multiple symptoms, or just a few. If you are unsure, go to your physician for tests.XResearch sourceXResearch source
  • Why You May Need A Thyroid Test

    How to Test Your Thyroid Function at Home

    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.

    Don’t Miss: Can I Take Collagen Supplements With Thyroid Medication

    How To Test Your Thyroid Function

    You can test your thyroid function using a blood sample. The two main ways to collect a blood sample are:

    • a venous blood test a trained professional will use a needle to puncture a vein, usually in your arm, to collect a blood sample.
    • a finger-prick blood test using a lancet, you can prick your own finger and collect a small blood sample.

    Thyroid Testing: How It Works

    Thyroid tests use a blood sample to measure various hormone levels. Thyroid-stimulating hormone , for example, is often measured to indirectly check if your thyroid gland is producing enough thyroid hormones. TSH levels are usually higher than normal if you have an underactive thyroid .

    Thyroid function tests can also measure thyroid hormones like thyroxine to provide a better understanding of how low â or how high â your thyroid hormone levels are.

    You May Like: How To Check For Thyroid Issues

    Reading Other Thyroid Test Results

  • 1Include your doctor. The beauty of our medical system is that patients do not have to interpret their own results. Your doctor will order tests and interpret your results. She can provide a diagnosis and begin a treatment plan, which likely will include a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Having a general working knowledge of the results and what they mean can help you understand the disorder and help understand the treatment for the condition.
  • Ordering your own tests can be very dangerous and often lead to misguided treatment. You would not try to fix an engine if you did not have training this is no different.
  • 2Interpret thyroid antibody testing to differentiate between various types of thyroid diseases. If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, your doctor will likely order a series of other thyroid investigations in order to more thoroughly investigate and confirm your diagnosis. Antibody testing is commonly performed, and may lead to important clues as to what is going on with your thyroid.
  • Thyroid antibody testing can help to differentiate between types of thyroiditis and also autoimmune conditions of the thyroid.
  • TPO may be elevated in autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Grave’s Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
  • TG may also be elevated in Grave’s Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
  • TSHR may be elevated in Grave’s Disease.
  • A thyroid biopsy can take a sample of a suspicious nodule and rule in or rule out the possibility of cancer.
  • How Thyroid Eye Disease Is Diagnosed

    What Thyroid Tests Do You Need To Get?

    Thyroid eye disease is a condition that affects the muscles and tissues of the eyes. The condition happens when you have an overactive thyroid caused by Graves disease. To diagnose thyroid eye disease, you may need a physical exam, lab tests, and imaging tests.

    Read Also: Does Thyroid Function Affect Bipolar Disorder

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan

    MRI scans use magnets instead of radiation to create detailed cross-sectional images of your body. MRI can be used to look for cancer in the thyroid, or cancer that has spread to nearby or distant parts of the body. But ultrasound is usually the first choice for looking at the thyroid. MRI can provide very detailed images of soft tissues such as the thyroid gland. MRI scans are also very helpful in looking at the brain and spinal cord.

    Why Is Insulin Important

    Insulin, which is secreted from our pancreas, regulates our metabolism and provides the bodys cells with the energy it needs it does this based on blood sugar levels and other hormones in the body.

    The hormone is responsible for allowing cells in the muscles, fat and liver to absorb sugar from our blood. These cells need sugar or glucose in order to have energy or it can be converted into fat, if required.

    You probably are aware that insulin is connected with diabetes whether its type 1 or type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancies. Apart from some differences in symptoms, all forms of diabetes are caused by the body not being able to secrete enough insulin or the body not being able to effectively use the insulin it produces.

    This causes the sugar to remain in the bloodstream and overall blood sugar levels to rise. The rise in this long-term blood sugar level triggers many health problems, such as deafness or impaired vision. At the same time, kidneys can be affected, and the risk of strokes increases. The good news is that you can test your long-term blood sugar levels with a health test either at your doctors or at home.

    You May Like: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid

    Whats Included In A Full Thyroid Panel

    A full thyroid panel usually checks thyroid-stimulating hormone , triiodothyronine , and thyroxine levels. In some cases, a blood test for thyroid function will also check your bloodâs level of TPO antibodies. If you have abnormal thyroid hormone levels, high levels of TPO antibodies can point to an autoimmune thyroid disease as a possible reason for those abnormal levels.

    The Importance Of Thyroid Testing

    PPT

    Because thyroid problems can have serious health repercussions, its critical to recognize and treat them as soon as possible. When your thyroid generates insufficient or excessive levels of hormones, you may experience a medical disorder. For example, when your thyroid does not produce enough hormones, hypothyroidism develops. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too many hormones.

    Do you have unexplained weight changes, emotional instability, or other warning signs of thyroid issues? We can perform thyroid testing to see whether you might have a problem with your thyroid. A timely test can help.

    Read Also: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid

    Physical Exam For The Thyroid

    During a physical exam, your healthcare provider will:

    • Touch your neck to see if the thyroid is larger than normal or if there are nodules.
    • Check for increased blood flow in the thyroid, called a thrill, by palpating the area.
    • Use a stethoscope to listen to the sound of increased blood flow in the thyroid, called a bruit.

    The physical exam may also include checking your:

    • Reflexes
    • Thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibody
    • Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody

    Why Might I Need A Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy

    You might need the test to see whether your nodule is cancerous. You might have noticed the nodule yourself, or your healthcare provider might have noticed it during an exam or on another test.

    Researchers do not know what causes most thyroid nodules. They are very common, though. Certain problems with the thyroid gland, like Hashimoto thyroiditis, may increase your chances of getting a thyroid nodule. Thyroid nodules are much more common in women than in men. Nodules tend to grow during pregnancy. People who have had radiation treatments to their neck are also more likely to develop nodules. Your risk of developing thyroid nodules or thyroid cancer is increased if members of your family have already had thyroid and certain other cancers.

    Only a small percentage of thyroid nodules turn out to be cancer. It is important to identify a cancerous nodule as soon as possible, so that you can begin treatment quickly.

    Not everyone who has a thyroid nodule needs a fine needle aspiration biopsy. Your healthcare provider may start with an ultrasound or computed tomography scan of your neck. Sometimes, this provides enough information to know that the nodule isnt due to cancer. Blood tests of thyroid levels also may provide helpful information. If your healthcare provider cant tell for sure, youll probably need a thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy.

    Read Also: How To Reduce Double Chin Due To Thyroid

    What Blood Tests Are Done To Test The Thyroid

    Thyroid blood tests include:

    These tests alone arent meant to diagnose any illness but may prompt your healthcare provider to do additional testing to evaluate for a possible thyroid disorder.

    Additional blood tests might include:

    • Thyroid antibodies: These tests help identify different types of autoimmune thyroid conditions. Common thyroid antibody tests include microsomal antibodies , thyroglobulin antibodies , and thyroid receptor antibodies .
    • Calcitonin: This test is used to diagnose C-cell hyperplasia and medullary thyroid cancer, both of which are rare thyroid disorders.
    • Thyroglobulin: This test is used to diagnose thyroiditis and to monitor treatment of thyroid cancer.

    Why Would Someone Use An At

    How to Do a Self Thyroid Exam

    First, the kits might be an easy way to get a first glance at your thyroid health, especially if you have a sneaking suspicion that something could be off.

    The kits are a great option for anyone looking to get more information on their thyroid function. They can be ordered by the consumer rather than having to go to a doctor to send your lab requisition, says endocrinolgist Sapna Shah MD of Paloma Health.

    People experience all types of side effects from poor thyroid health, and starting with a thyroid screening can help to narrow things down and get to the root of the issue, Dr. Shapiro adds. On the flip side, theyre also for people who might already have a diagnosed condition and require regular lab results, he also notes.

    When getting to a lab is difficult at-home tests can be a nice way to access care and information, says Dr. Shah.And then theres the aspect of social distancing and safety: People are leaning towards at-home treatments now more than ever because of COVID, Dr. Shapiro says. Staying out of busy waiting rooms is a good enough reason alone.At-home thyroid tests can also help cut down on costs and co-pays, as the test itself can be bought for a single fee. For example, the Everlywell kit tests for three main thyroid hormones: TSH, T3, and T4, as well as thyroid antibodies. It costs $99, which could be less than a doctors visit, copay, lab costs, or any potential out-of-network fees, depending on your health coverage.

    Also Check: Thyroid Eye Floaters

    What Is Thyroid Medication

    Thyroid Hormone Treatment Levothyroxine is thestandard of care in thyroid hormone replacement therapy and treatment of hypothyroidism. Levothyroxine is equivalent to the T4 form of naturally occurring thyroid hormone and is available in generic and brand name forms.

    How do I take levothyroxine? To optimize absorption of your thyroid medication, it should be taken with water at a regular time each day. Multiple medications and supplements decrease absorption of thyroid hormone and should be taken 3-4 hours apart, including calcium and iron supplements, proton pump inhibitors, soy, and multivitamins with minerals. Because of the way levothyroxine is metabolized by the body, your doctor may ask you to take an extra pill or skip a pill on some days of the week. This helps us to fine tune your medication dose for your body and should be guided by an endocrinologist.

    For patients with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, a gluten free formulation of levothyroxine is available.

    Some individuals may have genetic variant that affects how the body converts T4 to T3 and these individuals may benefit from the addition of a small dose of triiodothyronine.

    Liothyronine is replacement T3 thyroid hormone. This medication has a short half-life and is taken twice per day or in combination with levothyroxine. Liothyronine alone is not used for treatment of hypothyroidism long term.

    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.

    Also Check: Does Graves Disease Go Away After Thyroid Removed

    T3 And T4 Interpretations

    • A normal TSH and normal T4 indicates a normally functioning thyroid gland.
    • A low TSH and high T4 generally indicates hyperthyroidism.
    • A high TSH and low T4 indicates primary hypothyroidism .
    • A low TSH and low T4 suggest secondary hypothyroidism .

    For diagnostic purposes, a low T3 value accompanied by a high TSH value is considered evidence of hypothyroidism. By contrast, a low TSH value accompanied by a high T3 value is considered evidence of hyperthyroidism.

    What About Thyroid Medications For Subclinical Hypothyroidism

    Thyroid Dcotor

    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.

    Why?

    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, most patients with subclinical hypothyroidism feel so much better when they start on thyroid hormones.

    I wanted to believe that these interventions were keeping me from getting worse until my husband and I took a red-eye flight from Los Angeles to visit friends on the East Coast in the winter. The lack of sleep combined with the cold weather put me in a hypothyroid flare.

    Read Also: Can You Take Collagen With Thyroid Medicine

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Popular Articles