Thyroid Disorder And Its Symptoms and Signs.
THYROID TEST AND ITS RESULTS
WHAT IS THYROID DISEASES
Thyroid disease is a common problem that can cause symptoms because of over- or under-function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is an essential organ for producing thyroid hormones, which maintain our body metabolism. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck below Adam's apple and the gland is a butterfly-shaped organ. Its job is to take iodine from the blood and combine it with an amino acid to form thyroid hormones.
The two most important thyroid hormones are thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH, thyrotropin) and thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which account for 99.9% and 0.1% of thyroid hormones present in the blood respectively. Blood tests to measure TSH, T4, T3 and Free T4 are readily available and widely used.
Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
The hypothalamus, located in the brain, produces thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) that tells the pituitary gland to make the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The pituitary gland sends out TSH, which tells the thyroid to produce the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The normal range for an adult is 0.4 – 5.5 mU/mL.
T4 AND T4 FREE
T4 circulates in the blood in two forms. T4 bound to proteins that prevent the T4 from entering the various tissues that need thyroid hormone. Free T4, which does enter the various target tissues to exert its effects. The free T4 fraction is the most important to determine how the thyroid is functioning, and tests to measure this is called the Free T4 (FT4) and the Free T4 Index (FT4I or FTI).
Individuals who have hyperthyroidism will have an elevated FT4 or FTI, whereas patients with hypothyroidism will have a low level of FT4 or FTI.The normal range for an adult: 5 – 11 µg/dL. Combining the TSH test with the FT4 or FTI accurately determines how the thyroid gland is functioning.
T3 AND T3 FREE
T3 tests are often useful to diagnosis hyperthyroidism or to determine the severity of the hyperthyroidism. Patients who are hyperthyroid will have an elevated T3 level. In some individuals with a low TSH, only the T3 is elevated and the FT4 or FTI is normal. T3 testing rarely is helpful in the hypothyroid patient, since it is the last test to become abnormal.
Patients can be severely hypothyroid with a high TSH and low FT4 or FTI but have a normal T3. In some situations, such as during pregnancy or while taking birth control pills, high levels of total T4 and T3 can exist. This is because the estrogens increase the level of the binding proteins. In these situations, it is better to ask both for TSH and free T4 for thyroid evaluation.
Symptoms and Signs
The thyroid gland producing an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone. It can develop problems can include are.
|signs and symptoms|
- Intolerance to cold
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Poor appetite
- Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
- Dry, rough skin
- Coarse hair or hair loss
- Eye and face swelling
- Deeper and/or hoarse voice
- Enlarged tongue
- Irregular or heavy menstrual periods
- Memory loss
- Slowed thinking and mental activity
- Increased blood cholesterol levels