Thyroid Assessment Quiz | Check Signs and Symptoms | Test For Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism and Autoimmune Disorders

Thyroid Assessment

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Thyroid Assessment Signs and Symptoms—Test For Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism and Autoimmune Disorders

Currently, approximately 30 million Americans suffer with a thyroid disorder. As many as half, go undiagnosed and untreated, however. Because many individuals don’t know they have a medical condition, or mistake certain symptoms for age-related disorders, they continue to struggle. And while men do get thyroid disorders, ten times as many women are afflicted with a thyroid-related condition.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in front of the windpipe and responsible for the production of hormones, thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and calcitonin.[2]

What does the thyroid do?

The thyroid produces thyroid hormone (TH) that affects how the body uses energy, regulating temperature, metabolism, and heartbeat.

What symptoms may indicate a thyroid disorder?[1]

  • Increased weight
  • Weight loss
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Depression
  • Alteration in taste buds
  • Increased/decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Pale dry skin
  • Feeling jittery
  • Brain fog
  • Thinning Hair
  • High blood pressure/cholesterol
  • Hoarse voice
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Sleeping too much
  • Infertility (women)
  • Change in menstrual periods
  • Low libido

Types of Thyroid Disorders

  • Hyperthyroidism is indicated when thyroid hormone levels are too high.
  • Graves’ disease is the most common form of hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism may be present when thyroid hormone levels are too low.
  • Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Thyroid nodules or thyroid cancer may also be caused from Hashimoto’s disease.[2]

What thyroid tests can I take?

The following blood tests are available to help measure thyroid function:

  • Thyroid Panel
  • T3 Free (FT3)
  • T4 Free (FT4)
  • T4 Total
  • TSH
  • Anti-Thyroglobulin Ab
  • Anti-TPO Ab
  • Thyroglobulin
  • Thyroxine-Binding Globulin (TBG)

Thyroid Tests Defined

TSH Test—This test is usually ordered first to determine the current blood concentration of T4 and T3. TSH is created in the pituitary gland and tells the thyroid how much T4 and T3 to make.

T4 Test (Free or Total)—This test measures the amount of thyroxine (T4) found in the blood.

T3 Test—T3 tests indicate triiodothyronine levels in the bloodstream.

Thyroid Antibody Test—This test checks for thyroid antibodies in the blood.

Thyroglobulin—This test is generally only used for individuals who have undergone thyroid cancer surgery to monitor patients after treatment.

Thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG)—This tests for levels of the glycoprotein, TBG made by the liver, which binds both T4 and T3. Several diseases and medical conditions can be associated with TBG levels. Pregnancy, and the use of oral contraceptives also affect this glycoprotein.[2]

What Test Results Mean

TSH Test—High levels of TSH may indicate an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism. Because the thyroid can’t make enough hormone the pituitary gland makes and releases too much thyroid-stimulating hormone.

Low TSH levels could indicate hyperthyroidism. Because the thyroid produces an overabundance of thyroid hormone, the pituitary gland makes less thyroid-stimulating hormone.

T4 Test—High levels of T4 may indicate hyperthyroidism. Low levels of T4 may be a sign of hypothyroidism.

T3 Test—High levels of T3 may indicate hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid Antibody Test—The presence of thyroid antibodies in the blood may indicate that the body’s own immune system has attacked the thyroid gland.

Common Causes of Thyroid Disorders

  • Genetics
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Environmental toxins

Treatment Options for Thyroid Disorders

Treatment for thyroid disorders may include:

  • Oral medications
  • Radioactive iodine treatment
  • Surgical removal of benign nodules or cancer
  • Surgical removal of thyroid gland

Natural support may also include a thyroid/adrenal supplement, a diet fortified with sea vegetables, regular exercise, and cutting out refined carbohydrates. Minerals iodine, selenium and zinc also support thyroid health, as well as vitamins A, B, C, and D. Reducing stress helps relieve some thyroid-related symptoms as well.

Based on your thyroid assessment and symptoms, you may be suffering from a thyroid disorder.

See a healthcare practitioner to discuss symptoms and possible testing, or order tests on your own and share results with your doctor.

References

1“Thinking About Your Thyroid.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 19 July 2017, newsinhealth.nih.gov/2015/09/thinking-about-your-thyroid.
2“Thyroid Tests.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 May 2017, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/thyroid.

Thyroid-Assessment-Signs-and-Symptoms—Test-For-Hypothyroidism,-Hyperthyroidism-and-Autoimmune-Disorders

A deficiency of thyroid hormones can affect virtually all body functions. The severity of symptoms in adults ranges from mild and barely detectable to severe and very serious. It is estimated that between 10-25 per cent of people suffer from some degree of hypothyroidism, many of whom are undiagnosed.

Self-assessment Questionnaire

Because many symptoms of underactive thyroid are similar to those of menopause, they can easily be confused or misinterpreted. Symptoms of underactive thyroid include fatigue, especially on waking, feeling cold easily, dry skin, depression, muscle and joint weakness and stiffness, constipation, general slowness and possible weight gain.

Complete the questionnaire below by checking one box for each symptom. Then use our chart at the bottom of the questionnaire to interpret your results:

Symptoms
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Thinking is slow
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Joint stiffness and pain, sometimes better after movement
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Bags under the eyes??
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Dizziness or poor sense of balance
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Nasal congestion
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Yellowing of palms of hands and soles of feet
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Depression?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Bowel movements less than daily, or with difficulty?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Face looks bloated?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Difficulty losing weight, even when eating less/exercising more
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Feel worse if a meal is missed.
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Memory not as good as it used to be?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Need a lot of sleep?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
PMS
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Do not sweat much, even when exercising?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Frequent infections?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Headaches, often worse in morning.
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Movements are slow?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Eyebrows are thinning?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Poor concentration
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Low sex drive?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Feel cold more than most other people?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Dry skin or hair and/or hair loss?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Low energy first thing in the morning, even after good sleep
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Moody and irritable?
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Eyelids are swollen and puffy
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Hands and feet often cold??
Never
Occasional
Frequent
Constant
Total Score=


If you scored:

0 – 9Low thyroid function is unlikely
10-22Low thyroid function is possible. You may consider using the
Broda Barnes basal metabolic temperature test to learn more. If you are
concerned, consider discussing your symptoms with your healthcare
provider and taking a simple blood test to measure your thyroid hormone
levels.
23-39Low thyroid function is likely. Consider discussing your symptoms and concerns with your healthcare provider and taking a simple blood test to measure your thyroid hormone levels.
40+Low thyroid function is very likely. Consult your healthcare provider. A blood test to measure your thyroid hormone levels is recommended.
 

We strongly suggest that you contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns that you might have undiagnosed thyroid problems. The self-assessment above should not be substituted for thyroid testing by your provider.

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