Hormones are tiny chemical messengers that allow communication between multiple organs and glands. So, when one hormone is out of whack, it affects multiple organ systems and metabolic reactions. For example - The thyroid hormone is one of the major players in controlling several metabolic reactions in the body. That includes how nutrients are broken down to release energy, your body temperature, gut health, heart rate, and even your brain functions. That is the only reason getting your thyroid levels tested at least twice a year (even if you have no symptoms) is always the smart thing to do.
Should you get your thyroid profile tested?
Here are a few common signs of low thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) or hypothyroidism –
- Sudden weight gain
- Low energy levels and excessive fatigue
- Dry skin
- Low cold tolerance
- Hair fall and dryness
- Brain fog and sudden mood swings
- Joint pain
- Muscle weakness
And, here are some signs of high thyroid hormones or hyperthyroidism –
- Loss of weight
- Tachycardia or fast heartbeat
- Protrusion of eyes or excessive puffiness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Digestive problems
- Confusion and delirium
- Muscle weakness and tremors Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can appear similar. They often overlap with symptoms of other metabolic disorders. Therefore, it is crucial to get your complete thyroid profile if you are experiencing some or almost all of the above-mentioned symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
What is a full thyroid profile test?
Commonly, a thyroid profile test consists of only 3 or 4 parameters. These are – Free T3, Free T4, TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), and Reverse T3. Reverse T3 tests are not that common. It measures the level of biologically inactive Reverse T3 that is present in the person's body. In a healthy individual, the measure of Reverse T3 does not indicate the presence of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The levels of Free T3, Free T4, and TSH should indicate whether a person has hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or normal thyroid function. However, these parameters are not enough to determine the cause of any abnormalities in the thyroid hormone levels.
Therefore, at Jeevam Health, we do not consider this the full thyroid profile of an individual. The basic essential thyroid profile (and function) test should include the following test parameters –
- Total T3
- Total T4
- Free T3
- Free T4
- Anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO)
- Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb) If all the values are within the thyroid profile test normal range, then your doctor may not recommend further testing or any medicines/supplements. However, experts always recommend thyroid check-ups and tests twice every year, especially, if your family has a history of thyroid disorders.
What is the thyroid profile test normal range?
Here’s what a normal thyroid profile should look like.
|Test||Lower value||Upper value|
|TSH||0.40 mIU/mL||4.50 mIU/mL|
|Total T3||80 ng/dl||180 ng/dl|
|Total T4||4.6 ug/dl||12 ug/dl|
|Free T3||230 pg/d||619 pg/d|
|Free T4||0.7 ng/dl||1.9 ng/dl|
|Anti-thyroid peroxidase (Anti-TPO)||Varies with method|
|Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)||Varies with method|
The value of the thyroid profile test normal range may vary with the sensitivity of the methods used. You should always get your tests done from a pathology laboratory with standardized machinery and methods.
What happens when your thyroid test values aren’t within normal range?
If your test values are different from a normal thyroid profile, your functional medicine doctor will recommend more tests to determine the root cause of your thyroid problems. Since thyroid hormones can affect other organ systems, and other hormones may affect the thyroid gland, these tests are indispensable for receiving a proper diagnosis. Your functional medicine doctor or endocrinologist may recommend other tests including –
- A nutrition profile (Vit D, Vit B12, Magnesium, Iron panel with ferritin)
- Inflammation proteins
- Cardiometabolic functions (fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1c, Fasting Insulin, Homocysteine, Lipid profile)
- Liver function test (SGPT, SGOT, Alkaline phosphatase, total protein, total bilirubin)
- Kidney function test (Blood Urea Nitrogen, serum creatinine, uric acid) Besides considering the test results, a functional medicine doctor will listen to all the major life events that may have affected your thyroid function. A complete assessment of pre-existing health conditions, surgeries (if any), illnesses, and stress levels is necessary to provide a root cause of thyroid disease. Without a root cause analysis, it is impossible to find the correct treatment for thyroid disorders.