Thyroid symptoms image

The thyroid gland is a vital organ that controls the metabolism, growth, and development of your body. This butterfly-shaped gland is located on the front of your neck, at the base just below Adam’s apple. This gland produces two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), through which it regulates various body functions.

A matter of grave concern is that the statistics are showing a steady rise in thyroid diseases in the Indian population. At large, thyroid diseases include hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), goiter, thyroid cancer, and thyroid nodules. According to an epidemiological study on thyroid disease*, it is estimated that about 42 million people in India suffer from thyroid diseases, and hypothyroidism happens to be the most common thyroid disease.

Your doctor may use various thyroid tests to check thyroid function that include TSH test, T4 test, T3 test, and thyroid antibody test. Usually, a thyroid panel suffices to check the functioning of your thyroid as it covers the TSH, T3 and T4 that collectively give insight into thyroid health. 

What are thyroid antibodies?

Thyroid antibodies are proteins made by the lymphocytes in your thyroid gland. Lymphocytes are a type of immune cells that are part of the immune system and present in the lymphoid organs. Antibodies help your body fight germs like viruses and bacteria. However, sometimes antibodies may start to attack the body’s own cells, tissues, and organs mistakenly. This is called an autoimmune response.

When thyroid antibodies target and attack healthy thyroid cells, this leads to an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid. While some antibodies may destroy thyroid tissue and lead to low levels of thyroid hormones, others may cause the thyroid to make too much of them. A thyroid antibodies test helps detect thyroid antibodies:

What does it mean when you test positive for thyroid antibodies?

Thyroid antibodies in your blood suggest that your thyroid related symptoms are occuring due to an autoimmune disorder, such as Hashimoto’s disease or Graves’ disease.


Different types of thyroid antibodies and the autoimmune diseases caused by them are listed here:

  • Thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO): These antibodies can indicate:
    • Hashimoto’s disease, also called Hashimoto thyroiditis: It results in lack of thyroid hormones and is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. When your thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones, it is known as hypothyroidism..
    • Graves’ disease: This is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. When the thyroid makes too much of certain thyroid hormones, it is known as hyperthyroidism.
  • Thyroglobulin antibodies (Tg): These antibodies can also be an indicator of Hashimoto disease.
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor: These antibodies can indicate Grave’s disease.

Most people with Hashimoto disease have high levels of both Tg and TPO antibodies. Need to book a thyroid antibody test? Explore Metropolis.thyroid test at home

When should you get tested for thyroid antibodies?

Testing may be ordered if you have symptoms of a thyroid problem and your doctor doubts they may be caused by an autoimmune condition of thyroid (Hashimoto disease or Grave’s disease).

Symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease are:

  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness
  • Hair loss
  • Irregularity of periods
  • Constipation
  • Pain in the joints
  • Low tolerance for cold temperatures

Symptoms of Grave’s disease include:

  • Weight loss
  • Bulging of the eyes
  • Tremors in the hand
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Increased heart rate
  • Swollen thyroid
  • Low tolerance for heat

Have these symptoms and are still awaiting a correct diagnosis? Book your test with Metropolis and get accurate, timely, trustworthy testing, within the comfort of your home. Book thyroid antibodies test here.

What is the difference between hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease?

Hypothyroidism means there is some problem with your thyroid gland while Hashimoto’s disease is a problem with your immune system.

No test preparation is needed.
A thyroid antibody test needs a simple blood sample. No special test preparation is required to nsure the quality of the testing.

Do you need to repeat testing for thyroid antibodies?

Usually, repeat measurements of TPOAb and TgAb in adults is rarely required. Also, it may not usually influence the ongoing treatment. However, in children, repeat antibodies testing may be asked for when they move from child to adult care.

Can you prevent getting thyroid antibodies?

There are no lifestyle changes that can prevent or eliminate thyroid antibodies. Hence, make sure to discuss your symptoms with a doctor to be aware of the autoimmune condition to get started on their management side as soon as possible.

Because thyroid health is crucial!

Your symptoms are an important part of the diagnosis. Do not ignore testing since blood tests are currently the most accurate way to diagnose and manage thyroid disorders. If you have questions about your thyroid disorder, speak to your doctor. As advised, ensure to get your hormone levels checked on a regular basis and keep a check on your thyroid health.

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Thyroid test symptoms Metropolis Labs

Your body has several glands to perform various body functions. The thyroid is a small gland located at the front of the neck, right at the spot where a bow tie would rest. It makes two types of thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). It helps your body maintain its metabolic rate, and do numerous other things, including getting energy from food, growing, and going through sexual development.

Thyroid tests

The thyroid blood tests (also called thyroid panel) are simple lab tests that check if your thyroid is functioning right or not. In people who have already been diagnosed with thyroid problems, the tests are used to monitor and guide treatment.

Types of thyroid blood tests

  • T4 test: This test measures the levels of the hormone T4 (thyroxine) in your blood. It might be done in one or both of the following ways: Total T4, which measures the total amount of thyroxine in the blood. This includes the amount of T4 attached to blood proteins, which help the hormone move through the bloodstream; and free T4, which measures only the amount of free thyroxine that is not attached to blood proteins.
  • T3 test: This test measures the level of another major thyroid hormone. It again can be of two types: T3 totaI and free T3.
  • TSH test: A thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test is the most significant tool, in a way, to tell how well the thyroid is working. If you have any problem related to the thyroid gland and it prevents the gland from making enough thyroid hormone, another gland, called the pituitary gland, releases more TSH into the blood. If the thyroid is making too much thyroid hormone, the pituitary releases less TSH, which means less TSH levels in the blood.
  • Thyroid antibodies test: There is one thyroid condition, called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune condition. This means the body’s own immune system attacks the thyroid gland. A test that checks for high levels of antibodies helps detect this condition. Antibodies are a sign of the immune system going awry and attacking the thyroid gland. Generally, two types of thyroid antibodies are measured: thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb) and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO).


Symptoms and Diagnosis

  • A high TSH level most often means you have low thyroid hormone levels in the blood (condition is called hypothyroidism), or an underactive thyroid. This implies that your thyroid isn’t making enough hormones. As a result of which the pituitary gland has to make and release extra TSH into your blood to stimulate the thyroid gland.
  • A low TSH level usually means you have high thyroid hormone levels in the blood (condition is called hyperthyroidism), or an overactive thyroid. This implies that your thyroid gland is making excess hormones, and that is why the pituitary gland has reduced or stopped making and releasing TSH into your blood.
  • A high T4 level may mean you have hyperthyroidism. A low level of T4 may mean you have hypothyroidism.
  • If the TSH levels are elevated, T4 levels are normal to low, and T3 levels are normal, it might indicate early hypothyroidism.

In some cases, high or low T4 levels may not mean you have thyroid problems since the levels might be affected due to factors such as pregnancy, certain medicines (oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, etc), severe illness, and other health problems. Basically, these conditions and medicines alter the number of proteins in your blood that “bind,” or attach, to T4.

Please note that your doctor is the best guide to interpret your thyroid test results and suggest the diagnosis.


Hypothyroidism
If your thyroid is underactive, it makes too little thyroid hormone, which leads to hypothyroidism. Your body’s metabolic rate goes down and it uses up energy more slowly. Symptoms include tiredness, feeling cold, constipation, dry skin, infrequent menses or absent periods in women, and slow height growth in children.

Hyperthyroidism
If your thyroid is overactive, it releases too much thyroid hormone, which leads to hyperthyroidism. Your body’s basal metabolic rate goes up and it uses up energy more quickly than it should. Symptoms include sweating, trembling, weight loss, diarrhea, irregular menses or (increased bleeding which might also occur) in women, and fast heartbeat.


Why you may need a thyroid test?

It is not uncommon to have hypothyroidism and still being unaware of the condition. It might take some time for symptoms to be noticeable. Regular thyroid screening helps get diagnosed on time and seek early treatment. It is more important to get tested if thyroid conditions run in your family. The more family members that have thyroid disease, the higher the chances the person will experience a thyroid disease.

Moreover, women of all ages are more likely than men to have low thyroid hormone levels.

If you’re 60 or older, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to see whether your medical history suggests you might benefit from getting testing for thyroid levels.



What you can do

If you seem to have any of the symptoms of low or high thyroid levels, talk to your doctor and get tested as advised. Do not ignore any health symptoms. Getting the right treatment can help you get complete control of your thyroid-related symptoms.

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