What markers are tested?
A full Thyroid Blood Profile includes the testing of several blood markers including TSH (the standard blood test to screen for thyroid dysfunction through medicare) as well as Free T3, Free T4, Anti-TPO, Anti-TG, TRAbs, Reverse T3, and SHBG.
Why are all of these important?
Because your thyroid hormones are responsible for telling every cell what to do, when to do it and how efficiently to do it, all systems in your body can be affected if your thyroid hormones are out of balance. This leads to a multitude of symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, insomnia, muscle and joint pain, sugar carvings, hair loss, depression and ALL hormone related conditions as the thyroid regulates the hormonal system.
Thyroid conditions are often missed due to the wide reference range of the routine blood test TSH, that diagnoses thyroid conditions. Clinical assessment is needed to get the full picture.
Tells the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. This test measures the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone produced by the pituitary gland and is an indicator of thyroid activity. TSH is part of the body’s feedback system to maintain stable amounts of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
The worker bee if you like. It is the active form of thyroid hormone. It converts from T4 in the body. Low Free T3 indicates you are not converting enough T4 to T3 and so do not have enough thyroid hormone.
The largely inactive form of thyroid hormone, made from iodine and a protein called Tyrosine. It converts into T3. Low free T4 indicates an underproduction of thyroid hormone and a hypothyroid state. High free T4 indicates you are potentially in a hyperthyroid state, alternating high to low thyroid state, OR that you are not converting your T4 into T3 sufficiently and your T4 is building up. (Which illustrates why a full thyroid screen is necessary!)
Reverse T3 (rT3):
An inactive form of T3 that is produced in the body particularly during periods of stress. An increased production of rT3 is often seen in patients with disorders such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and Wilson’s Thyroid Syndrome. RT3 blocks free T3 from working. This is one of the most important tests you can do for your thyroid. If you had a high rT3 but you didn’t test for it and your free T4 and free T3 were normal you could be sent away with a clean bill of health when in fact you are hypothyroid as the free T3 isn’t working.
Anti-TPO, Anti-TG, TRAbs:
These blood markers test for the presence of thyroid antibodies, a high level shows that your immune system is attacking the thyroid gland, indicative of an autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto’s or Graves Disease.
A protein made by your liver which binds tightly to estrogen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and testosterone. Certain conditions, like hypothyroidism, obesity, insulin resistance (even without obesity), Cushing’s syndrome, acromegaly (a condition where your body produces too much growth hormone), stress, alcohol and high prolactin levels lead to low SHBG levels.
Why does The Lucy Rose Clinic run this profile?
When you suspect you have a thyroid condition you will be tested for the standard thyroid screening test, TSH. If your TSH levels come back within range no further testing is requested. This can be problematic. Firstly, 75% of your thyroid hormone is stored in the skin, muscle and the brain, so any blood test (when taken without consideration of other testing) can be misleading. The TSH reference range is so broad that most people fall within it. From the 98% of our patients with the symptoms of under-active thyroid hormone, only 3% had a TSH out of range. We need to look at the full picture to really get an understanding of how your thyroid hormones are working.