Thyroid test - When to get yourself tested for thyroid ?
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck below Adam’s apple. The thyroid has two wings connected to the windpipe called the trachea. The thyroid is one of the many glands located throughout your body. They perform important functions for your body. Their main job is to produce hormones that help your body in daily functioning.
The thyroid is a gland that produces hormones to regulate your body’s metabolism. But sometimes, your thyroid gland doesn’t function properly. In this situation, thyroid hormones may fluctuate and behave differently. If your body produces too many thyroid hormones, you can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. If your body produces little of these hormones then you might suffer from hypothyroidism. When your body loses control of these hormones, it may lead to some major thyroid diseases like Graves disease, Hashimoto’s disease, Goitre, etc.
So when to get yourself tested for thyroid?
Let us see:
The answer to the above question lies in the symptoms of these major diseases that your body will signal you before the tragedy. So let us see what are some of the common symptoms of thyroid diseases that you should take care of:
The two major conditions of thyroid diseases are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. So we will look at the symptoms of both conditions.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism
- The weakening of the muscles and joints
- Changes in menstrual periods
- Stress and anxiety
- A sudden decrease in weight
- Increase in the size of the thyroid gland(goitre)
- Irritation in the eyes or vision problem(Graves disease)
- Hair thinning
- A sudden increase in heart rate
- Feeling warm
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
- A sudden increase in weight
- Drying of hair
- Rough voice
- Feeling cold
- Changes in menstrual period
- A decrease in heart rate
Thyroid has a variety of symptoms to look after but they are very common and related to other diseases which makes it difficult to identify from the rest. If you are experiencing most of the symptoms mentioned above then it is a better choice to visit your doctor and get yourself tested.
There are several tests that you should take in order to identify and cure the thyroid.
So, which are the tests needed for thyroid?
The symptoms of thyroid disease are similar to most of the common diseases which make it difficult to identify them. The most reliable way to diagnose thyroid disease is through blood tests. There are various tests that doctors perform to measure the hormone activity in your blood. They decide the condition(hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism) and act accordingly.
Lets us see these blood tests one by one:
The first step to diagnose thyroid disease is through Thyroid Stimulating Hormone(TSH) test. It is the most crucial test in all thyroid tests. This test will determine the imbalances in your thyroid hormones. When TSH levels are very high, it is an indication of hypothyroidism. In the same way, when your TSH levels drop, it will indicate hyperthyroidism. If doctors receive any kind of abnormality in your TSH levels, they will proceed for further tests like T3 and T4.
T3 tests are conducted to diagnose hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. When T3 levels are high, it will indicate the presence of hyperthyroidism. When they are low, you might be suffering from hypothyroidism. The normal range lies between 100 to 200 ng/dL(nanogram per deciliter of blood). Further, doctors will also carry a free T3 test which will measure proteins that keep T3 together. Normal FT4 range lies between 2.3 – 4.1 pg/mL (picograms per milliliter of blood)
T4 is one of the important tests to identify the presence of thyroid disease. When T4 is high, it indicates hyperthyroidism and when it drops it will signal hypothyroidism. The normal range lies between 5.0 – 11.0 mg/dL (micrograms per deciliter of blood). Further, doctors will also carry a free T4 test which will measure proteins that keep T4 together. Normal FT4 range lies between 0.9 – 1.7 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter of blood)
Thyroid Antibodies test
This is a common test conducted by doctors to identify any possible thyroid condition. Some of the common antibody tests include:
- Microsomal antibodies
- Thyroglobulin antibodies
- Thyroid receptor antibodies
- Thyroid blocking immunoglobulins
This is a common test carried out by doctors to identify any type of thyroid cancer in your body.
If you see any of the symptoms mentioned above then do give a visit to your doctor and carry out all the necessary tests required for thyroid as well as some other common diseases. Remember, early knowledge may prevent you from unfortunate events in the future.