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Overview:

Thyroid function tests are a group of tests performed to evaluate how the thyroid gland is functioning. Thyroid gland is located below the Adam’s apple in the neck and it secretes hormones. The hormones secreted by the thyroid gland affect the way in which the various organs in the body utilise energy and also regulate the mineral levels in the blood. This test is performed to diagnose and determine the cause of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) gland.

The tests included are:

  • TSH test
  • T4 test
  • T3 test
  • Thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) test
  • Anti-thyroid antibody test, also known as thyroid peroxidase antibody test (TPOab)

When it's done:

Thyroid tests are performed to:

  • Diagnose hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
  • Monitor treatment in people having thyroid disorders
  • Screen new-borns for any inherited thyroid disorders

When to Avoid:

There are no specific conditions in which this test should be avoided.

However, inform your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant, as the levels of thyroid hormones change during pregnancy
  • You have undergone any x-ray test in the past that have used a special contrast dye, as this can affect the results of the thyroid function test
  • You are taking any medicines, as some of it can alter the test results

How to prepare:

No special preparation is required for the test.

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