Thyroid Test Panel with TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) Popular
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About Our Thyroid Test Panel with TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
Note: Fasting is not required for this test.
The thyroid is an endocrine gland that not only controls metabolism, but also secrete hormones that are necessary for growth and development. These hormones stimulate the metabolism of nearly every tissue in the body.
Our Thyroid Panel with TSH measures the following four thyroid levels:
- T3 uptake (Triiodothyronine) - T3 is the active form of T4. This hormone informs cells to use digested food as energy, rather than store it as fat.
- T4 (Total Thyroxine) - A total T4 test measures the T4 that has bonded to protein and the free (unbonded) T4 in the blood.
- T7 (Free Thyroxine Index) - This measurement is a calculation of T4 and T3 uptake.
- TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) - TSH is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. TSH stimulates the thyroid to produce thyroxine (T4) and ultimately triiodothyronine (T3).
This blood test is used to evaluate the thyroid's function and/or symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or an under active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, and is often tested for with numerous thyroids tests, including TSH, Free T4 and Anti-Thyroid Antibody tests.
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the lower front part of the neck. It sits right above the adam’s apple and directly in front of the larynx or voice box. Its main job is to secrete hormones, and these hormones affect every cell and every organ in the body. The thyroid regulates body temperature, heart rate, metabolism, energy consumption, mood, mental alertness, and it keeps every aspect of your body working correctly.
Though the thyroid is only about two inches long, it’s reach is far beyond that.
What Hormones does the Thyroid produce?
The thyroid produces two proper thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid makes these hormones by the use of iodine. T4 has four iodine atoms and T3 has three. T4 is produced first and is converted to its active form, T3, by the removal of one of the iodine atoms. T3 and T4 need to circulate throughout the body in order to carry out the various functions that the thyroid completes. In order to circulate, most of the T3 and T4 hormones are bound to proteins that can transport them to different areas.
What Happens if my Thyroid isn’t working Properly?
Hypothyroidism occurs when the body produces too little T3 and T4 hormones. Because the thyroid is in charge of regulating so many of the body’s tasks, when the hormone production slows down, the body’s functions slow down too.
Some initial symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Weight gain
- Dry hair
- Hair loss
- Slow heart rate
- Brain fog
- Memory problems
- Cold intolerance
- Muscle weakness
- Dry skin
- Pain or swelling of the joints
- High cholesterol
- Heavy menstrual cycles
On the other side of the spectrum, is hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when your body produces too much T3 and T4 hormones. Because the thyroid is in charge of all metabolic functions, if it’s producing too many hormones, the body’s functioning will speed up. Because the thyroid is technically overactive and is producing a lot of hormones, the thyroid will become enlarged with hyperthyroidism, so be on the lookout for an enlarged thyroid.
Hyperthyroidism can lead to the following symptoms:
- Increased heart rate
- Weight loss
- Heat intolerance
- Frequent bowel movements
- Increased appetite
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Brittle Hair
It’s important to be aware that hyperthyroidism raises your risk of osteoporosis, and it may lead to thyrotoxic crisis or thyrotoxic storm, which can result in death.
Who Should Take This Test?
You should take this test if you have been experiencing any of the above symptoms as well as if any of the following apply to you:
- A woman in or near menopause
- Recently Pregnant
- Have a family member with a thyroid disease
- Have prior pituitary or endocrine issues
- Have recently had surgery
What Does HealthLabs.com Thyroid Test Panel Include?
Our test panel includes the following:
T3 uptake (T3u) - T3 uptake is an indirect measure of Triiodothyronine (T3). Instead of measuring the amount of triiodothyronine in the blood, it measures the amount of thyroxine (T4) binding proteins in the plasma. A high T3u means thyroxine binding proteins are more saturated than normal. Measuring T3u does little good alone; it needs to be combined with the results of a total T4 test to get Free Thyroid Index (T7).
Total T4 - Total T4 measures the amount of Thyroxine (T4) that is in the blood. This is both the amount that has bound to protein and the amount that is free. When T4 is bound to protein, it prohibits it from entering the various tissues that need the hormone. Free T4 is the version of T4 that can get to the tissues it needs to get to. It’s the most important part of the thyroid panel when determining if the thyroid is functioning correctly.
T7 (Free T4 or Free Thyroid Index) - This is to measure the amount of free T4 in the blood. It’s measured by combining the T3u and the T4. The free T4 is the most accurate measure of how well the thyroid is working.
TSH - This is the thyroid stimulating hormone. It’s secreted by the pituitary gland. When there are low levels of T3 and T4 detected, the pituitary gland will secrete more TSH to increase the levels of T3 and T4. When the levels are too high, the pituitary gland will secrete less. TSH is also a very important measure for how well the thyroid is working. It can also be an indication that the pituitary gland may be malfunctioning.
This test panel is performed by drawing blood. You do not need to fast for this test panel.