Contributed by – Rachana Arya
What is Thyroid test?
This test is also known as thyroid function test, total triiodothyronine, free triiodothyronine and FT3. It measures the quantity of triiodothyronine (T3) present in your blood. T3 is one of the two major hormones made by your thyroid gland. Another hormone is called thyroxine (T4.) T3 and T4 work together to control the energy usage of your body. They also play a significant role in regulating your body weight, body temperature, muscle strength and nervous system.
The T3 hormone is present in two forms such as bound T3, which attaches to protein and free T3. An examination which measures both of them is called a total T3 test. Another test called free T3 measures free T3. Either test may be used to check T3 levels. If T3 levels are not normal, it can be a sign of thyroid disease.
Thyroid blood tests show if you have hyperthyroidism where overexcited thyroid secretes more hormones than your body requires. Hyperthyroidism boosts your metabolism causing weight loss, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, puffiness around the eyes and anxiety. Hypothyroidism is another ailment which is caused when underactive thyroid secretes less hormones. It slows down your metabolism causing weight gain, menstrual irregularity, dry and puffy skin and fatigue.
Who should get the test?
You might need this test if you have symptoms like anxiety, significant weight loss or gain, tremors in the hands, increased heart rate, bulging of the eyes, insomnia, fatigue, low tolerance for heat, irregular menstrual cycle and frequent bowel movements.
Why is the thyroid test needed?
These tests diagnose thyroid disorders present in your body. These disorders include Thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s disease, Thyroid tumors, Goiter, Thyroid nodule and Thyroid cancer.
What does the thyroid test result mean?
A normal T4 level ranges from 5.0 to 12.0μg/dL in adults. A normal total T3 level ranges from 80-220 ng/dL in adults. Free T3 is not regularly used to assess thyroid function. Reference ranges are based on the normal test results of a large group of healthy people.
Your lab report might include results such as negative or normal which means the disease or the substance being tested was not found in your body. Positive or abnormal results mean the disease or the substance was found in your body. In case of inconclusive results more tests are required to diagnose your ailment.
How is the test done?
A technician will tie a band of rubber tightly around your upper arm to make the veins swell with blood. Once the technician has found an appropriate vein then he will insert a needle for collecting blood. You might feel a sharp prick when the needle punctures the skin of your arm. The technician will collect your blood in test tubes and send it to a laboratory for analysis.
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