Markers tested: TSH, fT3, fT4, TPO
What are thyroid hormones?
The thyroid gland in our throat releases two key hormones: fT3 and fT4 (also called free tri-iodo-thyronine and thyroxine). A healthy gland with balanced fT3, fT4 levels are critical for normal metabolism, cardiovascular health, and proper development. The thyroid gland also maintains our body temperature, psychological well-being, appetite, energy levels, and sex drive.
Why measure thyroid hormones?
An underactive thyroid gland (a condition called hypothyroidism) slows down metabolism in the absence of thyroid hormones. This can result in weight gain, loss of appetite, fatigue, and symptoms of premature aging. The slow metabolism interferes with body’s temperature regulation and increases sensitivity to cold.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include dry skin from thinning of veins, constipation, and abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding. In severe cases, the thyroid hormone deficiency causes enlargement of the gland in throat (called goiter), a common sign of iodine deficiency in developing countries.
However, a hyperactive thyroid gland (a condition called hyperthyroidism) speeds up the metabolism resulting in an increased appetite and unexpected weight loss.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism An overworking gland releases excess thyroid hormones which causes anxiety, nervousness, and difficulty in sleeping. This results in high sensitivity to heat and in rare cases, chest pains and palpitations.
The symptoms of elevated thyroid hormone levels are almost entirely opposite to low levels, except both cases cause fatigue due to slow or overworking metabolism.
A comprehensive list of symptoms of thyroid disorder is available here: All About Thyroid.
Thyroid disorder is fairly common and risk factors include age, race, gender, geography, and pregnancy. Read our detailed reports about:
- How thyroid disorder affects everyone: Thyroid and You
- How thyroid affects pregnancy and newborns: Thyroid and Pregnancy
- What is the role of iodine in thyroid: Thyroid and Iodine
How to test thyroid hormone levels at home?
You can order an easy, low-cost blood test for thyroid online without going to a doctor or lab. Order a thyroid test kit online, collect a few drops of blood on a tissue paper (using a finger prick), send your sample to our CLIA-certified labs, and find out your thyroid hormone levels in few days.
Be informed, read more…
Read All About Thyroid hormones for causes of low or high thyroid hormone levels, symptoms of thyroid hormone deficiency, reasons to get thyroid hormone levels tested, available options for thyroid hormone testing, and what’s required to check thyroid levels at home. Our blog pages provide information about ordering a thyroid test at home, what is a standard thyroid tests tsh, the t4 medical test for thyroid, tsh test for thyroid, and thyroid antibody test.
Stay up-to-date on the latest news and research by following the American Thyroid Association.