Thyroid disorders are one of the most prevalent medical conditions in the world, particularly for women, with an increasing number of people suffering from an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Let’s take a closer look at the thyroid including the symptoms of thyroid issues, plus how to check your thyroid at home if you think you might be living with a thyroid condition.
What is the thyroid gland?
The British Thyroid Foundation defines the thyroid as “an endocrine gland in your neck. It makes two hormones that are secreted into the blood: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are necessary for all cells in your body to work normally.”
So, if your thyroid gland is not working properly, then neither are you.
How does the thyroid gland work?
Thyroid function is controlled by the pituitary gland ( a small peanut-sized gland) at the base of the brain. When the T4 and T4 hormones drop too low, the pituitary gland will produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to prompt the thyroid gland to produce more essential hormones.
The function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine from your food and convert it into the thyroid hormones – T4 and T3.
What are the symptoms of thyroid problems?
The symptoms of thyroid problems can be difficult to spot as it is easy to put them down to a busy schedule or changes in your diet.
The NHS lists some of the most common symptoms of thyroid issues as:
- being sensitive to cold
- weight gain
- slow movement and thoughts
- muscle aches and weaknesses
- muscle cramps
- dry and scaly skin
- brittle hair and nails
- loss of libido (sex drive)
- pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome)
- irregular or heavy periods
Underactive Thyroid / Hypothyroidism Explained
An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) happens when the thyroid gland does not screte enough hormones.
It is caused by:
- Low levels of iodine
- Inflammation of the thyroid gland due to autoimmune reactions
- Radiation exposure
How does the Test2Go Thyroid Health Test work?
The thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is secreted by the pituitary gland to regulate the function of the thyroid. A higher than normal TSH level can be an indicator of an underactive thyroid gland.
A positive result from the Thyroid Health Test indicates a TSH level of over 5μIU/mL and so it is likely that you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
What should I do if the test result is positive?
If the test result is positive it is an indication that the TSH level in your blood is higher than normal and so you should speak to your doctor and mention the results. They will then be able to decide whether they need to perform any additional investigation.
What should I do if the result is negative?
If the rest result is negative then your TSH level is within the normal range. However, you should consult your doctor if your symptoms continue.
How accurate is the Thyroid Health Test?
The Test2Go Thyroid Health Test has been used for more than 10 years by healthcare professionals in hospitals and laboratories as it is accurate. A comparison of the test with reference laboratory methods shows an overall agreement of at least 95.5%.
Although the test is reliable, all medical tests may give a small number of false-positive or false-negative results.