A Tiny Gland That Does A Big Job: Is Your Thyroid Working Properly?

A lot of people don’t even think about their thyroid… at least until something goes wrong with it. It’s involved in so many of your bodily functions it’s like a jack-of-all-trades. From your heart rate to your body temperature to your blood pressure, your thyroid gland has its fingers in all of your pies. That’s why it’s so important for you to make sure it’s functioning properly. Any Lab Test Now® has several options that can help you take control of your own thyroid health.

Small Gland: Big Job

Your thyroid makes two hormones — T3 and T4. These hormonal workers slip into your bloodstream, which takes them all over the body. They are sort of like the big boss of your worker cells: they regulate the speed in which your cells work. Too much of them and you may find yourself with a pounding heart and weight loss. Not enough, you may find that you feel exhausted all the time and are gaining weight.

Hyperthyroidism Explained

When your thyroid is making too much of these hormones, it’s called hyperthyroidism. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that about 1 out of every 100 people suffers from an over-active thyroid. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Thinning hair
  • Muscle weakness
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Heart racing
  • Increased sweating

Thyroid problems are often caused by autoimmune disorders, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the body’s own cells. Graves’ disease can cause the thyroid to become over-active.

Hypothyroidism Explained

Likewise, when your thyroid isn’t making enough hormones, it’s called hypothyroidism. The NIH says this is much more common, with nearly 1 in 20 Americans ages 12 and older suffering from hypothyroidism. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Feeling cold
  • Dry skin
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Constipation

And just like hyperthyroidism, autoimmune disorders can cause hypothyroidism. The most common is called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It’s important to note that the thyroid can also be affected by cancer. It generally has no symptoms, but is also considered fairly rare.

Let Any Lab Test Now Help

Your local Any Lab Test Now offers a wide range of thyroid lab tests. In all, there are nine different tests that can monitor your thyroid health. One of our experts can help you decide which one works best for you. Some of our most common are:

  • THYROID PANELThis panel includes the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Test, the T4 Total, Free T3, Free T4, and the Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies Test.
  • FREE T3This test measures free, unbound levels of triiodothyronine in your bloodstream. Free T3 is considered more accurate than Total T3. Free T3 is typically elevated in hyperthyroidism.
  • FREE T4This test measures the free, unbound levels of thyroxine levels in your bloodstream. Free T4 is typically elevated in patients with hypothyroidism.

A Final Note

Thyroid problems are most likely to occur in women, or in people over the age of 60. There is also a hereditary component. Having a family member with a history of thyroid disorders also increases your risk. Both hypo- and hyperthyroidism can be treated. Getting a diagnosis is the first step. Any Lab Test Now can help you take a big problem and make it manageable.

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