The thyroid is a small gland located in the lower-front part of your neck. It?s responsible for helping to regulate many of the body?s processes, such as metabolism, energy generation, and mood.
The thyroid produces two major hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). If your thyroid gland doesn?t produce enough of these hormones, you may experience symptoms such as weight gain, lack of energy, and depression. This condition is called hypothyroidism.
If your thyroid gland produces too many hormones, you may experience weight loss, high levels of anxiety, tremors, and a sense of being on a high. This is called hyperthyroidism.
Typically, a doctor who is concerned about your thyroid hormone levels will order broad screening tests, such as the T4 or the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test. If those results come back abnormal, your doctor will order further tests to pinpoint the reason for the problem.
Search Results Featured snippet from the web You don't need any special preparations for a TSH blood test. If your health care provider has ordered other blood tests, you may need to fast (not eat or drink) for several hours before the test.
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
The test takes only a few minutes. If your thyroid collects a large amount of radioactive iodine, you may have Graves' disease, or one or more nodules that make too much thyroid hormone. You may have this test at the same time as a thyroid scan.
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T4 and TSH results
The T4 test is known as the thyroxine test. A high level of T4 indicates an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Symptoms include anxiety, unplanned weight loss, tremors, and diarrhea. Most of the T4 in your body is bound to protein. A small portion of T4 is not and this is called free T4. Free T4 is the form that is readily available for your body to use. Sometimes a free T4 level is also checked along with the T4 test.
The TSH test measures the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone in your blood. The TSH has a normal test range between 0.4 and 4.0 milli-international units of hormone per liter of blood (mIU/L).
If you show signs of hypothyroidism and have a TSH reading above 2.0 mIU/L, you?re at risk for progressing to hypothyroidism. Symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, depression, and brittle hair and fingernails. Your doctor will likely want to perform thyroid function tests at least every other year going forward. Your doctor may also decide to begin treating you with medications, such as levothyroxine, to ease your symptoms.
Both the T4 and TSH tests are routinely performed on newborn babies to identify a low-functioning thyroid gland. If left untreated, this condition, called congenital hypothyroidism, can lead to developmental disabilities.
The T3 test checks for levels of the hormone triiodothyronine. It?s usually ordered if T4 tests and TSH tests suggest hyperthyroidism. The T3 test may also be ordered if you?re showing signs of an overactive thyroid gland and your T4 and TSH aren?t elevatedTrusted Source.
The normal range for the T3 is 100?200 nanograms of hormone per deciliter of blood (ng/dL). Abnormally high levels most commonly indicate a condition called Grave?s disease. This is an autoimmune disorder associated with hyperthyroidism.
T3 resin uptake results
A T3 resin uptake, also known as a T3RU, is a blood test that measures the binding capacity of a hormone called thyroxin-binding globulin (TBG). If your T3 level is elevated, your TBG binding capacity should be low.
Abnormally low levels of TBG often indicate a problem with the kidneys or with the body not getting enough protein. Abnormally high levels of TBG suggest high levels of estrogen in the body. High estrogen levels may be caused by pregnancy, eating estrogen-rich foods, obesity, or hormone replacement therapy.
A TSH test is used to find out how well the thyroid is working.
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