Thyroid hormones are often referred to as the “Goldilocks Hormones.” Just like the heroine of the famous childhood fairy tale, you need to take the Thyroid Function Test at the right time to get accurate results.
While the T3, T4 and TSH tests of today are highly accurate, your hormone levels vary from one day to the next. While these minor fluctuations do not matter in most cases, there are times when you may be tested too low on a particular day and too high the very next day.
Getting it right is essential as the results of your test determine whether you require medication and if yes, in what dosage. To help you prepare for the Thyroid tests, it’s essential to understand the functions of the thyroid glands and what you can do to produce the most accurate results.
Thyroid Glands: An overview
It’s a small gland that is located in your neck region. Its duty is to fetch iodine from the blood stream and combine it with an amino acid, to help you secrete thyroid hormones. The role of these hormones is to maintain your metabolism.
Hyperthyroidism – Result of an over-working thyroid gland
Hypothyroidism – Result of an under-worked thyroid gland
Thyroid Testing: Purpose and Types
These tests determine if your thyroid glands are functioning to the optimum level. The two main types of thyroid tests are:
This test serves as an indicator of the functioning of your thyroid glands.
The standard range for an adult lies between 0.4 to 5.5 mU/mL
Triiodothyronine (T3) & Thyroxine (T4) Tests
This test is used to assess the functioning of this gland as well as to determine the efficiency of medications prescribed to regulate your thyroid levels.
The normal range for T3 lies between 100 to 200 ng/dL
The normal range for T4 between 5 to 11 µg/dL
Guidelines for preparing for thyroid tests:
• The first step is selecting the right diagnostic lab. Check out the accreditations, the quality of the equipment and staff, and the Thyroid and TSH Test Price to help you find the right lab.
• These tests can be taken anytime during the day and don't require fasting.
• Always maintain a consistent pattern for testing (same time of the day/same manner either fasting or non-fasting) to get accurate and constant results.
• Wear a short-sleeved or loose sleeved dress, as the blood required for the testing is usually drawn from your arms.
• If you aren’t experiencing the benefits of your medication, then consult your doctor to schedule tests at different times of the day, to see how the values vary.
• Whenever possible, try to take your hormone medicines after the test. If not possible, schedule a test at least five to six hours after taking the medication.
• Don’t try to self-prescribe. Always take the right medications in the correct dosage to get an accurate reflection of the functioning of your thyroid glands.
• If your current medications aren’t that effective, don’t make the mistake of skipping them. Continue your medications till you consult your doctor and have further tests done.
The Bottom Line
While thyroid deficiency is a severe disorder, you can catch it early and stay safe with the right medications. Don’t delay and schedule a test if you find any symptoms.