Thyroid Function Test Level II
A Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) blood test is combined with the Free T3 and Free T4 tests to provide an accurate overview of thyroid function. the package also includes the Thyroid Profile (T3 Uptake, T4 and T7).
The Ideal Package To Evaluate Thyroid Function
The two primary hormones produced by the thyroid are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxin (T4). These hormones regulate the rate of the body's metabolism and are synthesized from iodine consumed in the diet and the amino acid tyrosine. This package measures how much total TSH is in the blood, the total amount of free and bound T4, and total free T4 in the blood.
The Role of the Thyroid
The thyroid is one of several endocrine glands, along with the pancreas, ovaries and testes, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands. Each one produces hormones that control bodily functions by delivering these hormones directly into the blood stream. When the thyroid is not doing its job properly, a variety of symptoms can occur.
Located in the front of the throat, the thyroid looks somewhat like a small shield or a butterfly. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), produced in the anterior pituitary gland, regulates other thyroid hormones that control energy production inside cells, effecting overall energy levels.
The production of proteins for many uses in the body is also under control of this gland, as well as the body's sensitivity to other hormones. Maintaining the proper balance of calcium in the body through productionof calcitonin (a polypeptide hormone that acts to reduce blood calcium) is another important thyroid function.
Thyroid problems are common, with women about three times more likely than men to have thyroid dysfunction. Approximately five percent of people in the United States have an over-active, under-active, or otherwise dysfunctional thyroid. Thyroid problems are more common in people over the age of 60. Fortunately, many thyroid problems are easily and effectively treatable once they have been diagnosed.
A large number of symptoms can occur when there are problems with the thyroid. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Feeling cold all the time
- Hair loss
- Joint and muscle pain
- Puffiness in the face
- Weight gain
- Irregular menstrual periods in women
When these symptoms occur and persist for longer than two weeks, testing for thyroid dysfunction is an important diagnostic first step. The thyroid can be overactive, resulting in hyperthyroidism, or under active, a condition known as hypothyroidism. The thyroid works in conjunction with the pituitary gland, and thyroid tests can determine which of these glands is causing the symptoms.
Problems with the thyroid can happen for many reasons including:
- An auto immune disorder known as Hashimoto's disease
- Infections of the thyroid gland
- As a complication after child birth
- Genetic causes
- Surgery or radiation treatments
- Use of certain drugs that can adversely affect the thyroid such as lithium used for bipolar disorder, interleukin-2, and interferon alpha.
Your results will clearly indicate if thyroid function is within the normal range or above or below this range. Many thyroid problems are easily treated with drugs that bring thyroid function back into its proper range, eliminating symptoms.