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Disorders of the thyroid are among the most common diseases of the endocrine glands.
A recent study found the prevalence of known thyroid disease to be 3 to 4% in the Australian population. Women are at greater risk, developing thyroid problems five times more often than men.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland and activates the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
T4 is converted to T3 in the liver and requires the presence of selenium and zinc .
T3 and T4 regulate the body’s basal metabolic rate, influence heart and nervous system functions and are essential for growth and development. The thyroid gland also produces calcitonin which is essential in the regulation of calcium balance in the body .
Reverse T3 (rT3) is an inactive form of T3 that is produced in the body particularly during periods of stress. Under normal conditions T4 will convert to both T3 and rT3 continually and the body eliminates rT3 quickly.
Under certain conditions such as stress, fasting, disease and malnutrition, more rT3 is produced and the desirable conversion of T4 to T3 decreases.
This becomes a vicious cycle as rT3 competes with T3 in the conversion of T4 to T3, resulting in more T4 being converted to more rT3 .
An increased production of rT3 is often seen in patients with disorders such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Wilson’s Thyroid Syndrome and stress.
Measurement of rT3 is also valuable in identifying sick euthyroid syndrome where active T3 is within normal range and rT3 is elevated .
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Thyroid antibodies are immune complexes produced to attack the thyroid gland and are involved in autoimmune thyroid conditions. They can also indicate thyroid inflammation.
The Comprehensive Thyroid Profile tests for thyroid antibodies to thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase.
High levels of antibodies are often found in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, thyroid carcinoma and Grave’s disease. Low levels of antibodies can also be found in healthy patients and in many non-thyroid autoimmune conditions, including pernicious anaemia and SLE, and some chromosomal disorders.
Symptoms of Thyroid Dysfunction
Symptoms of underactive thyroid include: dry and coarse skin, weakness and lethargy, constipation, weight gain, slow pulse, heavy and irregular periods and depression.
Symptoms of overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism (thyrotoxicosis) include: fast metabolic rate, rapid heart beat, nervousness and palpitations, weight loss despite increased appetite and frequent bowel movements.
Thyroid function decreases naturally with age and underactive thyroid function is most common in women during menopausal years.
What will I get from the Comprehensive Thyroid Profile?
This profile measures the levels of unbound free hormones (thyroid stimulating hormone, free T3, free T4, reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies) which are available to the tissues via a blood test, and reflects a true measure of the body’s metabolic rate.
After taking this test you will have a personalised guide to your current thyroid function and an ideal strategy for how to support your thyroid health and metabolic rate.
There will be no more running from practitioner to practitioner in the search for an answer – the information provided is priceless and could provide an end to your symptoms.
Most importantly, Emed will analyse the test results for you and provide an easy-to-understand but comprehensive manual and report. The comprehensive manual will show you:
The website cost for the Comprehensive Thyroid Profile covers the test referral, the test itself, processing of all information and interpretation and collation of final results into your personalised comprehensive report.
Fees for physical transportation to your nearest collection centre are to be covered by yourself at time of appointment.