Hormones don’t just play an important role in your body, they are absolutely essential to nearly every physiological function. The thyroid gland is a major producer of hormones and thyroid disorders can lead to complications with mood, metabolism, protein synthesis, appearance, and many other aspects of your health.
Being tested for thyroid disorders is crucial as tests can help diagnose hyper and hypothyroidism as well as autoimmune diseases such as Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Additionally, thyroid disorders go hand-in-hand with other hormonal conditions such menopause, adrenal issues, and PCOS, which cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms that may be need to be assessed.
Before you ask your MD or DO about thyroid testing, understand they will likely only have the standard TSH and Free T4 tests performed. The reality is this is only the tip of the iceberg. These tests often miss many disorders that are otherwise detected with more advanced testing.
Here are a few facts about thyroid complications in the United States:
- It’s estimated 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid disease.
- More than 70% of hyperthyroid cases are caused by overproduction of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) by the thyroid gland.
- Hypothyroidism accounts for approximately 80% of patients with thyroid disorders.
Some of the effects of thyroid problems can be seen visibly. These issues include:
- Thinning or loss of hair on the scalp, eyebrows, and pubic region.
- Brittleness of nails.
- Swelling around the eyes or neck (myxedema)
- Swelling of the thyroid gland itself (goiter)
- Swelling in the armpits or groin (hidradenitis suppuritiva)
A thyroid test can help diagnose a disorder and then a treatment plan can be put in place. If you are concerned you may have a problem with your thyroid, make an appointment to be tested.
At SCNM we commonly order the following comprehensive thyroid panel: TSH, Free T4, Free T3, anti-TPO, anti-TG antibodies, and RT3.
No doctor appointment or referral necessary.