Thyroid Function Tests: Procedure, Side Effects, and Results

Health and Nutrition

What is a thyroid gland?

A thyroid gland is a small endocrine gland located in the neck below the Adam’s apple. It produces thyroxine and triiodothyronine hormones. These hormones help regulate digestive functions, control muscles, aid in brain development and maintain the bones. The thyroid gland needs enough iodine supply to perform efficiently. 



Diagnosing your thyroid gland function includes a sequence of blood tests. It helps the doctor to know how efficiently the thyroid gland is performing. If your thyroid gland is producing more hormones, it may cause anxiety, panic attacks and tremors. This condition is called hyperthyroidism.

Venipuncture is the most common method to detect thyroid gland efficiency. It is a process performed in the lab by well-trained nurses. A health care professional will draw blood from your arm and send it to a lab for testing. The doctor will then talk to you about your test results.


Side effects

You need to inform the doctor during your first visit if you are a sugar patient or pregnant. If you are a sugar patient you might find it difficult to stop the blood flow after the needle puncture, and if you are pregnant the procedure of blood analysis needs to be adjusted to get the perfect results. 



There are various types of blood tests like T4 and TSH and T3. Generally, T4 and TSH tests are done together. If your thyroid gland is producing a high level of T4, you may suffer from anxiety, sudden weight loss, diarrhea, and panic attacks. This is called hyperthyroidism. The T4 test is done to test the thyroxine hormone. 

TSH is known as the thyroid-stimulating hormone. The TSH test is done to detect the level of TSH in your blood. Its normal level ranges between 0.4 and 4.0 mI U/liter of blood. If you are having symptoms of hypothyroidism and have a TSH reading of 2.0 mI U/L, you will gain weight. 


The T3 test is suggested only if the T4 and TSH tests have indicated hypothyroidism or you have an overactive thyroid gland. A level of 100-200 ng/dl is taken as normal. 


Whether your gland is over performing or underactive, regular checkups will intimate you about the slightest difference in the levels.

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