Thyroid test: When to do it

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The thyroid test is used to diagnose and find the cause of the diseases of this gland. Include various types of analysis; today you will have the opportunity to know everything about it.

thyroid test

The thyroid gland is small and is located in the neck, above the clavicle. It is an endocrine gland, responsible for the production of hormones. Despite the measurement of 4-6 cm, it controls most of the body’s functions. Among them is part of the burning of calories and the rate at which your heart beats.

The malfunction of the thyroid gland can cause two major problems: hyperthyroidism and the one we will be treating today: hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland produces hormones that control how the cells in your body use energy. In short, it can be said that it controls the metabolism. There are several causes for this gland can malfunction: that infection from the immune system, viral or respiratory attacks and pregnancy are some.

Hypothyroidism has recognizable symptoms, but can also be confused with symptoms of other diseases, so it is so important to carry out a thyroid test to find the correct diagnosis.

Thyroid symptoms include: trouble passing the body (hard bowel movements or constipation, sensitivity to unusual cold, fatigue or permanent tiredness, depression or sadness, menstrual irregularities, muscle and joint aches, dry and pale, weak (mainly hair and nails), weight gain.

There are other symptoms of hyperthyroidism that occur when the problem is not treated early: alteration in taste and smell, swelling (mainly of the face, hands and feet), hair loss, decreased body temperature and heart rate, thick skin.

Thyroid test, how it is done

The first test your doctor will perform will be a physical examination to check if the thyroid is enlarged. But also check your hair (to see if it is thin or brittle), swelling of feet, hands and face, pale, dry or cold skin and its reflections.

Other tests that may order you will be cholesterol, blood count, liver enzymes, cortisol, sodium and prolactin.

But there are also specific studies for the thyroid like thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) tests, which is the most accurate, T3, T4 (measure different hormones), TSI (measures the thyroid stimulant) and the antithyroid antibody test.

TSH

TSH or thyrotropin is a hormone that works on the thyroid gland and stimulates the synthesis of other hormones like T3 and T4.

The measurement of TSH in blood gives information about the amount of thyroid hormones. It may result in low TSH (below 0.4 ml U/L), normal TSH (between 0.4 to 2.5 ml U/L), high TSH (between 2.6 and 4.0 ml U/L), also known as elevated TSH.

Within this test you will also see a value called high or low ultrasensitive TSH and is the TSH dosage in blood.

The subclinical hypothyroidism is defined by a high TSH level with a normal FT4 and then diagnosed to perform all necessary tests.

T3

After conducting, the examination of TSH it is advised to of triiodothyronine (T3), thyroid hormone. It has great importance in the metabolic process and is measured by blood tests. It is important to pay attention to the preparation before doing this test.

You should consult your doctor about which medications you can use and which ones to avoid so that it do not affect the T3 test result (birth control pills and estrogen may change the values).

T4

Any fasting thyroid test will give better results than one done at another time of the day. This happens with several medical tests, since this way the chances are that your blood is affected by the foods and drinks that you consumed in the day.

T4 or thyroxine is no exception. It is the major thyroid hormone and is also analyzed by blood samples. Unlike the T3 test does not require preparation, but consult your doctor if you consume any type of medication. It is also known as the free t4 test.

It is difficult after performing this series of medical tests to launch a thyroid profile of normal values, since the symptoms are very specific. But in case that this happens the professional in charge will continue to recommend a series of tests until find the problem.