Are you always tired?
Does your weight fluctuate?
Not to worry. If you’re feeling run down and sluggish, it could be your Thyroid. One simple test can answer your questions.
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Thyroid function tests are a series of measurements of different aspects of thyroid hormone presence in the blood stream.
TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
Because of the normal feed-back loop, TSH rises whenever the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormone. For the same reason, whenever there is too much thyroid hormone present in the serum, the brain responds by lowering the TSH. It is elevated in hypothyroidism and depressed in hyperthyroidism.
This is a measure of all of the active form of thyroid hormone in the blood. 95% of the total is bound to plasma proteins, particularly thyroid binding globulin (TBG).
It is elevated in hyperthyroidism and depressed in hypothyroidism. It is usually slightly elevated during pregnancy because of increased levels of TBG.
T3 (Triiodothyronine, T3-RIA) by radioimmunoassay
T3 (Triiodothyronine, T3-RIA) by radioimmunoassay T3 is metabolically a more active form of thyroid hormone than T4, but its’ effects are of shorter duration. It is elevated in hyperthyroidism and depressed in hypothyroidism.
This is a measure of the unbound throxine binding globulins in the blood (unsaturated with thyroid hormone). The less thyroid hormone that is present, the more unsaturated TBG is present. This is an indirect measure of thyroid hormone levels. It has nothing to do with T3, despite the name.
Free T3 (FT3, Free Triiodothyronine T3)
Free T3 is one of the determinations used to measure thyroid function. T3 is mostly bound to plasma proteins, and the remainder (FT3) is unbound. It is elevated in hyperthyroidism and depressed in hypothyroidism.
Free T4 (FT4, Free Thyroxin)
Most thyroid hormone is bound to plasma proteins. Some (about 5%) is not bound (“free”) and available to serve a metabolic role. Free T4 is the most accurate assessment of thyroid hormone levels, because it avoids changes in plasma protein binding capabilities. It is elevated in hyperthyroidism and depressed in hypothyroidism.
FTI (Free Thyroxine Index, FTI, T7)
The FTI is obtained by multiplying the (Total T4) times (T3 Uptake) to obtain an index. The FTI is considered a more reliable indicator of thyroid status in the presence of abnormalities in plasma protein binding. It is elevated in hyperthyroidism and depressed in hypothyroidism.
Thyroid Antibodies are tested for evidence of autoimmune thyroid diseases, such as Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease. Thyroid antibodies may remain positive for years, and do not provide an indication of whether the person has normal or abnormal thyroid function. Furthermore, some patients with Hashimoto’s disease may have negative levels of circulating antibodies, and conversely, patients with positive levels of thyroid antibodies may never develop thyroid disease during their lifetime
|TSH||0.5-6 mIU/L||4-5 mIU/L||1, 2, 3|
|Total T4||5-12.5 µg/dl||5-12 µg/dl||10-17 µg/dl||1|
|Free Thyroxine Index||1.3-4.2||1.75-4.95||1|
|Free T3||230-660 pg/dl||2, 3|
|Free T4||0.8-2.4 ng/dl||1-2 ng/dl||2, 3|
|< 60 U/mL||< 60 U/mL||< 60 U/mL||3|
|< 20 IU/mL||< 20 IU/mL||3|