The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system and is responsible for controlling the metabolic rate (or pace) of all the processes in the body. If there is a deficiency of circulating thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), every function of your body tends to slow down. On the other hand, if there is over production of thyroid hormones, the metabolic rate speeds up.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
TSH is the hormone produced by your pituitary gland that helps control the thyroid gland. TSH prompts your thyroid gland to make more thyroid hormones and usually increases when T3 and T4 levels drop. When T4 and T3 levels become too high this switches off the production of TSH, by the pituitary, telling the thyroid to slow down the production of thyroid hormones.
Free T4 and Free T3
This measures the amount of hormone produced by the thyroid. T3 is the more active hormone and conversion from T4 to T3 is important to measure. If T4 and T3 levels are normal despite an abnormal TSH, this may indicate an issue with the pituitary gland or reduced uptake of thyroid hormones.
Thyroid antibodies (anti-thyroglobulin and anti-thyroid peroxidase) are found in autoimmune thyroiditis such as Hashimoto’s or Grave’s disease, the most common forms of hypo- or hyperthyroidism.
It is also important to differentiate between autoimmune thyroid conditions and non-autoimmune as the nutritional approach is quite different. In addition, thyroid antibodies in the absence of altered TSH or T4 can indicate an increased risk of developing a thyroid problem in the future.
Reverse T3 (rT3) is produced as a secondary product and is not metabolically active. There may be an increase in rT3 during conditions of stress. This can be added to the profile if needed.
What this test measures:
- Total T4
- Antibodies – anti-thyroglobulin (anti-Tg) and anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO)
- Reverse T3 (optional)
Who should take this test?
- Anyone experiencing symptoms of thyroid dysfunction
- Patients already diagnosed with thyroid dysfunction even if on thyroid medication but who are still experiencing symptoms
- Patients who may have subclinical thyroid dysfunction or may be in the early stages
- Anyone with unexplained infertility
- We will send a referral to get the blood taken.
- The test results will be returned to your nutritionist.
- The test results will be interpreted by your nutritionist at the consultation and then a personalised diet and supplement programme will be tailored to you needs.