The purpose of the test
The thyroid gland is one of the most important endocrine glands in the body, which produces hormones and controls metabolic processes. Thyroid panel tests use a blood sample to examine the level of thyroid hormones and antibodies to thyroid tissues, which are included in the list of thyroid panel tests, which helps to assess the functioning of the thyroid gland. These tests help to diagnose and monitor the treatment of thyroid disease. They are also necessary for people who have had gland removed and are on hormone replacement therapy.
Thyroid dysfunction, such as an underactive (hypothyroidism) or an overactive (hyperthyroidism) thyroid gland, can cause a wide range of symptoms. Autoimmune thyroid diseases are very common, when the body forms different types of antibodies against thyroid tissues. Without timely diagnosis and treatment, these diseases can lead to serious consequences and the emergence of new disorders in the body.
In a comprehensive thyroid test, different types of thyroid hormones and antibodies are measured from a blood sample, among others:
● TSH - thyroid stimulating hormone. TSH is produced in the pituitary gland and regulates the balance of thyroid hormones, including T4 and T3, in the blood. It is the most accurate indicator of thyroid gland activity. The norm of TSH differs depending on the gender and age of the person. In addition, the norm is affected by low-calorie diet and gestational age.
● T4 - total and free thyroxine. It is the main hormone produced in your thyroid gland. Thyroxine makes up about 90% of the total hormones secreted by the thyroid gland. If the thyroid gland is unable to produce the required amount of thyroxine or not enough thyroid stimulating hormone is produced to stimulate it, symptoms of hypothyroidism appear. If the level of T4 is higher than normal, metabolic processes in the body and energy production in the cells increase, which leads to hyperthyroidism, which is characterized by heart palpitations, anxiety, weight loss, sleep disturbances, trembling in the hands, dry and red eyes, swelling of the face.
● T3 - total and free triiodothyronine. It is considered the most biologically active thyroid hormone. Triiodothyronine regulates the rate of oxygen consumption by tissues, stimulates protein synthesis, gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis (which leads to an increase in blood glucose concentration), lipolysis, intestinal motor function, enhances catabolism and excretion of cholesterol in bile, promotes the synthesis of vitamin A and absorption of vitamin B12 in the intestine, bone growth, production of sex hormones. Children need this hormone for growth and development of the central nervous system. Measurement of free triiodothyronine concentrations is appropriate when the concentration of total T3 changes as a result of changes in the concentrations of thyroid-binding proteins.
● Antibodies to thyroperoxidase (APO) - are formed when the human immune system mistakenly recognizes thyroid tissue as a foreign biological substance, which can lead to thyroiditis, damage to the gland tissue and various disorders of its function.
● Antibodies to thyroglobulin (ATG). For unknown reasons, thyroglobulin can become an autoantigen, and in response, the body produces antibodies to it, which causes inflammation of the thyroid gland. AT-TH can block thyroglobulin, disrupting the normal synthesis of thyroid hormones and causing hypothyroidism, or conversely, excessively stimulate the gland, causing its hyperfunction.
● Antibodies to TSH receptors (anti-TSH) are a heterogeneous group of autoantibodies that interact with thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) receptors of the thyroid gland. According to the type of effect on thyroid function, anti-TSH antibodies are divided into stimulating and blocking antibodies. Stimulating anti-TSH repeatedly enhance the function of the thyroid gland, which leads to diffuse goiter and hyperthyroidism. Blocking anti-TSH interfere with the action of TSH and lead to thyroid atrophy and hypothyroidism.
In what cases is it prescribed?
- To diagnose insufficient or overactive thyroid function
- To diagnose autoimmune disorders related to the thyroid gland
- May help diagnose thyroid disorders and thyroid dysfunction
- To assess goiter, i.e. enlargement of the thyroid gland
- Screening for underactive thyroid gland in newborns and children
- Used to monitor the treatment of hyperthyroidism and evaluate patients receiving L-thyroxine therapy.