Thyroid function profile is a series of blood tests that is used to measure how well is your thyroid gland is working. This test is most notably used to help diagnose people who are at a risk of developing thyroid disorders.
Thyroid function profile is a group of tests that is used to evaluate the thyroid gland function and to diagnose thyroid disorders. This test is also used to measure the amount of thyroid hormones in the blood, the hormones were chemical substance that flows through the blood to control and regulate the body’s metabolism and how it functions.
The thyroid is basically a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck just below the Adam’s apple. It is part of an intricate network of glands called the endocrine system which is the system that is responsible for coordinating many of your body’s activities.
Thyroid function profile is used to determine the conditions of the thyroid gland and to diagnose people who are at a risk of developing thyroid disorders. There are several common thyroid disorders which are:
- Hashimoto’s disease (a.k.a. chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis)
- Graves’ disease
- Thyroid nodules
Most thyroid disorders cannot be prevented but it is possible to prevent its complication by getting diagnosed right away. It is why thyroid function profile is necessary in order to get an early diagnosis and the correct treatment.
A blood draw is a routine, minimally invasive procedure. During the days immediately after the blood draw, you may notice slight bruising or soreness at the area where the needle was inserted. An ice pack or an over-the-counter pain reliever can help ease your discomfort.
How to Identify?
For the test, a blood sample is required to be drawn from a vein in your arm. Once a blood sample has been retrieved, it will be analysed immediately. Thyroid function profile would consist of these several tests:
- TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone): This test is used to determine the level of thyroid-stimulating hormones. It is also used to determine whether you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. The TSH has a normal test range between 0.4 and 4.0 milli-international units of hormone per liter of blood (mIU/L).
- Free T4 (thyroxine): This test is used to determine the level of thyroxine. The T4 has a normal test range between 9.0 and 25.0 picomoles of hormone per liter of blood (pmol/L).
- Free T3 or Total T3 (triiodothyronine): This test is used to determine triiodothyronine. The T3 has a normal test range between 3.5 and 7.8 picomoles of hormone per liter of blood (pmol/L)
You should make an appointment with your GP and ask for a blood test if you have:
- Symptoms of an over- or under-active thyroid
- Swelling or thickening in the neck
- An irregular or fast heart rate
- High cholesterol (which causes atherosclerosis – a build-up of fat in the arteries)
- Osteoporosis (fragile or thinning bones)
- Fertility problems, abnormal menstrual cycles, recurrent miscarriage, low libido
- Family history of autoimmune disorders, e.g., type 1 diabetes, vitiligo, etc
What to Do?
If your blood work suggests that your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive, your doctor may order a thyroid uptake test or an ultrasound test. These tests will check for structural problems with the thyroid gland, thyroid gland activity, and any tumors that may be causing problems. Based on these findings, your doctor may want to sample tissue from the thyroid to check for cancer.