First of all, what is the thyroid gland?
The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland located in the lower front of the neck. A vital hormone gland, it plays a significant role in regulating the body’s metabolism, and functioning.
On the other hand, thyroid function tests are a collective term for blood and imaging tests used to check a person’s thyroid function. A doctor requires the test if he suspects a patient suffers from a thyroid condition.
It may also be required to monitor treatment, and disease progression.
Some of the tests to be carried out include:
1. TSH TESTS
TSH is a hormone in the pituitary gland that tells the thyroid how much T4 and T3 to make.
In most healthy individuals, an average TSH value means that the thyroid gland is functioning correctly.
Thus, when a patient presents with an abnormal TSH level, it is usually indicative of a thyroid problem
2. T4 TESTS
T4 (also called thyroxine) is the main form of thyroid hormone circulating in the blood. Because there are two types of T4: a Total T4 and a Free T4, this test involves two tests.
An abnormal result on the T4 test may lead to a diagnosis or require your doctor to consider your TSH and T3 test results.
3. T3 TESTS
This test measures a patient’s blood triiodothyronine (T3) level. It also helps to detect hyperthyroidism, as patients usually have an elevated T3 level.
4. Imaging Scan
Your healthcare professional may also order an Ultrasound or a thyroid scan to look at the thyroid gland’s size, shape, and position, or check for thyroid noodles.
Are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism the only medical conditions detected with a thyroid function test?
Thyroid tests also help health care professionals diagnose thyroid disorders like:
- Graves’ disease.
- Hashimoto’s disease.
- Thyroid cancer.
The test also facilitates treatments which can save lives, as untreated thyroid issues can lead to health complications ranging from an increased risk of osteoporosis to cardiovascular problems.
When do I need to carry out the test?
Aside from when you are conducting a general body check, you may need a thyroid test when requested by a doctor.
You may also require one if you think you are showing symptoms of thyroid problems.
The most common warning signs of a thyroid problem to note are:
- Unexplained tiredness.
- Dry skin.
- Body temperature tolerance problems.
- Weight gain or loss.
- Hair loss, and
- Mood imbalances.
- Menstrual irregularities.
- Changes in bowel habits.
How to book a thyroid function test
To book your test, click on the link here, or send a Whatsapp message to 2348084295796.
You can also carry out the test as part of your annual health check by booking any of our health check packages from the standard package.
Alternatively, walk into any of our health centres near you for immediate testing.
Note: Medications like biotin and estrogen can interfere with thyroid function testing. As such, please do not hesitate to disclose your use of any of these drugs to your doctor.
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