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Thyroid Blood Testing

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:16 AM   #1
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Thyroid Blood Testing


Could someone explain the thyroid blood tests to me so that when I talk to my doctor, I will sound like I understand this?

Exactly what is the TSH testing?

What is free T3 and free T4?

My doctor only tests for TSH, but told me he could check the others, probably because I am having symptoms even after 3 changes in lowering my Armour.


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Old 02-23-2008, 12:26 PM   #2
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Re: Thyroid Blood Testing

The thyroid gland is one of several glands that make up the endocrine system. The glands of the endocrine system produce hormones that regulate the body's growth, metabolism, and sexual development and function.

Basic thyroid facts and information:
Specifically, the thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland found just below the Adam's apple at the base of the neck, and in front of the trachea. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland are called T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine) hormones. What do they do? Well they "control the rate at which every part of your body works (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 1999)" (i.e. your metabolism), as well as your body temperature, muscle tone and vigor, and growth hormone secretions -- essentially influencing every organ, tissue, and cell in the body. Your thyroid is your body;s overseerer.. when it no longer functions thing get out of line quickly. Free T3 and T4 measure the active levels of T3 and T4 in your blood stream. These tests are not subject to pregnancy hormones, BCs, meno treatments, diet, medications, or supplements. There is only a 2.5-5% error in this test. Total T3 and T4 measure actual T3 and T4 levels indirectly. They have a larger source of error and are subject to hormonal supplements, medications, diet.. etc.

The thyroid gland is controlled by a gland in the brain known as the pituitary. The pituitary gland makes thyroid-stimulating hormone (THS). THS stimulates the thyroid gland to make more hormone if needed (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 1999). If you have a problem with the pituitary gland or are producing specific hormones that interfere with the Pituitary glands receptors you can be secondary hypothyroid. This is where the TSH stays low when it should rise to reflect need for more thyroid hormone.

You should also get the TPOAb and TGAb tests run. These test for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. The TPOAb is 90-95% positive identifier of Hashi's.

Good luck.
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