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How Doctors Check For Thyroid Problems

How Do You Check Thyroid Problems From Home

Thyroid Self Test: 4 Ways to Check your Thyroid at Home

01.Apr.2021

Your thyroid is the small gland that sits in the lower part of your neck. It produces a specific group of hormones that control a number of your bodys functions, including your metabolic health . This is why, if your thyroid doesnt release enough hormones , or is producing too much , youll likely experience a whole host of signs and symptoms such as fatigue, unexplained changes in weight, and muscle weakness.

According to the American Thyroid Association, around 20 million people in the United States have some form of thyroid disease and up to 60% of these are unaware of their condition. If thyroid problems go undiagnosed and untreated, they can cause a range of complications; this why its so important to keep an eye on your thyroid health. So if youre experiencing symptoms or you think something doesnt feel right, you can check in on your thyroid from home with LetsGetCheckeds range of at-home Thyroid Tests.

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
  • How Long Does It Take To Recover From Thyroid Surgery

    It will take your body a few weeks to recover after your thyroid is surgically removed . During this time you should avoid a few things, including:

    • Submerging your incision under water.
    • Lifting an object thats heavier than 15 pounds.
    • Doing more than light exercise.

    This generally lasts for about two weeks. After that, you can return to your normal activities.

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    How To Test For Thyroid Problems At Home

    How to check your thyroid hormones at home?

    The Everlywell at-home thyroid test can tell you if your thyroid hormone levels suggest hypothyroidism. This test requires only a few drops of blood as a sample. After getting your online test results, you can easily see your levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone , free T3 and T4, and TPO antibodies. High TSH and/or low T3 and T4 can indicate hypothyroidism.

    You can also take our thyroid test at home to check your hormones for indications of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism means your thyroid gland is overactive: itâs producing too many hormones. Low levels of TSH and/or high T3 and T4 can suggest hyperthyroidism.

    What Tests Do Doctors Use If I Have A Thyroid Nodule

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    If your health care professional finds a nodule or lump in your neck during a physical exam or on thyroid imaging tests, you may have a fine needle aspiration biopsy to see if the lump is cancerous or noncancerous.

    For this test, you will lie on an exam table and slightly bend your neck backward. A technician will clean your neck with an antiseptic and may use medicine to numb the area. An endocrinologist who treats people with endocrine gland problems like thyroid disease, or a specially trained radiologist, will place a needle through the skin and use ultrasound to guide the needle to the nodule. Small samples of tissue from the nodule will be sent to a lab for testing. This procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes. Your health care professional will talk with you about the test result when it is available.

    This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

    The NIDDK would like to thank:COL Henry B. Burch, MD, Chair, Endocrinology Division and Professor of Medicine, Uniformed ServicesUniversity of the Health Sciences

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    Is There A Higher Risk Of Developing Thyroid Disease If I Have Diabetes

    If you have diabetes, youre at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease than people without diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. If you already have one autoimmune disorder, you are more likely to develop another one.

    For people with type 2 diabetes, the risk is lower, but still there. If you have type 2 diabetes, youre more likely to develop a thyroid disease later in life.

    Regular testing is recommended to check for thyroid issues. Those with type 1 diabetes may be tested more often immediately after diagnosis and then every year or so than people with type 2 diabetes. There isnt a regular schedule for testing if you have type 2 diabetes, however your healthcare provider may suggest a schedule for testing over time.

    If you have diabetes and get a positive thyroid test, there are a few things to you can do to help feel the best possible. These tips include:

    • Getting enough sleep.
    • Taking all of your medications as directed.
    • Getting tested regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.

    Complementary And Alternative Medicine

    Some people try other therapies to cleanse the body, restore immune function, and balance the production and release of hormones. You should talk to your doctor if you’re interested in these other methods to make sure they won’t harm you or interfere with your treatment.

    A naturopath may use homeopathic mixtures, herbs, preparations based on traditional Chinese medicine , and acupuncture to remove blocks to your ”life force energy.” Naturopaths are authorized to treat thyroid disease in some states, but in others, it’s illegal. While they may help with the stress associated with thyroid disease, there are no good studies showing that these therapies are effective for treating thyroid disorders.

    Chiropractors use spinal manipulation to treat symptoms of thyroid disorders by easing muscle tension and improving blood circulation.

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    How Much Does The Test Cost

    The cost of a thyroid panel depends on your insurance coverage and where the test is performed. If ordered by a doctor, insurance normally covers a thyroid panel except for any patient cost-sharing such as copays or deductibles. Check with your health plan and health care provider for specific cost details.

    At-home thyroid tests usually cost less than $150, which includes the cost of shipping your blood sample to the lab.

    How Can I Test My Thyroid At Home

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    There are a number of factors that can affect your thyroid function; from certain conditions to surgery or medications. On top of that, there are also risk factors – these include family, history, age, and gender – with women five to eight times more likely to experience thyroid problems than men. The most reliable way to know more about your thyroid health is with a simple blood test.

    The most common type of thyroid test is a blood test which checks for specific biomarkers to get an insight into your thyroid health. These tests typically measure thyroid-stimulating hormone , T4, and T3. This test can be taken with your doctor but if you would prefer to check from home, this test can be taken using an at-home lab test.

    LetsGetCheckeds range of at-home Thyroid Tests measure key hormones and antibodies to help identify the presence of a thyroid disorder, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism .

    The test will arrive in discreet packaging with a return envelope and clear instructions inside. Online test results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated clinical team will be available throughout the process for support and guidance and will be available to speak with you about your results and the next steps you should take. If you would like more detail about the sampling process, find out more here.

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    A Specialist Is Not As Special As You Think

    Tell me if this sounds familiar:

    You’ve been diagnosed with low thyroid or hypothyroidism by your current doctor because you started to experience fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, and maybe even some depression or anxiety.;

    Your doctor put you on a medication like levothyroxine or Synthroid to treat your low thyroid but you’ve been struggling to get your dose right.;

    Despite taking thyroid medication you still aren’t feeling any better and in fact, you may actually be slowly getting worse over the course of several years .;

    Because you simply aren’t getting better you’ve started to do some research on your own and you’ve found some interesting information that you think could be the reason you aren’t feeling better.;

    You’ve learned that not all patients do well on T4 only thyroid medications and you’ve found that your lab tests must be optimal in order for you to feel better.;

    These things make perfect sense to you and you want to give them a try.;

    You go to your general practitioner who doesn’t feel comfortable with this type of approach so he/she recommends that you go to an endocrinologist.;

    You’re excited because you finally think you’ll get on the treatment and therapies that you need to finally start feeling better!;

    Is going to a thyroid specialist the solution to your problem?;

    Unfortunately, there’s a slim chance that this will happen .;

    And this brings me to the main point of this article:

    A thyroid specialist is not as special as you might think.;

    How Does A Blood Test For Hypothyroidism Work

    How to test for hypothyroidism?

    Itâs important to note that there is no hypothyroidism test that can check thyroid hormones andâbased only on those test resultsâconclusively determine if someone has hypothyroidism. Thatâs because both thyroid hormone testing and a physicianâs evaluation of symptoms and medical history is required for a diagnosis.

    A blood test for hypothyroidism is based on your levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone and the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Because TSH signals the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones, unusually high levels of TSH can mean that your thyroid isnât making enough hormones.

    A thyroid lab test might also measure T3 and T4 to reveal just how low your thyroid hormone levels are, which can help your healthcare provider decide on a treatment strategy.

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    When Should You Get Tested For Thyroid Disease

    Since thyroid disease and diabetes often go hand in hand and can have significant implications for your diabetes management, the American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes2019 recommend frequent screenings for thyroid disease in people living with diabetes.

    People living with type 1 diabetes should be tested for autoimmune thyroid disease after diagnosis and have periodic follow-up screenings, even if they show no symptoms of thyroid disease. There are no screening guidelines as such for people living with type 2 diabetes, however, some recommend that women over 50 living with type 2 diabetes should be tested regularly for thyroid disease.

    If you display any of the symptoms listed above and live with diabetes, please consider getting tested for thyroid disease, its as easy as a simple blood test.

    All you need is a thyroid test blood test and it might also make sense for people living with type 1 diabetes to get an antibody test.

    Are There Risk Factors That Increase Your Chances Of Having Thyroid Problems

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    Females are more likely to have a thyroid-related disease than males but other factors may increase the risk of thyroid problems. These include a family history of thyroid disease, having an autoimmune condition such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, ingesting excessive iodine , age older than 60, and having had a thyroid issue or thyroid cancer in the past.

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    What Does It Mean To Have A Blood Value Out Of Range

    Medically accepted averages vary from country to country.

    If youve moved around a lot, it can be challenging to determine which countrys averages are applicable to you do the averages from your country of origin apply to you or has your averages changed to fit your new environments averages? Keep this in your mind if you are relocating.

    One measurement at one point in time will not tell you much. You should re-test one or two times for accuracy. This way you and your healthcare practitioner can actually get a solid overview of your health.

    TSH test is a first step towards the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. However it can be very misleading, as its shown to increase with age and its not an immediate sign of a disease .

    The same is true for kids. From birth to late childhood they have high TSH values, which eventually drops as they reach puberty .

    How Is Thyroid Disease Treated

    Your healthcare providers goal is to return your thyroid hormone levels to normal. This can be done in a variety of ways and each specific treatment will depend on the cause of your thyroid condition.

    If you have high levels of thyroid hormones , treatment options can include:

    • Anti-thyroid drugs : These are medications that stop your thyroid from making hormones.
    • Radioactive iodine: This treatment damages the cells of your thyroid, preventing it from making high levels of thyroid hormones.
    • Beta blockers: These medications dont change the amount of hormones in your body, but they help control your symptoms.
    • Surgery: A more permanent form of treatment, your healthcare provider may surgically remove your thyroid . This will stop it from creating hormones. However, you will need to take thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of your life.

    If you have low levels of thyroid hormones , the main treatment option is:

    • Thyroid replacement medication: This drug is a synthetic way to add thyroid hormones back into your body. One drug thats commonly used is called levothyroxine. By using a medication, you can control thyroid disease and live a normal life.

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    What Is The Thyroid

    The thyroid gland is a small organ thats located in the front of the neck, wrapped around the windpipe . Its shaped like a butterfly, smaller in the middle with two wide wings that extend around the side of your throat. The thyroid is a gland. You have glands throughout your body, where they create and release substances that help your body do a specific thing. Your thyroid makes hormones that help control many vital functions of your body.

    When your thyroid doesnt work properly, it can impact your entire body. If your body makes too much thyroid hormone, you can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. If your body makes too little thyroid hormone, its called hypothyroidism. Both conditions are serious and need to be treated by your healthcare provider.

    Should I Exercise If I Have A Thyroid Disease

    Why Your Doctor Is Wrong About Thyroid Testing

    Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. You do not need to change your exercise routine if you have a thyroid disease. Exercise does not drain your bodys thyroid hormones and it shouldnt hurt you to exercise. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before you start a new exercise routine to make sure that its a good fit for you.

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    Are You Safe If You Have A Value Inside The Normal Range

    In general yes, but not always.

    You should observe if the value is shifting from one end of the normal range to the other.

    Such shifts might be normal caused by stress, seasonal changes, other illnesses, changes in the lifestyle, or medications. Some patients at the first stage of Hashimotos have TSH levels which are considered normal 2.54.5 mIU/L by some labs .

    The best advice is to be your own health advocate by paying attention to how youre feeling. If youre feeling off, address this with your doctor.

    What You Can Do

    If you have definite symptoms of hypothyroidism, you should talk to your clinician about being tested. If your LDL cholesterol has been advancing or your weight has been creeping up unexplainably, you’ll want to discuss getting a test. If you’re 60 or older and generally healthy, it’s still a good idea to check with your doctor to see whether your medical history suggests you might benefit from testing.

    Image: Thinkstock

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    Undetected Low Levels Of Thyroid Hormone May Underlie Subtle Changes That Can Increase Your Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease

    For a gland only two inches in size, the thyroid has a huge influence on our health. It produces a hormone that is carried in the bloodstream to all parts of the body. Thyroid hormone plays a major role in regulating metabolismthe process by which body cells convert nutrients into energyand thereby helps regulate body temperature, , and even brain function. So when thyroid hormone levels fall, the body slows.

    You’re probably aware of the common symptoms of low thyroid hormonefatigue, fuzzy-headedness, weight gain, cold hands, and dry skin. But if you’re like most of us, you’re likely to blame your diet and exercise regimen instead of your thyroid if your cholesterol levels and weight are creeping up, especially if you don’t have any of the other symptoms of low thyroid. “Symptoms are often nonspecific, and since women over 60 generally have more of these nonspecific symptoms, their doctors may not think to test for hypothyroidism,” says endocrinologist Dr. Jeffrey Garber, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Overcoming Thyroid Problems.

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