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.
What Other Tests Might I Have Along With This Test
Along with the general TSH test, the doctors and medical practitioners also recommend additional tests for thyroid screening. The list of these tests includes Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies, Thyroglobulin Antibodies. The normal blood tests can determine the excess or deficiency of the TSH in blood. But in order to diagnose the cause of thyroid abnormality, these additional tests are required.
Clinical Definition Of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
TSH is produced by the pituitary gland and regulates the release of thyroxine and triiodothyronine hormones. The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower-front part of the neck. It is an endocrine gland that synthesizes hormones. Thyroid hormones help regulate metabolism and control the rate of many metabolic activities in the body. Thyroid profile tests check the functioning of the thyroid and are also used to diagnose thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Thyroid profile tests include a blood test which involves drawing blood from the body to be analyzed in a pathology lab.
The Thyroid blood test includes –
A TSH test to measure the level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone in your blood. It is used to measure the thyroid activity in the body. The T4 test is a thyroxin test. A high level of T4 hormone indicates an overactive thyroid . The T3 test checks for levels of triiodothyronine hormone. This test is done if the T4 and TSH tests suggest hyperthyroidism. The T3 test may also be done if there are signs of an overactive thyroid gland. To understand in detail about what is thyroid stimulating hormone test it is important to have an in-depth understanding of the procedure technique and other factors affecting it.
Recommended Reading: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid
What Does The Test Result Mean
If the feedback system involving the thyroid gland is not functioning properly due to one of a variety of disorders, then increased or decreased amounts of thyroid hormones may result.
- When TSH levels are increased, the thyroid will make and release inappropriate amounts of T4 and T3 and you may experience symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism.
- If there is decreased production of thyroid hormones, you may have symptoms of hypothyroidism.
The test results alone are not diagnostic but will prompt your healthcare practitioner to perform additional testing to investigate the cause of the excess or deficiency and thyroid disorder. As examples, the most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves disease and the most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto thyroiditis.
The following table summarizes some examples of typical test results and their potential meaning.
|Note: Laboratory results must always be correlated with the clinical findings of the patient.|
|Hypothyroidism resulting from a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary signals that govern the thyroid gland|
Understanding Results Ofthyroid Stimulating Hormone
* A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges.
Don’t Miss: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid
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.
How To Prepare For The Test
Your health care provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines that may affect the test result. In general, test results are not affected by other medicines you may be taking. However, certain supplements including biotin can affect the results. Tell your provider if you are taking biotin.
Pregnancy and some diseases, including kidney and liver disease, can also affect the results of this test.
Don’t Miss: Thyroid Test Fasting
What Is A Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy
A thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy is a procedure that removes a small sample of tissue from your thyroid gland. Cells are removed through a small, hollow needle. The sample is sent to the lab for analysis.
The thyroid gland is in the front of your neck. It is butterfly shaped, with 2 lobes connected by a narrow band of tissue. It is an endocrine gland that makes thyroid hormone. This hormone has many functions in your body.
In some cases, hard nodules form inside the gland. You might notice a small bump in your gland area. Most times, the nodules are not dangerous. But in some cases they can be thyroid cancer. A thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy can take a sample from the nodule to test for cancer.
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.
Recommended Reading: Does Graves Disease Go Away After Thyroid Removed
Can I Take The Test At Home
At-home thyroid test kits are commercially available without a prescription and measure the same hormones as the traditional thyroid panel.
For at-home testing, you prick your finger to get the necessary blood sample. That sample is then mailed to a laboratory that conducts the thyroid panel and makes the results available to you directly.
While at-home testing can measure thyroid levels, it is generally not a substitute for a test ordered by your doctor. If an at-home test detects abnormal thyroid levels, your doctor will likely recommend a new blood sample and thyroid panel to confirm the results. At-home tests for thyroid labs may not be as accurate as tests done in a laboratory.
What Is A Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is a test that lets a doctor look inside your colon. The doctor uses a thin, lighted tube called a colonoscope to look for small growths , cancer, and other problems like bleeding.
During the test, the doctor can take samples of tissue that can be checked for cancer or other problems. This is called a biopsy. A colonoscopy also lets the doctor take out polyps.
Before the test, you will need to stop eating solid foods. You also will drink a liquid or take a tablet that cleans out your colon. This will help your doctor to be able to see inside your colon during the test.
Also Check: Symptoms Of Graves Disease After Thyroidectomy
What Do The Results From My Thyroid Function Test Mean
Your doctor will discuss the results of your thyroid function test with you.An abnormal TSH usually indicates a deficiency or an excess of thyroid hormones available to your body, but it does not indicate why this is happening. An abnormal TSH result is usually followed by additional testing of FT3 and/or FT4 to investigate the cause.A high TSH result:
- often means an underactive thyroid gland
- can also occur if you have an underactive thyroid gland and are receiving too little thyroid hormone medication
- can indicate in rare cases a problem with your pituitary gland, such as a tumour.
A low TSH result:
- can indicate an overactive thyroid gland or damage to your pituitary gland that prevents it from producing TSH
- can also occur if you have an underactive thyroid gland and are receiving too much thyroid hormone medication.
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.
Recommended Reading: Graves Disease After Total Thyroidectomy
Signs You Should Do A Thyroid Function Test
If any of these hormones are out of balance it can lead to a thyroid disorder and cause a wide range of symptoms. If youre experiencing any of these symptoms its really important to check your thyroid function. Its also common for thyroid disorders to run in families so its particularly important to test your thyroid function if you think you might be at risk. You can test your thyroid function as part of our women’s hormones blood test.
How Does A Blood Test For Hyperthyroidism Work
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.
Don’t Miss: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid
Is There Anything Else I Should Know
In the past, panels of tests were more common. More recently, however, the practice has been to order, where possible, one initial or screening test and then follow up with additional testing, if needed, to reduce the number of unnecessary tests. With thyroid testing, one strategy is to screen with a TSH test and then order additional tests if the results are abnormal or if clinical suspicions warrant.
Your thyroid hormone test results can be affected by:
- Increases, decreases, and changes in the proteins that bind T4 and T3
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 .
You May Like: Can You Take Collagen With Thyroid Medicine
How Should I Prepare For A Thyroid Function Test
For the most part, you do not need to do anything before having this test. However, some medicines may change the result of the thyroid function test.
- Tell your doctor about all prescription and non-prescription medication you take.
- If you are taking thyroid medicines, tell your doctor when you took your last dose. Your doctor may ask that you stop taking thyroid medicines temporarily before having this test.
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.
Read Also: Does A Thyroid Test Need To Be Fasting
How Is The Sample Collected For Testing
A blood sample is taken by a needle placed in a vein in your arm. A tourniquet is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch. The blood sample is collected in a tube, which is sent to the laboratory for analysis.
What Does The Test Measure
The TSH test measures thyroid-stimulating hormone, which is a hormone that prompts the thyroid to produce other hormones. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that makes the hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine . T3 and T4 control your metabolism, or how your body uses and stores energy.
Although TSH acts upon the thyroid gland by binding to the TSH receptor, it is made in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is sometimes called the master gland, because it produces many hormones that control the functions of other glands in the body. The pituitary gland is able to sense when your T3 and T4 hormone levels are too low or too high. In response, it will produce more or less TSH to stimulate your thyroid gland to produce the right amount of hormones.
If your thyroid is underactive, you may have high levels of TSH as your pituitary gland tries to stimulate the thyroid to produce more T3 and T4. If your thyroid is overactive, your TSH may be abnormally low because your pituitary gland stops making TSH when your thyroid hormone levels are too high.
Recommended Reading: Can I Take Collagen Supplements With Thyroid Medication
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.
What Abnormal Results Mean
To fully understand results of the free T4 test, results of other thyroid blood tests, such as TSH or T3, may be needed.
Test results may also be affected by pregnancy, estrogen level, liver problems, more severe body-wide illnesses, and inherited changes in a protein that binds T4.
A higher than normal level of T4 may be due to conditions that involve an overactive thyroid, including:
- Graves disease
- Taking too much thyroid hormone medicine
- Toxic goiter or toxic thyroid nodules
- Some tumors of the testes or ovaries
- Getting medical imaging tests with contrast dye that contains iodine
- Eating a lot of foods that contain iodine
A lower than normal level of T4 may be due to:
- Severe acute illness
- Use of certain medicines
Read Also: Soy Milk Thyroid
How To Prepare For A Thyroid Blood Test
Have you been advised a thyroid blood test? This article will help you understand why you need the test and how to prepare for a thyroid blood test.
Thyroid disorders are becoming increasingly prevalent and have become a common illness worldwide. According to recent statistics, an estimate of 42 million people in India suffers from thyroid disorders. It comes under the umbrella of the term lifestyle disorders.
In India, such high number of thyroid cases can be because of lack of proper nutrition and unavailability of therapeutic sources. Lack of awareness and education and inadequate screening for thyroid disorders are other major contributing factors.
Thyroid Gland is A Butterfly-shaped Gland Located in The Neck Which Synthesizes and Releases Following The Hormones
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce T3 and T4. In blood, 80% of T3 and 70% of T4 hormones are bound to a transport protein, thyroxine binding globulin .
About 0.05% T4 and 0.2% T3 are found in free or unbound form in the plasma. The thyroid gland is one of the most important endocrine glands of the body. It influences a lot of body functions by secreting the thyroid hormones.
It is Responsible for Regulating and Maintaining The Following Bodily Functions