There are several kinds of thyroid testing that are usually used by professionals to determine whether a woman has hyperthyroidism. Here are the commonly used thyroid tests:
- Triiodothyronine test. Popularly known as T3 test, this is done to determine the T3 or Triiodothyronine level in the blood.
- T3RU test. This test is also known as T3 resin uptake. The same is conducted to determine the level of a specific protein in the blood.
- Thyroxine test, also known as T4 test. A laboratory test is done to check the level of T4 in the blood.
- Thyroid scan or radioactive iodine screening test. This is conducted to see whether your thyroid gland is working well.
- TSH test. Thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH test determines the level of TSH secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. This has become the most controversial thyroid testing today.
Understanding the TSH Test
TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone test is a blood test done to determine whether a woman’s thyroid gland is functioning well or not. The TSH test is usually conducted to determine if a person has an overactive thyroid gland or hyperthyroidism. Women with hyperthyroidism often experience unexplainable weight loss, rapid heart rate, nervousness, and diarrhea.
TSH test is very sensitive that physicians can find out even the mildest thyroid malfunction. Hence, patients can be treated immediately, preventing them from further suffering.
How It Is Done
Thyroid testing to specifically check for hyperthyroidism is usually done in the following process:
- A blood sample is taken from the person who requested for a TSH test. Normally a blood sample is taken from inside of the elbow or at the back of the hand.
- The blood sample is kept in an air tight container or tube.
- It will then be brought to the laboratory for analysis.
- In the laboratory, medical technologist will measure the TSH level.
- They will then determine whether you have a normal TSH level or not.
What to Do before the TSH test
Before a TSH test will be conducted, your doctor will advise you not to take any kind of medications within a certain number of hours. The drugs you take may interfere with the test results. Hence, it will be difficult to determine your true TSH level. Drugs that may affect TSH test results are amiodarone, drugs for antithyroid, dopamine, lithium, potassium iodide, and prednisone.
Risks in Taking the TSH Test
This kind of thyroid testing is not without risks. Here are the risks involved in the TSH Test.
- Continuous bleeding
- Possibility of skin infection
- Sometime it can give several punctures to locate veins
Accuracy of the Thyroid Testing
TSH testing has now become controversial in the medical industry. Some claim it to be the best thyroid test to determine thyroid problems. However, there are some medical professionals who questioned the accuracy of the TSH test. They claim that TSH test cannot give you an accurate result for the following reasons:
- Each individual person is unique. The thyroid hormone level of one person may be differs from another. Teenagers are most likely to produce higher levels of thyroid hormone because the hormones are at their peak during puberty.
- Results of the thyroid testing is determined only on the day the test is conducted. The results can be inconclusive because what a person eats for the day will affect her thyroid hormone level.