What Is a Thyroid Blood Test and When Should You Take It?
Even though we don’t always think about it, there are times when taking care of our health means getting tested for various disorders. This can be uncomfortable and time-consuming, but it is a necessary part of staying healthy. One organ that often gets overlooked, even though it is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight and various other functions in the body, is the thyroid. A thyroid blood test is one of those important tests that makes sure your body is functioning properly.
What does the thyroid do?
The thyroid gland is an organ in the throat with one lobe on either side of the windpipe connected by a small strand of tissue known as an isthmus.
This tiny organ is essentially responsible for regulating the way energy is used in the body. It controls the metabolism as well as how much energy cells use on tasks.
As such, it has a great effect on the body, and if not functioning properly, it can cause a number of problems. The thyroid regulates energy in the body by producing a pair of hormones: thyroxine and triiodothyronine. When these hormones are produced at regular intervals, the body’s energy production and energy usage are in sync. The body can control how much energy is burned and at what rate (your metabolism). The pituitary gland regulates the thyroid in the base of the skull beneath the brain. When the thyroid is off-balance, the pituitary gland submits a hormone of its own to try and reregulate the thyroid.
What is thyroid disease?
Thyroid disease is a generic term for any type of dysfunction in the thyroid gland. A dysfunction in the gland occurs when the gland starts producing too little or too much of one of the metabolism-regulating hormones.
In some cases, the thyroid may produce too little of the necessary hormones, which can result in symptoms like fatigue and weight gain from low metabolism, as well as increased or decreased heart rate and slowed breathing.
In other cases, the opposite is true. The metabolism increases, blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate may increase, and weight loss occurs.
In either case, it can be incredibly detrimental to a person’s health if left untreated and can lead to a host of other medical conditions.
What is a thyroid blood test?
A blood test for thyroid or blood panel is a specialized lab test that is used to determine thyroid disease by measuring the levels of the two thyroid hormones in the blood. If the thyroid blood test results show that the levels are out of balance, then that represents an issue in the thyroid that needs to be corrected.
The test is done by drawing blood from a vein and testing it for specific hormone levels. The test may check for individual thyroid hormones, free-floating hormones in the blood, or even thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) that is produced by the pituitary gland.
When do you need the test?
While there are many disease-specific symptoms, the most common symptoms that may indicate thyroid irregularities include changes in weight and increases or decreases that are sudden and unexplained. This is also the case for increases or decreases in heart rate, intense fatigue, and sensitivity to heat or cold.
Benefits of in-home lab tests
Getting lab tests doesn’t have to be a hassle. You can order at-home tests that let you avoid the lines, the waiting rooms, and the potential exposure to other illnesses. A nurse simply comes to your home, administers the test, and sends it off for results.
Schedule your at Home Thyroid Test with Driphydration
Drip Hydration can help you determine if your thyroid is functioning properly with in-home tests . One of our medical professionals will visit your home to collect samples for testing and consult with you to help you understand your results. Give us a call or make an appointment by clicking the button below!Book a Thyroid Test
Lab Testing - Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important to do lab tests occasionally?
It is important to do lab tests occasionally because they can provide valuable information about an individual's health and help to identify potential health issues early on. Lab tests can measure a wide range of factors, including blood count, cholesterol levels, liver and kidney function, and hormone levels, and can provide insight into an individual's overall health and wellness. Additionally, lab tests can help to diagnose and monitor the progression of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and can help to identify any potential health risks or concerns. By doing lab tests occasionally, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain their health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of potential health problems in the future.
How accurate are lab tests?
Overall, lab tests are generally considered to be accurate and reliable, but there is always a chance of error and it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to interpret the results.
How is a blood sample collected for lab testing?
A blood sample for lab testing is typically collected through a process called venipuncture, which involves inserting a small needle into a vein to draw blood. This is usually done on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.
What does a routine blood test cover?
A routine blood test is used to check for a range of things, including your blood count and the levels of certain chemicals and substances in your blood. Blood tests can also be used to check how well certain organs, such as your liver and kidneys, are functioning.
What does routine lab work cover?
Routine lab work typically includes a blood test, which is used to check for a range of things, including your blood count and the levels of certain chemicals and substances in your blood. In addition to a blood test, routine lab work may also include other tests, such as urine and stool tests, which can help diagnose and monitor conditions related to the kidneys, liver, and digestive system.
Can a blood test identify cancer?
In some cases, cancer can be detected with a blood test. However, not all cancers can be detected with a blood test, and some blood tests can produce false-positive or false-negative results.
Can a blood test find other particular issues like problems with the heart, liver, or kidneys?
Yes, a blood test can sometimes be used to detect heart, liver, and kidney problems. Blood tests can also be used to measure the levels of certain substances in your blood, such as cholesterol and glucose, which can help diagnose and monitor conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. In addition, a blood test can check your blood count, which can provide information about the health of your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. However, it is important to note that a blood test is not always able to detect heart, liver, and kidney problems, and other tests, such as imaging scans or biopsies, may be needed to confirm a diagnosis.
What distinguishes a diagnostic test from a screening test?
A screening test is a type of test that is used to identify people who may be at increased risk of a particular condition, such as cancer or heart disease. In contrast, a diagnostic test is a type of test that is used to confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis. So, the main difference between a screening test and a diagnostic test is the purpose for which the test is being performed.
Why do lab tests occasionally need to be repeated?
One common reason is that the initial test results were inconclusive or unclear, and repeating the test can help provide more accurate results. Lab tests may also be repeated if the initial results were abnormal and more information is needed to diagnose or monitor a condition. In addition, some lab tests are designed to be repeated on a regular basis, such as to monitor the effectiveness of a treatment or to check for any changes in a person's health over time. Finally, lab tests may be repeated if the initial test was performed incorrectly, or if there was some other problem with the sample that was collected.
Does having normal lab test results indicate I shouldn't worry about anything?
Having normal lab test results does not necessarily mean that you have nothing to worry about. Additionally, lab tests are not always able to detect all health conditions, and some conditions may not produce abnormal test results until they have progressed to a more advanced stage.
What should I do after I have my lab test results?
After you have your lab test results, it is always best to discuss them with your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will be able to interpret the results in the context of your overall health and medical history, and they will be able to recommend any necessary follow-up tests or treatments.
What is the cost of a lab test?
In general, the cost of a lab test can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. It is always best to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to get an accurate estimate of the cost of a lab test.
How is a blood sample for a lab test collected?
A blood sample for a lab test is typically collected through a process called venipuncture. This involves using a needle and syringe to draw blood from a vein, typically in the arm. The skin is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and a tourniquet is placed around the upper arm to help make the veins more visible. The healthcare provider performing the venipuncture will then insert the needle into a vein and collect the required amount of blood. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for testing.
Should I do anything to prepare for lab tests?
It is generally a good idea to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider to determine what, if any, preparations are necessary for your lab tests. In general, it is a good idea to follow any instructions provided by your healthcare provider, such as fasting for a certain amount of time before the test or avoiding certain medications. It is also a good idea to bring a list of all medications you are currently taking to your lab appointment.
Why is it necessary to fast before some tests?
Fasting before certain lab tests is often necessary because certain substances in the blood, such as glucose and certain fats, can affect the results of the test. By fasting, you are allowing your body to metabolize these substances, which can provide more accurate test results. Additionally, some tests require that you fast in order to properly prepare your body for the test.
Will a cup of coffee before my lab test mess with the results?
Whether or not you can have a cup of coffee before your test will depend on the specific test that you are undergoing and any instructions provided by your healthcare provider. If you are unsure about whether or not you can have a cup of coffee before your test, it is always best to ask your healthcare provider for advice.
Can my lab test get affected by diet or medications?
Yes, your diet and medications can affect the results of your lab tests.
What do the lab test results mean?
The specific meaning of your lab test results will depend on the specific test that was performed and the reference range provided by the laboratory. The reference range is the range of values that is considered normal for a healthy person, and it is used to interpret the results of your lab test. If your test results fall within the reference range, it generally means that there is nothing unusual or concerning about your test results. However, if your test results are outside of the reference range, it may indicate a potential health concern that should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
Where are the reference (normal) ranges for lab tests?
The reference ranges for lab tests, also known as normal ranges, are determined by the laboratory that performs the test. These ranges are based on a large number of test results from healthy individuals, and they are used to interpret the results of your lab test. The reference range for each test is typically provided on the laboratory report along with your test results.
What if my lab test result is outside the reference range?
If your lab test result is outside of the reference range, it may indicate a potential health concern that should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Additionally, the reference range is just a general guide, and there may be other factors that can affect your test results.
How can I improve my lab test results?
There are several steps you can take to improve your lab test results. First, it is important to follow any instructions provided by your healthcare provider when preparing for a lab test, such as fasting for a certain amount of time before the test or avoiding certain medications. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help improve your lab test results. This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking. If you have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, it is important to manage it properly and follow your healthcare provider's recommendations for treatment.
Does having abnormal lab test results indicate that I have a health issue?
Having abnormal lab test results does not necessarily mean that you have a health issue. There are many factors that can affect the accuracy of lab test results, such as your diet, medications, and other medical conditions. Additionally, the reference range used to interpret your test results is just a general guide, and there may be other factors that can affect your test results.