Get Tested For Thyroid Disorder
If you think you have a thyroid disorder you probably want to know more about how getting tested works, and what results you may get back. You’re in the right place. Read on to learn more about what thyroid disorders are and how the different kinds of tests work.
What is a Thyroid Disorder?
Thyroid disorders can present themselves in many different ways causing a variety of symptoms. A lot of the time thyroid disorders are linked to sudden changes in weight and metabolic processes.
This is because the thyroid controls metabolism. The thyroid produces two main hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which are carried by the bloodstream throughout the body and regulate your metabolism, including how fast or slow, your body digests.
When hormones T4 and T3 are over-produced your blood becomes over concentrated with them and you have what is known as hyperthyroidism.
When they are under-produced your blood becomes under saturated with them and you have hypothyroidism.
Living with these conditions is easy with the proper medication and treatment plan. Testing is also not a complicated process; let’s look at some of the most popular thyroid tests.
The most common thyroid tests are done by analyzing a blood sample to look for levels of T3 and T4 hormones. Your doctor may also measure thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, thyroid antibodies and thyroglobulin to test thyroid function.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Test
This blood test is regarded as the most accurate. Thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH) are produced by the pituitary gland and work to regulate concentrations of T3 and T4 in the bloodstream. If the levels of TSH are too high that means the thyroid is underactive, if the level of TSH is too low, that means the thyroid is overactive. This test is often run in conjunction with T3 and T4 thyroid tests.
T3 Thyroid Blood Test
The T3 test measures the level of T3 hormone in the bloodstream. It is important to have both T3 and T4 hormone levels tested because even if one appears normal, the other may be throwing off your entire system.
T4 Blood Test
The T4 test measures the level of T4 hormone in the bloodstream. High T4 typically means an overactive thyroid, whereas low T4 typically means an underactive thyroid. (It is important to note that some pregnant women and women on oral contraceptives may also have raised levels of T4 with no link to a thyroid disorder).
Some T4 hormones bind to carrier proteins in the blood stream, for people who take certain medications or have specific illnesses that lower your protein carrier count this test may not be the best for you as it will influence your T4 test results. For those patients doctors may recommend a Free-T4 test.
Free-T4 Blood Test
Thyroid Antibody Tests
Depending on the results of the tests above, your doctor may want to check your thyroid antibody levels. Sometimes people have antibodies in the blood that will over stimulate the thyroid, or do the opposite and attack the thyroid. These antibodies can be indicative of Hashimoto’s disease.
Thyroglobulin Tests are used to measure thyroglobulin concentration in the bloodstream after thyroid surgery. This test monitors the condition of the thyroid post surgery.
Other Thyroid Tests
In addition to blood tests there are a few other tests that can be run depending on causes and symptoms of your condition.
Radioactive Iodine Uptake (RAIU) and Thyroid Scans
While this test may sound intense it’s actually very simple. You swallow a pill that contains radioactive iodine—note that all iodine, such as that found in salt, is radioactive and 100% safe to consume in these doses. The doctor is able to track the radioactivity and see how much is absorbed by the thyroid. High RAIU indicates hyperthyroidism, while low RAIU indicates hypothyroidism.
Additionally, thyroid scans allow the doctor to look at the thyroid using the radioactive signal so they can measure, position, size, and shape.
Get Tested, Treated, and Diagnosed Online With PlushCare
They can order the correct tests we mentioned above from a blood lab near you. After directing you to the nearest lab and referring the proper tests you can conveniently go get tested without having to go the doctors office first.
When your results are ready they can be sent electronically back to your PlushCare doctor who will then go over them with you during an online appointment. During this time your doctor will either diagnose you and prescribe medication or potentially recommend you for more testing.
Upon diagnosis your PlushCare doctor can prescribe the necessary medication for your thyroid condition and have it electronically sent to the pharmacy of your choice, making getting your medication simple and convenient.
When your prescription runs out, meet with a PlushCare doctor again to get a prescription refill.
Living with a thyroid condition doesn’t have to be hard. Take the first steps today and meet with an online doctor to go over your testing and treatment options.