Thyroid Profile

What is it?

A full Thyroid Blood Panel includes the testing of several blood markers including TSH (the blood test generally offered by GPs) as well as Free T3, Free T4, Anti-TPO, Anti-TG, TRAbs, Reverse T3, and SHBG.

Why are all of these important? Well, each one offers further insight into a different area of your system; how it’s functioning and reacting to different elements. Testing for all of these markers makes an accurate diagnosis (and therefore an effective treatment) much more likely.

Why do I need it?

TSH: 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).

Free T3: 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.

Free T4: the largely inactive form of thyroid hormone, built out of 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.

Anti-TPO, Anti-TG, TRAbs: these blood markers test for the presence of thyroid antibodies, as 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.

SHBG: 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 use this test?

The standard blood tests offered only measure TSH presence, relying solely on this one marker to determine thyroid function. At The Lucy Rose Clinic we consider the TSH test on it’s own to be too inaccurate for several reasons. 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) is already fundamentally problematic.

Furthermore, of the hormones that standard blood testing is measuring, we are only able to determine the amount of thyroid hormone present in the blood, and not how it is functioning.

For these reasons alone, the Thyroflex would be preferable as an initial exam, but it’s non-invasive nature and fast results are also very important to our patients and to us as a Clinic.

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