Why is this test important? This test delivers a complete thyroid profile. In addition to measuring the total level of T4 hormone in your body, this test also screens for the level of free T4 and T3 hormones in the bloodstream. This is an important distinction, since the level of free T4 hormone illustrates how much is immediately available for uptake and use by cells, and measure of free T3 hormone in the body is considered a more accurate view of hormonal balance than a total T3 reading. In addition, this test also measures the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) produced by the pituitary gland.
What does the test include? The HealthCheckUSA Thyroid Panel Plus: T4 Free & Total, T3 Free & Uptake, TSH is a comprehensive screening that checks:
**Because this test includes a TSH screening, remember that medications like corticosteroids, aspirin and lithium can interfere with those results. Also, if you've had a recent X-ray that used iodine dye—or other radioactive tests—ask your doctor when you can take an accurate TSH test. Pregnant women in their first trimester should also ask their doctor about the proper time to get a TSH test.
Who should be tested? Strongly consider testing if you have a family history of thyroid problems or have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, pituitary or endocrine disorders. In addition, strongly consider testing if you are a woman in or near menopause, or are pregnant or just had a baby (since proper T3 and T4 levels are essential to brain development in the early years of a child's life).
You should also consider testing if you are experiencing symptoms of unusual weight gain, energy drop, dry skin, a constant feeling of cold, constipation or sudden weight loss, increased heart rate, recurring warm or sweaty feeling, or diarrhea.
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