What Is The Thyroid Test Profile? Know Everything
Keerti has been feeling quite low for the past few days. She has been going through some unexplained changes and wanted to get herself diagnosed. She has been feeling cold and has unexpected weight loss among other things.
She visited a doctor who in turn asked her to get some blood tests done. At first, she wasn’t able to understand what it was about. Later she realized it could be related to the Thyroid. Read on, to find out more.
What is a thyroid profile test?
It is a series or panel of blood tests. It is done to measure the functioning of your thyroid gland. It can also help diagnose hyperthyroidism which can be caused by various thyroid conditions.
These tests are done to evaluate the following things;
- Thyroid antibody test- The lymphocytes, which are the blood cells, are created by the body’s immunity system. These are released in the blood circulation for protection against any kind of virus and bacteria. They do that by creating antibodies. In the case of hyperthyroidism, antibodies are created against their thyroid. These are capable of harming the thyroid gland and affecting its functioning.
- Free and total triiodothyronine (free and total T3)
- Free and total thyroxine (free and total T4)
- The thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH); This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. It performs the function of stimulating the production and release of T3 and T4 hormones.
Hyperthyroidism can increase or decrease the production levels of T3 and T4 hormone levels.
Main functions of thyroid hormones?
- Protein synthesis
- Maintaining of the body temperature
- Ensuring the healthy skeletal system
- Working with growth hormones
- Neural development
- Stimulation of metabolism
Why is it done?
The full thyroid panel helps the doctor in diagnosing any kind of abnormalities. It will further help in determining the proper course of treatment.
When is it performed?
In the following cases these tests are considered important to perform;
- Hyperthyroidism; This term is used to describe the overactivity of the thyroid gland. All the functions of the body increase their speed, due to the excessive production of hormones. Then this test is done. The symptoms include anxiety, weakness, tremoring hands, among others.
- Hypothyroidism; In this case, the thyroid is not able to produce the necessary levels of hormones. This slows down the body’s functioning. Its common symptoms are dry skin, irregular periods, constipation, among others.
- Menopause; Problems like weight loss, fatigue, and dry skin are some common symptoms of thyroid and menopause as well. Getting a full test done can prove beneficial during such a time.
- Pregnancy; Hashimoto’s disease and Graves’ disease are the most common causes of both hyper and hypothyroidism. Both of these diseases are common during pregnancy. It can cause the body to act abnormally and even attack its thyroid gland.
- Liver disease; liver and thyroid are closely connected. They help each other with their functions. If there is a liver disease present, it would affect your thyroid function as well.
Answering the hows
How the test is performed is quite simple. It can be easily performed by any healthcare professional. With the help of a needle, blood is drawn from your vein.
You should prepare yourself mentally before this test is performed. First, discuss the details thoroughly with your doctor. Inform the doctor of all necessary medical history. Follow every instruction of your doctor very carefully, before the test.
Side effects and aftercare
There are certain things that you should know about the effects of this test. This is a simple blood test. But you may notice bruising and soreness in the needle inserted area.
Any kind of pain reliever and an ice pack can counter the soreness and bruise easily. It is advisable to consult the doctor if the puncture turns red or swollen more than usual. It can be a sign of an infection.
T3, T4, and TSH test results should be understood properly.
- Most of the T4 in your body is bound to protein. The small portion which isn’t is called free T4. It should be stable. If the results show a high level of T4, then the thyroid is overactive.
- TSH measures the thyroid-stimulating hormone level in your blood. It has a normal testing range between 0.4 and 4.0 million international units of hormone against per liter of blood (mIU/L). If your test results show a TSH reading above 2.0 mIU/L, you can be at a high risk of contracting hypothyroidism.
- T3 test is done to check the levels of the hormone triiodothyronine. If the previous T4 and TSH tests show signs of hyperthyroidism, then this one is conducted. For this test the considered normal range is between 100-200 nanograms of hormone against per decilitre of blood (ng/dL). Higher levels can lead to the contraction of Grave’s disease.
Medications that can affect thyroid levels?
You should inform your doctor before taking the test if you are taking the mentioned medications;
- Cancer drugs
- SSRIs (anti-depression tablets)
- Biotin supplements
- Anti-seizure medications
- Estrogen tablets
- Birth control pills (OCPs)
- Testosterone supplements
Who can take this test?
Any person who has a family history of such kind. Anyone who shows symptoms of abnormal thyroid functioning can take this test. A pregnant woman, a child, and an old person, all can take this test without any worry. This test will help determine the body condition of the person. It can also get rid of abnormal hormonal levels through timely and proper medication.
Although it is a simple and easy test, a full thyroid panel can be quite helpful. This test can reveal whether your thyroid levels are normal or not. It can also help determine if it’s functioning properly.
People with a prior family history of this thyroid functioning should get this test done early in life. This article provides you with ample knowledge, and you can decide for yourself.
At what age should I get this test done?
There is no specific age for this test. Whenever you see certain symptoms which relate to this disease, get yourself checked. A timely diagnosis will be very helpful for you.
Does this test cost a lot?
The cost of this test may vary depending on the clinic or hospital you visit. But this test doesn’t cost that much. It is a necessity and the money you spend on this test will be worth your while.