thyroid health test
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck that helps maintain your body’s basic functions, such as temperature, heart rate, and growth and development. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is made by the pituitary gland near your brain and stimulates the thyroid to make other important hormones. This test measures your TSH level to help detect thyroid problems.
who should be tested?
Many people with thyroid disorders may not know that anything is wrong or could think that their symptoms are due to other causes. The thyroid function test is recommended for anyone with symptoms of a thyroid issue. Symptoms can vary depending on whether a person’s thyroid is underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism).
symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Weight gain
- Memory loss or forgetfulness
- Dry skin and hair loss
- Hoarse voice
- Sensitivity to cold
- Frequent and/or abnormally heavy menstrual periods
symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Irritability and/or sleep disturbances
- Weight loss
- Muscle weakness
- Sensitivity to heat
- Infrequent and/or very light menstrual periods
what will my test results tell me?
Your test results will be the first step in determining if your thyroid is functioning properly. An abnormal test result may mean there is an underlying issue with your thyroid and should be shared with your personal healthcare provider right away. A normal result can be shared with your personal healthcare provider at your annual visit. You will have an opportunity to speak with a licensed physician, who can answer any questions you may have about your test results and help determine next steps in care in an education session.