Thyroid Testing for Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is the condition in which, there is no production of thyroid hormones in sufficient quantity by the thyroid gland. In other words, in hypothyroidism, there amount of thyroid hormone in the body is short of the actual requirement. The thyroid hormones play vital role in metabolism of the body. Therefore, if the thyroid function is disturbed, the metabolism of the body also gets altered. Since, this is hormonal disorder, it comes under the endocrinology.

The symptoms of the hypothyroidism begin very sluggishly. The events of sings and symptoms may not be noticed sometimes. Hence, it is strongly recommended to go for the thyroid testing rather than totally depending upon the signs and symptoms.

There are several tests, which can give you an idea about diagnosing the thyroid problem. The thyroid gland is tested for hypothyroidism. The blood levels of thyroid hormones play important role in diagnosing the hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland secrets the hormones called T3 and T4. These hormones play important role in metabolism, and hence, when a person suffers from hypothyroidism, these hormonal levels get disturbed.

However, the main tool for detection of the disease hypothyroidism is measurement and evaluating the value of TSH in blood. TSH is nothing but Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, which is secreted by pituitary gland.

The thyroid gland is controlled by TSH secreted by pituitary. When the blood is having alteration in the levels of T3 and T4, the TSH also gets disturbed. For instance, if the blood is loaded with excess thyroid hormones, the TSH will drastically fall to reduce the levels of thyroid hormones. Opposite to that, if these thyroid hormones are reduced in blood, the TSH will shoot up to stimulate thyroid more to produce thyroid hormones.

Checking thyroid hormonal levels and levels of TSH decides the current situation of thyroid gland’s activity. This is true in almost all cases but not every case. There are some exceptions, like if the excessive amount of thyroid hormone is because of TSH-secreting pituitary tumor, then the levels of TSH are found very high which is abnormal and giving false information. However, this is uncommon and considered to be ‘secondary hypothyroidism’.

The thyroid testing many times depends on what signs and symptoms a patient is presented with. For instance, involvement of the eyes along with other thyroid symptoms draws an attention towards the Graves’ disease. So, a combination of a thyroid scan using the radioactively labeled iodine with antibody screening will help diagnosing the underlying thyroid disease.

Another testing is called as thyroid scanning. There are two types of thyroid nuclear medicine tests. The scan produces a picture of the gland to diagnose any inflammation or lump in thyroid gland. The scan also helps to evaluate the cause of an overactive thyroid. There is a radioactive iodine uptake test which is performed to see the function of thyroid and also to determine why the hormonal levels of thyroid are increased. For these types of tests, a little amount of weak radioactive substance, in the form of injection or pill is given to the patient. The weak radioactive substance give for this test is known as radionuclide.


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