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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Gaining Weight Despite Eating Healthy? Get This Test Done

Excessive weight gain despite taking a healthy diet and following a regular exercise routine can be a sign of hypothyroidism. In such cases, it's highly advisable to get your thyroid function tested and start treatment immediately if required.

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Have you been rapidly gaining weight despite eating healthy and exercising regularly? Well, it could be a symptom of hypothyroidism, a disorder affecting the thyroid gland. Those with hypothyroidism have an underactive thyroid gland, which results in reduced production of thyroid hormones, thereby affecting the metabolism. If you are experiencing sudden weight gain, it is advisable to get your thyroid tested. Read on to find out all about this test and why it’s necessary.

What Are Thyroid Tests?

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland situated in the front of the neck. It produces two kinds of thyroid hormones; triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones are necessary for energy utilisation and the functioning of vital organs including the heart. Doctors use thyroid tests to assess the functioning of your thyroid gland and to determine any abnormality. Thyroid tests can help diagnose thyroid disorders like:

  • Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels)
  • Hashimoto’s Disease
  • Hyperthyroidism (high thyroid hormone levels)
  • Graves Disease
  • Thyroid Cancer and Thyroid Nodules

What Does This Test Involve?

A thyroid function test is designed to accurately identify any irregularities associated with the thyroid gland. To examine how well your thyroid is working, the levels of T3, T4 and TSH hormones are measured.

For a comprehensive assessment, multiple tests are performed using a blood sample taken from the vein in your arm. For instance, the thyroid check test package provided by Apollo 24|7 evaluates the levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, Free T4, and Free T3. It also includes a Complete Blood Count (CBC) test to identify any complications associated with the blood cells, while measuring the haemoglobin levels.

  1. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Test

Typically, the first test conducted to assess the functioning of your thyroid gland checks the level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) in your blood. Produced by the pituitary gland, TSH instructs the thyroid gland on how much T3 and T4 hormones to make.

A high level of TSH may indicate an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), meaning that your thyroid gland is not making sufficient amounts of hormones. This sends a message to the pituitary gland, which releases more TSH into the bloodstream.

On the other hand, a low level of TSH may indicate an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), which may indicate excessive production of thyroid hormones. As a result, the pituitary gland stops releasing TSH into the bloodstream.

  1. Free T4 Test

A high level of the T4 hormone in your blood may indicate hyperthyroidism, while a low level of this hormone indicates hypothyroidism. However, sometimes, abnormal T4 levels may not be a sign of any thyroid problems. For instance, pregnant women or those taking oral contraceptives have higher levels of thyroid hormones. Those suffering from severe illnesses or taking corticosteroids for treating conditions like arthritis, asthma, and skin problems can also have low T4 levels.

Such medicines and conditions alter the amount of protein in your blood that attaches or binds to T4. Bound T4 is stored in reserve in your blood until it is needed. On the other hand, free T4, also referred to as free thyroxine, is not bound to these proteins, therefore, stays available to reach your body tissues. Since the binding protein doesn’t impact the levels of free T4, it is preferred to measure free T4 levels. The free T4 test measures T4 after eliminating the effect of all proteins as it would affect the accuracy of measurement.

  1. Free T3 Test

One can suffer from thyroid disorder despite normal T4 levels. Therefore, measuring both T3 and T4 is essential for diagnosing any abnormality and its severity. The free T3 test measures the levels of T3 hormone after eliminating the impact of proteins that bind with the hormone and affect its accuracy.

If you experience any symptoms of a thyroid disorder, your healthcare provider may prescribe all of the aforementioned tests. One can book a thyroid test using Apollo 24|7 app and get their thyroid levels tested in the comfort of their home.

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