There are many different symptoms that could be linked to your thyroid not functioning at the optimal level and a number of ways to test your thyroid health. Some of these include fatigue, weight changes, depression and anxiety, bowel problems or changes in your hair or skin. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to have your thyroid checked. Some of the most common thyroid function tests include:
Blood tests measure the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood, which helps determine thyroid function. High levels of the hormone indicate an under active thyroid.
Ultrasound exams detect signs of growth and other irregularities. An ultrasound scan is a diagnostic technique which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of internal organs.
Thyroid scans use radioactive iodine or technetium (a radioactive metallic element) to reveal any physical abnormalities of the thyroid.
Functional stimulation tests help differentiate whether the problem lies with the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus or the thyroid gland. One such test includes injecting thyrotropin-releasing hormone and measuring the pituitary’s response.
- Courtesy of Piedmont Hospital, www.piedmont.org