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Thyroid tests


Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of the endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many activities in the body. They include how fast calories are burnt and how fast  heart beats. Thyroid tests check how well the thyroid is working. They are also used to diagnose and help find the cause of thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Thyroid tests include blood tests and imaging tests.

Blood tests for the thyroid include

  • TSH - measures thyroid-stimulating hormone. It is the most accurate measure of thyroid activity.
  • T3 and T4 - measure different thyroid hormones.
  • TSI - measures thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin.
  • Antithyroid antibody test - measures antibodies (markers in the blood).

Imaging tests include CT scans, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine tests. One type of nuclear medicine test is the thyroid scan. It uses small amounts of radioactive material to create a picture of the thyroid, showing its size, shape, and position. It can help find the cause of hyperthyroidism and check for thyroid nodules (lumps in the thyroid). Another nuclear test is the radioactive iodine uptake test, or thyroid uptake test. It checks how well your thyroid is working and can help find the cause of hyperthyroidism.

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