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What Are the Benefits of Thyroid Function Test?

A Thyroid Function Test Is The Best Way To Measure Your TSH, T3 And T4 Hormone Levels. The Test Helps In The Treatment Plan And Monitors Your Overall Health.

By : Brand Stories | Updated on: 17 Oct 2023, 02:15:39 PM
thyroid test

Thyroid Function Test (Photo Credit: File photo)

New Delhi:

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck's front lower portion. It releases various types of hormones directly into the bloodstream. The body then uses these hormones to consume energy and maintain the functioning of the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs. However, if your hormone levels start to act abnormally, you may develop dysfunctions like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, leading to health issues. With the help of the thyroid function test, your doctor checks your hormone levels. If abnormal, you may be given treatment and medication.

What are the Functions of the Thyroid Gland?

As an endocrine gland, your thyroid produces various hormones to help your body function. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by your pituitary gland. It signals thyroid follicular cells to make T4 and T3 hormones.

TSH: Thyroid-stimulating hormone produced by your pituitary gland gives signals to make T4 and T3 hormones.

Thyroxine(T4): This is the primary hormone produced and released by your thyroid but has little impact on your metabolism. Once your thyroid has released T4 into your bloodstream, it undergoes a process known as deiodination to change to T3.

Triiodothyronine (T3): It is produced by your thyroid in smaller levels than T4, but has a far more significant impact on regulating energy levels. 

Reverse triiodothyronine (RT3): This hormone is produced when the body converts T4 into an unusable form instead of the active T3 hormone. It is secreted when the body is under stress or illness.

Calcitonin: This hormone controls blood calcium levels, contributing to bone health.

Why is TFT (Thyroid functional test) Carried?

The thyroid functional test combines a TSH test and a test for hormones T3 and T4. TSH is the first test your doctor examines to detect the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. It can determine whether your blood has hyperthyroidism (excess thyroid hormone) or hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone). However, a TSH test cannot identify the root cause of the thyroid. Hence, further tests are needed.

Your doctor may also recommend this test when you show symptoms such as fatigue, irregular periods, weight loss, dry skin, etc.

What are the Benefits of Taking this Test?

 When taken regularly, thyroid function tests can help detect diseases and health conditions early on. This test has various advantages, which include the following:

If you have already been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder and take medicine, this test helps monitor your hormone levels and the treatment.

If you have unexplained weight loss, fatigue, mood swings, or irregular periods, a thyroid function test helps identify whether these symptoms are related to the thyroid.

These biochemical tests have a proven clinical value with excellent analytical sensitivity. As a result, when thyroid dysfunction is suspected, TFTs are among the most frequently performed tests for the correct results and diagnoses.

For women who are pregnant, this test helps in monitoring thyroid health. Thyroid dysfunction, such as hypothyroidism, can impact the health of both mother and child.

This test also detects any long-term harm caused by thyroid hormone replacement, where the hormone is given orally through pills.

The blood test for TSH is the most sensitive indicator. It is used as a biochemical marker to ensure sufficient thyroid hormone replacement.

Patients receiving thyroid hormone replacement are advised to keep their TSH levels within the reference range.

When Should You Take Thyroid Function Test?

You should book a thyroid test if you have the following health conditions:

There are signs of hyperactive or hypoactive thyroid gland.

You have a diagnosed thyroid disorder.

Rapid or fast heart palpitations.

The arteries have a fat buildup due to high cholesterol levels.

Osteoporosis, which causes brittle or thin bones

Decrease in sexual drive, irregular menstrual periods in females, repeated miscarriages in pregnant women and fertility issues.

Having autoimmune diseases in the family, such as type 1 diabetes and vitiligo.

Feeling sick after childbirth.

Anyone undergoing surgeries or pregnant women in labour should take this test.

Preparations Before the Test

For accurate results, you must keep the below steps in mind before taking the test:

A thyroid function test can be taken at any time. However, if your doctor orders other tests, such as blood sugar, you may have to fast for at least 10-12 hours. Drinking water is excluded, but do not drink any other fluids.

It is advised not to consume medicine or alcohol for at least 24 hours before the test.

In conclusion, one should always undergo routine checkups to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A thyroid function test is a vital health checkup that monitors the abnormality of your body's thyroid glands. Changes in thyroxine hormone levels may cause several risk factors like autoimmune diseases, iodine deficiency, thyroid cancer, non-cancerous lumps, inflammation, etc. Therefore, keeping your thyroid gland healthy is extremely important.

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First Published : 17 Oct 2023, 02:10:49 PM

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