Hypothyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder that most people face nowadays. And it’s on the rise: thyroid disease is three times as common as it was 30 years ago. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to the thyroid, then ensure to take a thyroid test.
A healthy thyroid gland requires a delicate balance between hormones to function correctly; when there’s more or less of one hormone, it can throw off your body’s homeostasis and lead to serious health problems.
If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism or are just curious about how your thyroid works and what tests you should order if something is wrong with yours, this article will help clear things up by explaining what each test looks for and why it matters:
1. TSH Test:
The TSH test is the most common thyroid test, and it measures your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which regulates the thyroid gland. If you have hypothyroidism, your body will produce less TSH and more T4. This can cause the pituitary gland to release more TSH, stimulating your thyroid gland to produce more hormones.
In contrast, if you have hyperthyroidism, your body may produce too many T4 and T3 hormones to compensate for increased metabolic demands in other organs like your heart and kidneys.
2. T4 Test:
The T4 test measures the amount of thyroxine (T4) in the blood. This is one of the essential hormones your thyroid gland produces, which is present in the base of your throat. The T4 test may be used to diagnose hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, which is also helpful in monitoring thyroid replacement therapy.
3. T3 Test:
The T3 test is a type of thyroid hormone test that measures the amount of T3, or triiodothyronine, in your blood. T3 is the active thyroid hormone used by your body to regulate metabolism and other processes, and it’s produced by your thyroid gland and converted from T4 (thyroxine).
4. Anti-Thyroid Antibodies Test:
Anti-thyroid antibodies are proteins the immune system makes that attack and destroy the thyroid gland. This can cause one or more of these problems:
- Graves’ disease is when your immune system causes your thyroid to overproduce hormones.
- Hashimoto’s disease (also called chronic autoimmune thyroiditis) is an autoimmune disorder. In this case, the body attacks its thyroid gland, causing inflammation and cell damage.
5. Thyroid Scan:
A thyroid scan is a nuclear medicine test that uses a small sample of radioactive material to examine the thyroid. The radioactive marker binds to the abnormal tissue and appears on an image.
The thyroid scan can help detect and diagnose thyroid abnormalities, including cancerous nodules, and determine if a nodule is cancerous. Observing the effectiveness of treatment or follow-up after treatment for these conditions can also be helpful.
Hypothyroidism Is Rising, so It’s Important to Know What Tests You Need if Your Thyroid Isn’t Working Correctly:
The thyroid gland looks like a butterfly-shaped organ in the neck that releases hormones that regulate metabolism and other body functions such as digestion, breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. The pituitary gland secretes TSH (stimulating thyroid hormone), which stimulates the thyroid to produce thyroxine (T4), which regulates everything else.
If your TSH level is elevated, there may be enough active T4 in your bloodstream but too much inactive T3 or RTH – Reverse Triiodothyronine which can cause symptoms of hypothyroidism like fatigue or weight gain. You can check the price of the tests before you take them, and ensure to know about the thyroid test cost.
If you’re worried about your thyroid, you must know what tests you need and how they work. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.