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Thyroid

Having an under-active thyroid gland can leave you feeling tired and worn-out. The MyHealthTest TSH Thyroid Test Service can help you check your thyroid health.



Thyroid conditions

About one in 20 people will experience a thyroid condition in their lifetime. The thyroid is a small gland in your neck that produces hormones that control your metabolism – how your body uses energy.

The thyroid gland affects a number of body functions, including breathing, heart rate, nervous system, body weight, muscle strength, menstrual cycles, body temperature, and cholesterol levels.

Hypothyroidism is an under-active thyroid. This means your body uses energy more slowly than it should. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, weight gain, slow heart rate, depression, frequent, heavy menstrual periods, joint and muscle pain and cold intolerance. The most common cause of hypothyroidism in Australia is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

People with low thyroid levels are often prescribed medication to replace the thyroid hormones – usually taken for the rest of their life. Medication levels vary between individuals and can also change over time, so hormone levels are checked regularly when hypothyroidism is being treated.

An overactive thyroid is known as hyperthyroidism and this condition makes your body use energy faster than it should. Hyperthyroidism tends to affect women more than men, with about two in every 100 women affected. Graves’ disease is a type of hyperthyroidism.

The most common signs of hyperthyroidism are feeling anxious, feeling the heat, heart palpitations, feeling tired, and weight loss.

Other signs can include an enlarged thyroid (goitre), breathlessness, eye problems, increased appetite, tremor, sweating, changes in bowel habits or menstrual patterns, thin skin and fine, brittle hair.

If you’re concerned about your thyroid health you should talk to your doctor. They will assess your particular symptoms and history, and discuss testing options with you.

For more information about thyroid conditions, visit the Australian Thyroid Foundation.



Our Thyroid (TSH) Test Service

The MyHealthTest Thyroid Test is a simple, at-home fingerprick blood test that measures the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood.

This type of test is most commonly used to diagnose an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism), and to make sure the correct dose of medication is given to treat an under-active thyroid e.g. Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

For our fingerprick blood test, we only need a few spots of blood placed onto a special collection card that you mail back to our Australian pathology lab. We send the results directly to you through a secure website and you can share and discuss these results with your doctor.

This fingerprick blood testing service is a confidential and convenient alternative to visiting and having blood taken at your local pathology centre. Our method of dried blood spot sampling has been extensively validated and is comparable to testing with traditional blood samples. So, you can rest assured that you’ll get accurate, reliable results.

If your TSH levels are outside the healthy range, your doctor or healthcare provider can discuss the options available to best manage your health based on your particular circumstances.

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What will the thyroid (TSH) test show?

Our fingerprick thyroid test shows how much thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) there is in your blood.

A high TSH level occurs when the thyroid gland is under-active (hypothyroidism), when a person on treatment for an under-active thyroid is not getting enough medication, or in rare cases, when there is a tumour in the thyroid gland.

If you take thyroid medication, your doctor may ask you to take regular TSH tests so they can check if the medicine is working properly or if the dose needs adjusting.

If your levels are outside the expected range or if you have any concerns please speak to your doctor or other healthcare provider.



What can affect the results of this test?

Extreme stress, illness and pregnancy can affect your TSH levels so you should always discuss your results with your doctor.

It’s important to note that blood test results from different laboratories can and do vary. This should be considered if you’re comparing your MyHealthTest results to those from other labs.



Who should not use this test?

Currently, our fingerprick thyroid test does not reliably detect hyperthyroidism – an over-active thyroid gland. You will need your doctor to order a traditional blood test if you are concerned you have an over-active thyroid.

Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about thyroid tests or using this test service.