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How To Get An Accurate Thyroid Test

What Is A Tsh Test

Thyroid testing: How to get 100% accurate results (how and when to test your thyroid)

Thyroid testsBlood tests to measure thyroid hormones are readily available and widely used. Not all thyroid tests are useful in all situations.

TSH TestThe best way to initially test thyroid function is to measure the TSH level in a blood sample. Changes in TSH can serve as an “early warning system” often occurring before the actual level of thyroid hormones in the body becomes too high or too low.

A high TSH level indicates that the thyroid gland is not making enough thyroid hormone . On the other hand, a low TSH level usually indicates that the thyroid is producing too much thyroid hormone . Occasionally, a low TSH may result from an abnormality in the pituitary gland, which prevents it from making enough TSH to stimulate the thyroid . In most healthy individuals, a normal TSH value means that the thyroid is functioning properly.

Overview Of Normal Thyroid Physiology

The proper interpretation of thyroid function tests requires an understanding of thyroid physiology. Thyroid function is regulated by a relatively straightforward relationship between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and the thyroid gland itself . Thyrotropin releasing hormone from the hypothalamus stimulates the release of TSH from the pituitary gland which, in turn, regulates a variety of steps in the production of thyroid hormones from the uptake of iodine to the regulation of enzymatic steps in the process. The majority of thyroid hormone released by the gland is thyroxine , while a smaller proportion is tri-iodothyronine . These thyroid hormones are highly protein-bound , with only the free components having the ability to bind to their respective receptors. The active thyroid hormone is free T3, and there is tissue-specific regulation of the conversion of T4 to T3 by a set of deiodinase enzymes peripherally allowing each tissue to, in a sense, self-regulate its exposure to free T3. This is crucial, because different tissues require different levels of T3. This conversion of T4 to T3 is how treatment of hypothyroidism with levothyroxine still allows for adequate, tissue-specific, T3 exposure.

Hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis .

The Standard Tsh Range Could Be Missing As Many As 75% Of People With Low Thyroid

Here is another problem: the TSH test has a wide reference range. The 13,000 people who helped establish that range? Well they appeared healthy enough, but it turns out that a lot of them had autoimmune hypothyroidism it just wasnt obvious yet.

Interestingly, when the TSH numbers from all of those subjects are taken out of the calculation, that reference range shrinks. Instead of an upper-end cut-off of around 5, it drops to 2.5. Experts have suggested that the standard TSH range could be missing as many as 75% of people with low thyroid.

So if your TSH is 2.5 or higher, and you have symptoms of low thyroid, ask your doctor for some additional thyroid tests, like Free T3 and Free T4. By taking these tests, you also get to see how well T4 is converting to triiodothyronine , your primary thyroid hormone. Many factors can interfere with this T4 – T3 conversion, like illnesses, nutritional excesses or deficiencies, environmental toxins, other hormonal imbalances in the body, and even some medications. Chronic stress alone can interfere.

I hope this helped. Ill talk to you next time!

Think you may have low thyroid function? Take our free, doctor-formulated quiz to check your symptoms.

Brody, Jane. The Subtle Signs of a Thyroid Disorder. New York Times. July 24, 2017.

Gaby AR. Sub-laboratory hypothyroidism and the empirical use of Armour thyroid. Altern Med Rev. 2004 Jun 9:157-179.

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What Is The Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroids job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormones help the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.

Can My Doctor Use Imaware Results

Thyroid Testing: How to get 100% Accurate Thyroid Lab Test ...

Yes. All of our tests are performed by CLIA-certified labs, the gold standard in lab testing quality regulation. Within your results report you will also find detailed information intended for your healthcare professional. They can use this information to interpret your test results clearly. To see an example of this, you can request a sample report at the top of this page.

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Thyroid Testing: How To Get 100% Accurate Results

Download my free thyroid resources here :

Getting accurate thyroid lab tests is incredibly important for thyroid patients. And what you may not realize is that there are a lot of rules which should be followed if you want to get accurate thyroid lab test results.

Why would you care? Well, for starters, if you don’t get accurate results then your treatment will be off. Why do you think so many thyroid patients continue to suffer from hypothyroid symptoms despite having normal thyroid lab tests?

Part of this problem is simply due to the fact that they are getting inaccurate tests which lead them down the wrong path.

What’s the solution? To ensure that you are following thyroid lab testing best practices so you can ensure that your lab tests are ACCURATE.

Before you get your thyroid labs tested you should ensure that you are following these guidelines:

#1. Get the full thyroid lab panel. – The full set of thyroid lab tests includes TSH, free T3, free T4, reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, SHBG, and cortisol.

These tests should be ordered at least the first time you get your labs tested .

#2. Check your labs at 8:00am. – Your thyroid function fluctuates throughout the day and reaches its peak first thing in the morning. You want to test during this time to see how well it is working.

#4. Check your labs BEFORE taking your thyroid medication. – You want to check your thyroid lab tests around 23-24 hours AFTER you take your thyroid medication.

Where To Get A Thyroid Function Test

NHS thyroid function test The NHS offer blood tests which can be done at your GPs or a local hospital. A trained nurse or doctor will take your blood, usually a venous sample.

Home thyroid function test Its possible to order a home thyroid function test kit online and do it yourself. For this test, youll use a lancet to collect a finger-prick blood sample. Your results will be reviewed by a GP and are available for you to view online.

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The Guidelines And Protocols Advisory Committee

The principles of the Guidelines and Protocols Advisory Committee are to:

  • encourage appropriate responses to common medical situations
  • recommend actions that are sufficient and efficient, neither excessive nor deficient
  • permit exceptions when justified by clinical circumstances

Contact Information:Guidelines and Protocols Advisory CommitteePO Box 9642 STN PROV GOVTVictoria BC V8W 9P1Website:

DisclaimerThe Clinical Practice Guidelines have been developed by the Guidelines and Protocols Advisory Committee on behalf of the Medical Services Commission. The Guidelines are intended to give an understanding of a clinical problem, and outline one or more preferred approaches to the investigation and management of the problem. The Guidelines are not intended as a substitute for the advice or professional judgment of a health care professional, nor are they intended to be the only approach to the management of clinical problem. We cannot respond to patients or patient advocates requesting advice on issues related to medical conditions. If you need medical advice, please contact a health care professional.

Thyroid Hormone Test Results

Episode 25 – How to Test Your Thyroid for Hypothyroidism

Other medications can interfere with thyroid laboratory measurements, but not with the actual functioning of the thyroid.

A few examples of these medications include:

Lastly, research has found that the supplement biotin can interfere with the measurement of thyroid blood tests. Therefore, it’s recommended that people who take biotin stop doing so two days prior to having their thyroid blood tests.

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Free Thyroxine And Free Triiodothyronine

Measurements of fT4 and fT3 have replaced those of total T4 and total T3 levels. Laboratories are permitted to substitute free hormone assays when total T3 or T4 have been ordered.

Measurement of fT3 is rarely indicated in suspected thyroid disease6, 13. This is reserved for situations where thyroid disease is suspected clinically and TSH is abnormal, but fT4 is inappropriately normal.

Why Not Check Thyroid Hormones Directly

Why not check the thyroid hormones themselves, to see if the gland is not functioning properly?

The thyroid only makes small amounts of T3. Even in cases of severe hypothyroidism, T3 levels dont go down that much. T4 is produced in large quantities by the thyroid. However, TSH is a far superior screening test because small changes in T4 cause large TSH spikes. Usually when a person has hypothyroidism, TSH levels become very high way before T4 levels fall below normal. So, in our analogy, the thermostat is very sensitive to small variations in temperature.

Thats why a normal TSH almost always means the thyroid gland is healthy and producing enough thyroid hormones. Research finds that a simple TSH test is enough to identify hypothyroidism in 99.6% of the tests performed.

You may have heard of expanded or full thyroid panels, which often include tests for TSH, total T3, total T4, free T3, free T4, anti-TPO antibodies, thyroglobulin, and reverse T3. There is no evidence these extra tests help to diagnose and manage thyroid disease, although they definitely add to health care costs. Proponents of expanded thyroid analysis believe more data may support a personalized intervention plan. However, what happens in a lab test often fails to mirror the elaborate dance of hormones in the body. Additionally, findings are highly variable. What happens in your body today may change in a matter of days or weeks, even without significant interventions.

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What Other Tests May Be Ordered In Addition To A Thyroid Panel

Blood tests that may be performed in addition to a thyroid panel may include:

  • Thyroid antibodies – to help diagnose autoimmune thyroid disease and distinguish it from other thyroid conditions
  • Calcitonin – to help diagnose C-cell hyperplasia and medullary thyroid cancer
  • Thyroglobulin – primarily to monitor treatment and recurrence of thyroid cancer
  • Thyroxine-binding globulin – to evaluate patients with abnormal T4 and T3 levels

How Does A Blood Test For Hyperthyroidism Work

How to Get the Most Accurate Thyroid Lab Results

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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Whats Included In A Thyroid Function Test

A thyroid function test will usually measure your levels of:

  • T4
  • T3
  • TSH

A more advanced test will also test for the presence of any thyroid antibodies that could be causing an autoimmune disease. This might check your levels of:

  • thyroid peroxidase
  • thyroglobulin antibodies
  • TSH receptor antibodies

Its important to note that the presence of these antibodies in your blood doesnt automatically mean you have an autoimmune thyroid disease but it can indicate an increased risk of developing one in the future.

Some vitamins and minerals are essential for your thyroid to function properly like vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate , and iron. A nutrient deficiency can sometimes mimic the symptoms of a thyroid disorder. If possible, its a good idea to test your thyroid hormones and these nutrients as well.

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: it√Ęs producing too many hormones. Low levels of TSH and/or high T3 and T4 can suggest hyperthyroidism.

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Things That Can Affect Your Thyroid Function Results

Fasting Generally, you dont need to fast before doing a thyroid function test. However, not fasting is sometimes linked to a lower TSH level. This means your results might not pick up on mild hypothyroidism where your TSH levels are only mildly elevated.

Medications Some medications can interfere with your results so its important to tell your doctor about any drugs you take.

Pregnancy Being pregnant can also influence your results. So if youre pregnant make sure to discuss this with your doctor.

Do I Need To Fast For My Thyroid Test

The Best Thyroid Test to Accurately Treat & Diagnose your Thyroid

Usually,no special precautions including fasting need to be followed before taking a thyroid test. However, your pathologist can guide you better. For example, if you have to undergo some other health tests along with thyroid hormone levels, you may be asked to fast for 8-10 hours. Drinking water doesnt come under violation of fasting.

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Can I Take Thyroid Tests During Pregnancy

Yes, you can if need be.In fact,it is not uncommon to have thyroid changes during pregnancy. While overactive thyroid affects about one in every 500 pregnancies, underactive thyroid happens in around one in every 250 pregnancies. If you have a pre-existing thyroid condition or develop a thyroid condition during pregnancy, your doctor will monitor your condition and ask for blood tests too. Most likely, your thyroid hormone levels will be checked every 4 to 6 weeks during the first half of your conception, and at least once after 30 weeks.

A thyroid panel test can help identify various conditions including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Graves disease, and thyroid cancer. For all your lab test related needs, visit Metropolis.


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.

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What Conditions Can Be Detected Through Thyroid Testing

Thyroid tests given in time can assist us in spotting imbalances that could potentially cause health problems. When your thyroid hormone levels are imbalanced, your body doesnt get the right amount of hormones it requires to function.

Thyroid disease is the umbrella term for a group of conditions caused by thyroid issues. It can come in a variety of forms, severity levels, and effects on the body. Thyroid testing can help you figure out if youre at risk for the following conditions:

Physiologic Issues In Assessing Tsh Values

Pin on Thyroid Health

Normal Range

Considerable literature exists regarding what the normal range for TSH really should be, and this topic is covered at length in recent reviews, and in clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of hypothyroidism., Indeed, even though the normal range for TSH is generally listed at between 0.35 mIU/mL and 4.50 mIU/mL, it is likely that the most normal range is between 0.5 mIU/mL and 2.50 mIU/mL. It is for this reason that the target TSH in the management of hypothyroidism is within this latter range., Note that the goal range for replacement therapy is different than the range at which hypothyroidism is diagnosed dose, it does not warrant initiation of replacement therapy in a non-pregnant patient). The mean inter-assay precision for the TSH measurement is generally good. The method used at our institution has a precision of ~3.2%, indicating that variations in the result over time in a single patient are not likely to be related to the assay itself but rather to other factors . Lastly, it is important to understand that normal ranges are calculated based on the 2.5th to 97.5th percentiles of the distribution of values measured in the population tested. Therefore, 2.5% of people with completely normal thyroid function will have a TSH slightly below the listed normal range .

Circadian Variability

Individual Variation

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How The Tsh Test Is Failing 45% Of Women

Based on the work of Dr. Broda Barnes, whose research proved that hypothyroidism is the cause of modern day heart disease, we now have even more research to help us determine what the truly accurate TSH reference range should be.

For example, the study below is one of many studies that gives us more insight.

Thyrotropin levels and risk of fatal coronary heart disease: the HUNT study.

Compared with women in the lower part of the reference range , the hazard ratios for coronary death were 1.41 and 1.69 for women in the intermediate and higher categories, respectively.

This study found that for women, TSH level can predict your risk of heart disease and that a

  • THS between 1.5-2.4 mIU/L resulted in a 41% increased risk of heart disease.
  • TSH between 2.5-3.5 mIU/L resulted in a 69% increased risk of heart disease.

In other words, if your TSH is 1.5 mIU/L or higher, your risk of heart disease is significantly increased.

So, based on Dr. Broda Barnes research, we know that the true normal TSH must be below 1.5 mIU/L.

And this is where things get interesting

Based on further TSH population studies we know that roughly 50% of women have a TSH above 1.5 mIU/L and 50% of women have a TSH below 1.5 mIU/L.

This is illustrated in the graph below.

If you look at the new red shaded area above, this represents the new percentage of the population that should be diagnosed hypothyroid.


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