Thyroid dysfunction is one of the most under-addressed conditions in healthcare, which is partly due to the lack of proper testing by conventional medical practitioners. GPs will typically test for one hormone (TSH) to ‘rule out’ thyroid conditions, which doesn’t really give any insight into actual functioning of how the thyroid gland is performing
It is absolutely essential to have a complete thyroid profile done to measure thyroid gland activity, peripheral conversion of thyroid hormone, and thyroid autoantibodies (to assess for Autoimmune thyroid disease)
The compete thyroid profile measures the following:
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) – TSH causes the thyroid gland to make two hormones, T3 and T4, which help control the body’s metabolism. This test is done to find out whether the thyroid gland and brain-thyroid communication are working properly.
T4, Total – This test measures the total amount of T4 (Thyroxine) in blood.
T4, Free – Most of the T4 in the body binds to protein, the T4 that does not is called ‘free T4’ and circulates unbound in blood. This test measures the free T4 level individually also.
T3, Total – T3 (triiodothyronine) is the most important thyroid hormone for the body’s control of metabolism. This test measures the total amount of T3 in blood.
T3, Free – Most of the T3 in the body binds to protein, the T3 that does not is called ‘free T3’ and circulates unbound in blood. This test measures the free level individually also.
T3, Reverse – Reverse T3 is converted by the liver from the stored hormone T4, it is the body’s main way of getting rid of unneeded T4 every day. Sometimes the body can make too much reverse T3 from a number of causes including chronic emotional, physical, or biological stress, chronic sickness, after surgery, diabetes, ageing, or an acute injury. This test measures for levels of reverse T3.
Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Antibody – Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is an important enzyme for producing thyroid hormone. TPO converts T4 to T3. High levels of TPO antibodies suggest the immune system is mistakenly attacking this enzyme and the thyroid gland, compromising thyroid activity.
Thyroglobulin (Tg) Antibody – Thyroglobulin (Tg) is a protein produced and used by the thyroid gland to make the hormones T3 and T4. High levels of antibodies to Tg suggest the immune system is mistakenly attacking the thyroid gland.