Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by Dr. Neeraj Gujar
Thyroid panel tests are a set of blood tests used to determine how well your thyroid gland functions. The thyroid gland is located in the lower part of your neck. It is responsible for controlling many bodily processes such as metabolism and energy generation.
Two major hormones are produced by the thyroid: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). You may feel symptoms like weight gain, energy loss, and depression if your thyroid gland isn’t producing enough of these hormones. This condition is hypothyroidism.
If your thyroid produces more hormones than regular, then you may feel symptoms like weight loss, anxiety, or tremors. This condition is called hyperthyroidism.
A doctor will usually order broad screening tests to determine your thyroid hormone levels. This includes the TSH (thyroxine-stimulating hormone) or T4 test. Your doctor may also order additional tests to determine the cause of the abnormal results.
It will tell you whether your thyroid is hyperactive (hyperthyroidism), or underactive (hypothyroidism). It can detect a thyroid condition before you experience any symptoms. Untreated thyroid disorder could lead to serious health problems.
TSH stands for thyroid-stimulating hormone. The test measures the amount of this hormone in your blood. The pituitary gland in your brain produces TSH. This gland instructs your thyroid to produce and release thyroid hormones into your body.
Also Read: Know Everything About a Blood Test
How To Get Tested?
Your doctor may recommend a thyroid panel test to check your thyroid. You can either visit a laboratory or check for a blood test at home service.
Before the Test
To prepare for the thyroid function test, you don’t have to do anything extra. You may be asked to fast several hours before other blood tests that are ordered by a healthcare professional. You will be informed if they have any other instructions.
Talk to your doctor before you have a blood test to determine your thyroid levels. Let them know if you are pregnant. Your test results may be affected by certain medications or being pregnant.
During the Test
A blood draw (also known as venipuncture) is performed by a certified practitioner.
To make your veins expand with blood, a healthcare professional such as a nurse or technician will wrap a rubber band around your upper arm. Once they have found the right vein, the healthcare professional will insert a needle underneath the skin to reach it.
The needle may cause a sharp sting sensation on your skin. Your blood will be collected by a healthcare professional and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Once the healthcare professional has collected the blood required for the tests, they will pull the needle and apply pressure to the puncture wound until it stops bleeding. The healthcare professional will then apply a small bandage to the wound.
You should be able immediately to resume your normal daily activities.
After The Test
A blood draw is routine and minimally invasive. It doesn’t have side effects.
You may experience slight swelling or bruise in the area where the needle was placed. You can ease your discomfort by placing an icepack on the affected area or using an over-the-counter pain reliever.
You should consult your doctor immediately if you feel severe pain or if the area surrounding the puncture is red. These symptoms could indicate an infection.
TSH and T4 are the most commonly used tests for thyroid panel test. Because it is the most effective way to test thyroid function, the TSH test is frequently performed first. It will determine if a person has hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
The majority of T4 found in your body is bound by protein. The form of T4 that is available to your body is called free T4. A T4 test may also include a free level of T4.
The TSH test measures your thyroid-stimulating hormonal level. Normal TSH test results range from 0.4 to 4.0 milli-international units (mIU/L) of hormone per liter.
T4 is also known as the thyroxine or thyroxine test. High levels of T4 indicate hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). The symptoms include:
- Unplanned Weight Loss
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which you have a TSH above 4.5 mIU/L. The symptoms include:
- Weight Gain
- Brittle hair and Fingernails
To detect a dysfunctional thyroid gland, newborn babies are subject to both the T4 or TSH tests. The congenital hypothyroidism condition (or congenital hypothyroidism) if not treated can cause developmental disabilities.
T3 tests are used to check for the hormone triiodothyronine. It is typically recommended if the T4 test shows irregular results.
An abnormally high level of T3 is usually indicative of Grave’s disease. It is an autoimmune disorder that can be associated with hyperthyroidism.
What To Do in Case of High Levels?
Your doctor may prescribe medication to regulate thyroid activity if scan results are not abnormal. To ensure that the medication is effective, they will perform additional thyroid panel tests. These tests will look for:
- The activity of the thyroid gland
- Thyroid gland structural problems
- Tumors that may be causing problems
If your doctor finds abnormalities in your neck, they may order an ultrasound. Your doctor may request a thyroid tissue sample if the ultrasound results are not normal. Thyroid cancer is not related to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Thyroid cancer is not diagnosed by blood tests.
The treatment for an underactive or hyperactive thyroid involves the daily administration of a synthetic thyroid hormone via a pill.
Your doctor will test your TSH levels every 2 to 3 months to ensure you are getting the correct dosage. Once you’re sure that you are taking the right dosage, your doctor will continue to monitor your TSH levels each year to make sure it is not abnormal.
There are many options for thyroid overactivity.
- Radioactive iodine can slow down your thyroid.
- High thyroid levels can cause a rapid heartbeat. Beta-blockers are used to lower this rate.
- Thyroid surgery (which is less common) Anti-thyroid medication to stop it from overproducing hormones.
Thyroid test includes thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), T4, T3, and thyroid antibody tests. This blood test checks your thyroid function.
The normal test range for an adult is 0.40 – 4.50 mIU/mL (milli-international units per liter of blood).
The early warning signs of Thyroid problems include fatigue, unexplained weight gain/loss, slow/increased heart rate, and sensitivity to heat/cold.
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