Understanding the Thyroid: Why You Should Check Your Free T3

Why You Should Check Your Free T3?

Free Thyroid Test Interpretation: What Is Normal?

The following are some of the reasons why you should check your free thyroxine (FT4) level.

1. High FT4 Levels May Be Indicative Of Hypothyroidism

2. Low FT4 Levels May Be Indicating A Metabolic Disorder Or Underactive Thrombopoietin (OTP) Production

3. High FT4 Levels May Be Indicating Thyroid Cancer

4. High FT4 Levels May Be Indicating Thyroid Cysts

5. Low FT4 Levels May Be Indicating Anemia And Vitamin D Deficiency

What Is Free Thyroxine (FT4)?

Free thyroxine (FT4) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland which helps regulate metabolism and energy production in the body. It is involved in the regulation of growth, development, reproduction and immunity. It is secreted into the blood stream from the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland located at the base of brain. The level of FT4 determines how active your cells are and regulates various metabolic processes such as glucose utilization, fatty acid oxidation and protein synthesis.

How Is Free Thyroxine (FT4) Measured?

Free thyroxine (FT4) levels are usually measured using an immunofluorometric assay.

How Do High FT4 Levels May Be Indicative Of Hypothyroidism?

If you have hypothyroidism, you body can’t produce enough hormones, according to the National Institutes of Health. This is often because your thyroid isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone. As a result, your body doesn’t work as it should.

Ways You Can Lower Your Thyroid Hormone Levels:

Check with your doctor about taking iodine to lower your thyroid hormone levels, if you have been prescribed this medication. Iodine blocks the production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland.

If you are taking this medication, you will need regular lab tests to check your thyroid hormone levels. Don’t stop taking the medication suddenly without talking to your doctor.

How To Manage The Above Conditions:

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. This causes an underactive thyroid.

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It can be caused by an autoimmune reaction where antibodies attack the thyroid tissue and reduce its ability to produce thyroid hormones. This can often be successfully treated with medication or thyroid hormones.

How To Manage Your Medication:

You will need to take the medication as prescribed by your doctor. You may not see immediate results, so it is important to continue taking the medication.

Make sure you stick to your doctor’s schedule for checking your thyroid hormone levels and lab tests. If you stop taking the medication suddenly, this can cause hyperthyroidism. So, make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions.

How Other Conditions Can Mimic Hypothyroidism:

Panhypopituitarism is a condition that causes pituitary gland failure. It can have similar symptoms to hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, slow heart rate, decreased appetite, weight gain and constipation.

How To Treat These Conditions:

Panhypopituitarism is treated with hormone replacement therapy for the pituitary gland.

How To Manage Side Effects:

The medication for hypothyroidism can sometimes cause side effects such as sleepiness, lethargy, poor reflexes, muscle weakness, depression, slow heart rate, weight gain, and swelling of the feet and legs. These side effects will usually go away once the medication dose is adjusted or the medication is stopped and started again.

However, if you have severe reactions to the medication then consult your doctor immediately.

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How To Prevent The Side Effects:

If you experience any side effects from your medication, then consult your doctor immediately.

How To Get Tested:

Talk to your doctor about getting tested. They can determine if you have underactive thyroid and start you on medication.

(Source: NIH)

Hypothyroidism and the Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ at the base of the neck, found just below the Adam’s apple. It has a major role in controlling how the body uses energy, which is vital for our daily activities.

Sources & references used in this article:

Thyroid hormone receptor β1 is expressed in the human hair follicle by N Billoni, B Buan, B Gautier, O Gaillard… – British Journal of …, 2000 – Wiley Online Library

Heritability of serum TSH, free T4 and free T3 concentrations: a study of a large UK twin cohort by V Panicker, SG Wilson, TD Spector… – Clinical …, 2008 – Wiley Online Library

Negative correlation between plasma thyroid hormone levels and chlorinated hydrocarbon levels accumulated in seals from the coast of Hokkaido, Japan by I Chiba, A Sakakibara, Y Goto, T Isono… – … and Chemistry: An …, 2001 – Wiley Online Library