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What does the thyroid do?

Critical to your metabolism, thyroid function affects your energy level, heart rate, weight control and more. The thyroid-stimulating hormone is produced in the pituitary gland and serves to stimulate the production of thyroid hormones. The TSH helps to diagnose an over- or underactive thyroid state.

What tests are done to determine thyroid function?
  • T-3 uptake determines whether the thyroid is performing properly, and is used mainly to diagnose hyperthyroidism, since T-3 can become abnormal earlier than T-4 and return to normal later than T-4. T-3 is not usually helpful if your doctor thinks you have hypothyroidism.
  • T-4 tells whether the thyroid is performing properly. In adults, the T-4 usually aids in diagnosis of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. This test may also help evaluate a patient with an enlarged thyroid, called a goiter. It may also aid in the diagnosis or monitoring of a female with infertility problems. High free or total T-4 results may indicate an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
  • T-7 is a calculation using the T-3 and T-4 values, also known as the free thyroxin index.
  • TSH High Sensitivity Thyroid stimulating hormones the test most doctors prefer along with the panel to detect underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism) thyroid.

What symptoms will I experience if my thyroid is not functioning properly?
  • Abnormal pulse rate
  • Excess fatigue
  • Abnormal weight gain or loss
  • Hair loss
  • Uncomfortable at room temperature (too hot or cold)

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