What Are The Best Lab Tests For Thyroid Function

Low thyroid tests

Lab tests help to identify thyroid imbalances and make necessary changes needed to restore compromised thyroid function. Evaluation of the symptoms combined with appropriate lab testing is the best approach to make a diagnosis of subclinical and clinical hypothyroidism, postpartum thyroiditis and postpartum depression, autoimmune Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease and monitor thyroid treatment.

In fact, thyroid disorders are very common, yet it does not mean that they are always properly and timely diagnosed and treated.

As a result:

  • Many people struggle to get diagnosed for years and don’t get any treatment when they actually should
  • Majority who have autoimmune Hashimoto’s disease don’t even know they have it!
  • Standard lab tests alone don’t help you to get to the bottom of your thyroid condition
  • Your thyroid replacement therapy is not properly monitored and adjusted…

This is why you need your thyroid tested correctly.

One of the most frequent questions I get is “How should I test my thyroid?:

So, today I will walk you through what thyroid lab tests you need (and which ones you don’t)!

And if you are not getting these tests then you should be asking for them on your next visit to the doctor or consider ordering them yourself.

Thyroid tests are recommended for anyone who:

  • suspects thyroid problem,
  • has symptoms of thyroid disease,
  • has a family member with thyroid condition,
  • is a teenage girl who have delayed onset of menstruation,
  • is pregnant, trying to get pregnant or has recently given birth,
  • is around menopause,
  • the elderly,
  • has associated health conditions such as PCOS, celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, different types of anemia, depression, autoimmune disease, hepatitis C, type I and II diabetes among others.

Conventional medicine relies on the standard thyroid blood test for TSH alone or a combination of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and total T4 thyroid hormone for a diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. Due to the wide range of the normal thyroid test results which also varies from lab to lab, many people remain undiagnosed, untreated or undertreated.

TSH and Hashimoto's disease

In addition, TSH and T4 tests are used for screening of hypothyroidism but they are not intended for diagnosing autoimmune Graves’ and Hashimoto’s disease, postpartum thyroiditis and thyroid cancer. It takes time for Hashimoto’s to develop and progress to subclinical hypothyroidism and then a full-blown hypothyroidism that can be clinically detectable using standard thyroid tests.

Currently, there are about 22 types of thyroid dysfunctions that can result in low thyroid function. Most of them could not be diagnosed by using TSH test alone. To get accurate evaluation of your thyroid function more advanced blood tests are required.

Best Thyroid Lab Work

To make proper diagnosis and establish the cause of the thyroid dysfunction the following comprehensive lab tests may be necessary.

Basic thyroid panel is a useful tool to screen for hyper- and hypothyroidism and monitor thyroid replacement therapy. However, this test is not designed to diagnose autoimmune thyroid disease such as Graves’ and Hashimoto’s disease.

Basic thyroid blood testing includes testing for:

  • TSH
  • free T4
  • free T3.

The pituitary gland produces TSH to stimulate the thyroid to release T4 and T3 hormones. In hypothyroidism TSH is increased or normal, T4 is low or normal and T3 is low.

Free T4 represents unbound thyroid hormone which is available for uptake by cells and conversion into an active form of T3 hormone.

Comprehensive thyroid panel is a blood test designed to evaluate:

  • TSH
  • free T3
  • free T4
  • Thyroid thyroglobuline or Tga thyroid antibodies
  • Thyroid peroxidase or TPO thyroid antibodies
  • total T4.

Comprehensive thyroid panel that includes TPO and Tg thyroid antibodies and mast thyroid markers can help with a proper diagnosis of autoimmune thyroid disease, borderline and clinical hypothyroidism, postpartum thyroiditis and better understand effects of thyroid hormone therapy on a cellular level.

Measurement of free T4 and T3 provides more accurate information about hormonal status of patient than total T4 and T3 (bound and unbound) especially for those who are on estrogen replacement therapy or birth control pills, have impaired thyroid hormone conversion and show unresolved symptoms of underactive thyroid.

Ordering a comprehensive thyroid panel is the first step in getting Hashimoto’s disease diagnosis which is a main cause of hypothyroidism in the Western countries. Presence of thyroid antibodies is one of the indicators of increased thyroid autoimmunity and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Both thyroid panels do not require fasting.

The Easiest Way To Test Your Thyroid 

If your doctor doesn’t know about, refuses to check your thyroid or order any other tests besides standard thyroid tests like TSH or TSH plus total T4, the easiest way to have your blood work done and get the answers is to order your Thyroid Home Test Kit online from a private lab.

The best part is you don’t need doctors’s referral or medical insurance and don’t even need to go to the lab (which is important for many people in times of COVID-19). The thyroid test kit will be mailed to you and you mail it back to the lab and access your test results right after they are ready.

All lab tests are easy to order, have FREE shipping (USA, Canada and Europe, just choose your country on the order page), with results sent directly to you within days. All from the safety of your home.

No going to the lab required.

So, instead of going from one doctor to another, hope (or even fight) for the right tests to be ordered and waste years of your life suffering, you can actually shortcut this exhausting and frustrating process by ordering thyroid tests yourself and get your results explanation by a qualified nurse or lab’s doctor.

This step alone often helps to discover much faster what you don’t know about your thyroid yet and what factors potentially limit your recovery from hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. Most importantly it can help to shift your thyroid treatment focus to where it should be in order to become hypothyroid and autoimmune symptom-free.

If it’s something you need and are willing to do, the lab I recommend for thyroid and autoimmune testing is offering 20% off on all lab testing. You just need to use the discount code DISEASE20 at the check out.

Remember that if your current thyroid treatment doesn’t work consider starting with a proper thyroid testing and learn why your thyroid is out of balance before you do anything else.

Get Your Thyroid Test Kit HERE

thyroid test kit

P.S. There are many other tests that can be ordered online and sent to the lab for testing. This includes hormones, women’s health, diabetes, cortisol and many others. This lab offers FREE shipping (USA, Canada and Europe). You can check out other tests here

Don’t forget to use the discount code: DISEASE20 to get 20% off

P.P.S. Do you like what you read? Get my FREE Hypothyroidism Diet Guide and FREE Hypothyroidism Seminar: The Right And Wrong Ways To Heal and get your FREE probiotic, protein and skin cream here

About Marina Gutner, PhD

Marina Gutner, PhD, researcher, medical writer, thyroid blogger, founder and Admin of Outsmart Disease who writes about life-changing treatments for hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis and autoimmune disease and how to balance hormones in women