How to check if your thyroid is healthy
Your thyroid gland, which is situated at the front of the throat, is a butterfly-shaped gland that regulates many bodily processes, through the production of hormones.
These hormones regulate your body’s temperature, energy levels, heart rate, muscle tone and metabolism. If your thyroid becomes overactive (hyperthyroidism), or underactive (hypothyroidism), these hormones can become imbalanced.
About 1 in 6 Australians has a thyroid problem and the risk increases the older you get. According to the Thyroid Foundation, women are 10 times more likely to be affected. About 25% of women over 65 years have a thyroid condition.About 1 in 6 Australians has a thyroid problem which can impact overall health #wellness #thyroid #pathology #athomehealthtest #TSHtest Click To Tweet
What are the signs of a thyroid problem?
Thyroid problems are easy to miss as many symptoms are similar to other health conditions. This is especially the case for hypothyroidism, which is the most common thyroid disorder. Symptoms for hypothyroidism gradually increase as the thyroid function deteriorates. You may have a problem with your thyroid if:
- You’ve gone up a few dress sizes — Unexplained weight gain could be a sign of hypothyroidism.
- You’re exhausted or have weak muscles — Feeling unusually tired or fatigued is often put down to a busy lifestyle, but it could be related to problems with your thyroid. Muscle weakness, particularly in the muscles closest to the centre of your body (eg thigh or shoulder) is also a symptom.
- Your brain is in a fog — Low levels of thyroid hormones can affect your memory span, and your ability to concentrate to the point where everything feels blurry.
- You’re feeling down — Thyroid conditions can also affect your mood, causing anxiety, depression, nervousness, irritability or restlessness.
- Your thermostat is on the blink — Because thyroid hormones help regulate your body temperature, low levels of hormone can lead to increased sensitivity to the cold, meaning you’re often looking for an extra layer of clothing to wear.
- You have dry skin or brittle nails — Changes in skin, particularly dry or rashy skin that can’t be attributed to allergies or the use of new products may indicate an underlying thyroid problem. Nails may become weak, form white ridges and split.
- Your hair is falling out or thinning — Hair follicles are regulated by thyroid hormone. Low levels of hormone (hypothyroidism) can cause hair follicles to stop regenerating, which leads to hair loss.
- You have period issues — The thyroid gland helps control your menstrual cycle. Too much or too little hormone can affect how light or heavy your period is. It can also interfere with ovulation, making it more difficult to fall pregnant
- Your bathroom habits have changed — Without enough thyroid hormone, the action of the digestive tract slows down which can lead to constipation.
- Your neck doesn’t feel right — Enlargement of the thyroid gland is also known as goitre, and is a typical sign of a thyroid problem.
How is a thyroid problem diagnosed?
Because symptoms of thyroid conditions can mimic other health conditions, a blood test to check your levels of thyroid hormones is the best way to get an indication of a possible thyroid problem.
The first test normally measures the level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood. If this is outside the expected range, it could help explain some of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing.
By spotting the signs of an underactive thyroid and acting early, you can prevent annoying symptoms from becoming more serious, and affecting your overall wellbeing. Taking a TSH test is the first step in getting to the bottom of why you might not be feeling up to par and potentially restoring your energy and good health.A simple at-home blood test can help determine whether your thyroid is functioning correctly #health #wellness #pathology #thyroid #TSHTest #thyroidtest Click To Tweet
How can you take a TSH test?
MyHealthTest offers an easy, convenient and affordable blood test that allows you to check your TSH levels from home. This TSH blood test is most commonly used to diagnose an underactive thyroid. This test can also help you keep track of your TSH levels, if you’re already being treated for hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid).
You don’t need to do anything to prepare for the test. Simply take a fingerprick sample of blood at home with an easy-to-use test kit, send the results back to us via post, and view your results online from our secure website within a week. You can see this simple step-by-step process here.
Your test report will provide your TSH results, an indication of whether your result falls within the expected range, and links to information to explain your results. You can also share your results with your doctor or your family, if you wish. Here’s a sample report.
How are thyroid problems treated?
If your TSH levels are outside the expected range, it’s always a good idea to follow this up with your local doctor to discuss what, if any, treatment might be needed. The good news is that hypothyroidism is easily treated with medication, which means you can begin getting your energy back and feeling better.
If you’re concerned about your thyroid or experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, why not take advantage of our easy at-home TSH Test Service? This is an easy way to check your TSH levels and determine whether any further action or follow up is needed – putting you well in control of your own health and wellness.