The thyroid gland is responsible for hormones that contribute to energy production in every cell of our body. If there’s a universal truth about hypothyroidism—it’s that when the thyroid malfunctions—people feel poorly and worse.
If you’ve spent any time researching hypothyroidism—you will have discovered a mountain of information on how difficult and delicate it is to measure and treat this very common disease. Effective treatment requires an investment of time and attention from the patient and practitioner to find a treatment protocol that reduces symptoms.
What follows are the four “key ingredients” that can be measured to evaluate thyroid function. Though there is evidence that testing beyond the top two provides information leading to more effective treatment, some practitioners do not test beyond the “top two.”
1. Thyroid stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland signals the thyroid to produce hormones regulating energy production. When this level is outside normal range, it often means the thyroid is not responding to cues from the pituitary gland.
2. Nearly 90% of the hormone produced by the thyroid is T4 (thyroxine). This hormone is produced in an inactive form. A portion of T4 converts to T3.
3. Many practitioners consider the T3 free and total tests the most indicative. Following production of T4, T4 travels in plasma bound to protein or in “free form” and is converted to T3 (active) and RT3 (inactive) in the blood and tissues. T3 is five times as “active” as T4.
HealthCheckUSA offers these thyroid tests to help consumers investigate hypothyroidism: