Thyroid Function Tests

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About Of Thyroid Function Tests


Free Triiodothyronine (FT3)

Free Triiodothyronine (T3) is one of the primary hormones that is produced by the thyroid gland. This test evaluates the thyroid gland functioning. It can also determine the cause behind the disorder and plays a significant role in monitoring the effectiveness of treatment.

When To Get FT3 Tested?

Free triiodothyronine is recommended when there is an abnormal TSH or FT4 result. This test can also be used to monitor the treatment. In case there is any sign of hyperthyroidism, doctor will order you to have FT3.

Test Preparation And Sample Required:
  • No significant preparation is needed, but some supplements and multivitamins can interfere with the final outcome. So the patient should tell about these supplements to the doctor so that the doctor could suggest the best option.
  • A blood sample is taken from a vein in the arm.
What Does The Test Result Mean?
  • FT3 may indicate an overactive thyroid gland. The test result is alone not diagnostic but will alert the healthcare practitioner to perform some additional tests.
  • Medications that can affect thyroid testing.
  • Many multivitamins, supplements and prescription medicines may affect the thyroid test result. Biotin(vitamin B7) can interfere with some lab tests.

Free Thyroxine (FT4)

This test measures the amount of free thyroxine in the blood. Thyroxine is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Since T4 exists in two forms in our body, so there are two kinds of tests:-

  • Total T4 test
  • Free T4 test

A free T4 test is preferred over the total T4 test. Free T4 test measures the free T4 in the blood.

When To Get FT4 Tested?

The doctor will order this test when the TSH test will give abnormal results. A free T4 will allow the doctor to determine what type of problem the patient’s thyroid is in.

There are some disorders that affect thyroid:-

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypopituitarism
Test Preparation And Sample Required:

Your doctor may ask you to stop taking some drugs temporarily before the test. So the result will be accurate. In case the patient is pregnant, please tell your doctor. Healthcare provider will take the blood sample and send it to a lab for testing.

What Does The Test Result Mean?

The typical results for free T4 in adults range from 0.9 to 2.4 ng/dL. As it may happen with any test result, if it is outside the expected range, talk to your doctor about what the result means.

An Individual’s Result May Vary And Might Be Affected By:

  • Liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Systemic illness

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

TSH stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. This test can also detect any thyroid disorder before someone has any symptoms. If this is not taken seriously, thyroid disorder may cause some serious problems. The pituitary gland produces TSH. This test parameter falls under thyroid function tests.

When To Get TSH Tested?

It is used to detect thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

  • Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism
    • Anxiety
    • Weight loss
  • Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
    • Weight gain
    • Hair loss

If your doctor saw you having any of the above symptom, he or she will order this test.

Test Preparation And Sample Required
  • It is recommended to do this test in the morning. No major preparation is needed. In case the patient is on some medications, he or she will be asked to stop them temporarily.
  • Only blood is taken from the body and then analysed in a lab.
What Does The Test Result Mean?

High TSH levels can mean that the thyroid is not making the required amount of thyroid hormone. And low TSH levels can indicate that the thyroid is producing too much thyroid hormone. But this will not describe why thyroid levels are too low or too high. If the test results are abnormal, a doctor may ask the patient to have some additional tests like:-

  • T4 thyroid test
  • T3 thyroid test

T3 test and T4 test is used to detect hyperthyroidism. High levels of T3 and T4 indicate the severity of hyperthyroidism.