The thyroid gland produces hormones integral to regulating the metabolism. If there are too much, or not enough of these hormones in the bloodstream, a person may experience symptoms ranging from chronic discomfort to serious health issues. Such chronic conditions may result from deficits in the thyroid itself, or problems with the hormone production of related glands. A thyroid hormone assessment will be necessary to diagnose the true source of the ailment so a patient may benefit from properly treatment.
When the thyroid overproduces the hormone thyroxine (usually referred to as T4), the result is called hyperthyroidism. This may also result from high levels of a byproduct of T4, the hormone triiodothyronine (or T3). The excess presence of T4 and/or T3 can lead to inexplicable weight loss, rapid heartbeat, excess energy, heavy perspiration, insomnia, and anxiety.
Conversely, low levels of T4 and/or T3 hormones result in the condition called hypothyroidism. This condition presents with the opposite effects of hyperthyroidism. Whereas hyperthyroidism may cause weight loss and excess energy, hypothyroidism leads to irregular weight gain, lethargy, and depression, along with other chronic symptoms related to a low metabolism and overall loss of energy.
Someone experiencing even mild occurrences of these symptoms may benefit from a thyroid hormone assessment to confirm or rule out any disruptive conditions. This may be especially important in newborns, as thyroid hormone imbalances during the first several years of childhood development can result in a particularly negative impact, resulting in chronic conditions including cretinism and anemia.
The Sarapy Clinic offers a number of distinct thyroid hormone assessments in San Diego designed to pinpoint the root causes of thyroid related illness. The following are the most common tests used to determine the source of thyroid-related illnesses.
Free T4 and Free T3 testing
Most T4 and T3 hormones present in the bloodstream are bound to proteins called thyroxine-binding globulin. Since the presence of these proteins rise and fall in relation to diet and other external factors, the presence of bound T4 and T3 hormones fluctuate along with them. Therefore, measuring the levels of bound hormones may lead to inaccurate assessment of thyroid production. Testing the levels of unbound, or free T4 and T3 can result in more accurate thyroid hormone assessment.
A person’s thyroid hormone excess or deficiency doesn’t necessarily reflect a problem in the thyroid gland. The thyroid’s hormone production is itself regulated by the production of a hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). This hormone is produced in the pituitary gland. When the pituitary gland registers low T4 levels in the body, it produces TSH to signal the thyroid to produce T4. If the pituitary gland doesn’t produce proper amounts of TSH, the thyroid hormones are affected, leading to the same aforementioned symptoms.
Pursue the benefits of a thyroid hormone assessment
Contact Serapy Clinic about receiving a thyroid hormone assessment to diagnose these and other thyroid-related conditions.