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 Function Test Panel with TSH contains a series of blood tests that are used to monitor the functionality of your thyroid gland. This is accomplished through a combination of T3, T4, T7, and TSH blood tests.
Through this comprehensive test panel, the health of your thyroid can be determined. Additionally, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can be diagnosed.
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 (T3u) -Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are two of the most common hormones released by the thyroid. They exist in two forms: Either attached to a carrier protein or not. This carrier protein is known as thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG), which like the name implies, is a protein that transports the hormone throughout the body. Only the T3 and T4 hormones that are not bound to TBG, or “free” hormones, affect the body’s processes.
The purpose of taking the T3 resin uptake test is to help estimate the amount of TBG in the blood, and how much of the T3 and T4 in the body is free from the carrier proteins. 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 -The T4 Total Thyroxine test determines the total amount of thyroxine (T4) in the blood. Both the thyroxine bounded to thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) and the free thyroxine are accounted for in this test.
T7 (Free T4 or Free Thyroid Index) - 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. This test measures 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 - The TSH test measures the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone in your blood. TSH is released by the pituitary gland whenever it notices low thyroxine (T4). Your TSH levels can be used in conjunction with your T4 levels to diagnose both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
How Does the Thyroid Gland Work?
It’s important for your thyroid gland to be working properly because it’s responsible for regulating many of the body’s processes. Glands are small organs that produce things like sweat, tears, or in this case, hormones.
Located in the front of the throat, the thyroid plays an enormous role in your overall health by controlling metabolism, heart and digestive functions, muscle control, brain development and the maintenance of bones. All of this is largely managed with the two hormones produced by the thyroid: Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
It’s very important that your T3 and T4 levels are maintained at a specific range in order to function properly, which is exactly the job of the pituitary gland. Whenever the pituitary gland sees T4 levels fall too low in the bloodstream, it releases a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which tells the thyroid to produce more T4.
How can this panel determine hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism?
Whenever T3 and T4 hormone levels become out of balance many negative symptoms can occur. For example, if the thyroid produces too much thyroxine (T4), it is known as hyperthyroidism. TSH levels are usually lower in this instance because the pituitary gland does not detect a need for more T4. All of the systems managed by the thyroid, like the metabolism, work extra hard because of the excess thyroxine (T4). Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- Sudden and quick weight loss
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- More frequent bowel movements
- Swollen neck (near the base, where the thyroid is)
The Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and Total Thyroxine (T4) tests provided in this panel can be used in conjunction to diagnose Hyperthyroidism. TSH levels will likely read lower than normal, and T4 levels should be on the high end.
Opposite of hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough thyroxine (T4) necessary to properly manage the bodily functions it’s responsible for. When this happens, the pituitary gland reacts by releasing abnormally high amounts of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) to signal to the thyroid to produce more T4. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Feeling cold often
- Weight gain
- Overall weakness
- Aches and pains
- Slowed heart rate
- Poor memory
While the lack of thyroxine (T4) is the cause of hyperthyroidism, the high TSH levels that the body releases in response to this are what physicians look at to help confirm the diagnosis.
This test panel is performed by drawing blood. You do not need to fast for this test panel.