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What is a Complete Thyroid Profile?

The Complete Thyroid Profile measures thyroid gland activity, peripheral conversion of thyroid hormone, and thyroid autoantibodies. The thyroid is a gland which is responsible for energy and metabolism of the entire body system. It produces and regulates hormones – which are important for growth and development, mood, and sexual function. Thyroid hormones impact cognitive function, mood, emotions, concentration, memory, and attention. Thyroid dysfunction is one of the most under addressed conditions in medicine today. When the thyroid is low people feel fatigued, lack motivation, have difficulty losing weight, difficulty with concentration, feel depressed, and tend to have more trouble with digestion. If the thyroid is off the entire system feels run down. Better thyroid function helps our immune system, our energy, as well as reproductive function. There are thyroid receptors on every tissue in our body, demonstrating its necessity for all systems. When the thyroid is corrected it is like a light switch coming on the system. We feel restored and more like ourselves. Thyroid imbalances can result in a wide array of symptoms, affecting nearly every system in the body because thyroid hormones are involved in:

  • Carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism
  • Mitochondrial function
  • Digestion
  • Circulation
  • Muscle and nerve function
  • Oxygen use in the body
  • Hormone secretion
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Vitamin utilization

What are Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism?

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormone. This can lead to feelings of fatigue and weakness. If it goes untreated, it can raise cholesterol and increase risk of heart attack or stroke. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one cause of hypothyroidism. The immune system attacks the thyroid and then the body cannot make its own thyroid hormone. While there may be no symptoms early on, untreated hypothyroidism can lead to:

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

  • Depression
  • Dry skin and brittle nails
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods
  • Obesity
  • Joint pain
  • Infertility
  • Constipation
  • Memory problems or having trouble thinking clearly

What is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid makes too much thyroid hormone. Graves’ disease is a common cause of hyperthyroidism and it occurs because the body’s immune system is incorrectly attacking the thyroid gland. When the thyroid fights back, it produces extra thyroid hormone. Sometimes increased thyroid hormone can be caused by swollen thyroid or small growths called thyroid nodules. There may be no symptoms at all or hyperthyroidism can cause the following symptoms:

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

  • Nervous, moody, weak, or tired
  • Hands may shake; heart may beat fast or breathing problems
  • Sensation of being hot and sweaty or having warm, red, itchy skin
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Fine, thin hair and hair loss
  • Weight loss without change in eating patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep problems or restlessness
  • Goiter or thyroid nodules
  • Irregular menstrual periods in women
  • Fatigue

Improving thyroid function can help prevent depression, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Both men and women need healthy thyroid function for optimal sexual and reproductive health. Thyroid hormone is also important in lipid metabolism.

What Does the Complete Thyroid Profile Test For?

Standard measures of thyroid function according to the Journal of Endocrinology miss up to half the population. You must assess each step in thyroid function to know that the entire pathway is working effectively. Abnormalities in thyroid function can be indicative of different nutrient deficiencies, auto-immune conditions and even a risk factor for certain cancers. Thyroid drives metabolism and is therefore critical for optimal well-being. Thyroid antibodies are indicative of certain nutritional deficiencies and are risk factors for cancer. Reverse T3 lets us know how stress is affecting metabolism. The Complete Thyroid Profile Measures:

  • T4, Total – T4 (thyroxine) is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. This test measures the amount of T4 in your blood.
  • T4, Free – Most of the T4 in your body binds to protein, the T4 that does not is called T4 and circulates unbound in your blood. This test measures these T4 hormones.
  • T3, Total – T3 (triiodothyronine) is a thyroid hormone and is important for the body’s control of metabolism. This test measures the amount of T3 in your blood.
  • T3, Free – Most of the T3 in your body binds to protein, the T3 that does not is called T3 and circulates unbound in your blood. This test measures these T3 hormones.
  • T3, Reverse – Reverse T3 is converted by the liver from the stored hormone T4, it is the body’s way of getting rid of unneeded T4 every day. Sometimes the body can make too much reverse T3 from a number of causes including chronic emotional, physical, or biological stress, chronic sickness, after surgery, diabetes, aging, or an acute injury. This test measures for levels of reverse T3.
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – TSH causes the thyroid gland to make two hormones, T3 and T4, which help control your body’s metabolism. This test is done to find out whether the thyroid gland is working properly.
  • Thyroglobulin Antibody – Thyroglobulin is a protein produced and used by the thyroid gland to make the hormones T3 and T4. Antibodies are the proteins made by the immune system to fight toxins, bacteria, and viruses. High levels of antibodies suggest the immune system is mistakenly attacking the thyroid gland. This test measures the blood levels of antibodies the body has made against the compound thyroglobulin.
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody – Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is an enzyme made in the thyroid gland and is important in producing the thyroid hormone. TPO converts to thyroid hormone T4 to T3. High levels of antibodies suggest the immune system is mistakenly attacking the thyroid gland. This test measures the level of antibody the body has made against thyroid peroxidase.

What Should I do Before I Take This Test?

  • Inform your practitioner of all medications and supplements you are currently taking.
  • Arrange serum collection for Monday-Thursday.
  • See instructions inside test kit for blood draw.

How are Thyroid Hormone Imbalances Treated?

Doctors may prescribe thyroid supplementation, nutrients to support the thyroid gland, and/or dietary and lifestyle changes.

What is a Basic Thyroid Profile?

A basic thyroid profile includes TSH, free and total T3 and T4. This can be used for an abbreviated snap shot or for follow-up test.