5 Things You Need to Know About Thyroid Levels
The thyroid gland which is located just below the Adam’s apple secretes thyroid hormones (T3 and FT4) that regulate metabolism of your body. The pituitary gland (which secretes TSH) recognises any unusual activity of the thyroid gland i.e. whenever it produces excess or too less of T3 and T4 hormones, works overtime to produce more TSH to balance thyroid levels, etc. When the pituitary gland fails to produce sufficient TSH, the amount of T3 and FT4 increase or decrease in the bloodstream. Too much of T3 and T4 lead to hyperthyroidism and too less of both causes hypothyroidism. Listed below are five things you need to know about thyroid levels.
[Read: Symptoms of Hypothyroidism]
TSH level stimulates the production of T3 and T4 in the bloodstream: If you have been diagnosed with thyroid dysfunction, it is advisable that you understand the basic working of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). High levels of TSH in the blood are often considered to be indicators of the onset of hyperthyroidism. But, the truth is that high TSH levels in itself mean an overactive thyroid gland. When the levels of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) are low, the pituitary gland works hard to secrete the required amount of TSH to correct the low thyroid levels. So, the presence of higher levels of TSH is hypothyroidism and that of low levels of TSH is hypothyroidism. A healthy person’s TSH levels will lie between .30 and 3.0.
TSH level is measured to diagnose imbalanced thyroid: To diagnose thyroid imbalance, TSH test is conducted, which measures TSH, T3 and T4 levels in the bloodstream. If imbalanced thyroid levels are confirmed, your test result will be followed by a radioactive iodine uptake scan. This scan is performed to find out the cause of the thyroid condition i.e. whether it has developed due to Grave’s disease, goiter or thyroiditis. Your doctor may also advise you to go through a series of other tests such as CT scan, MRI, etc to determine the size and shape of your thyroid gland.
Diagnose of type of thyroid Condition is based on T3 and T4 level: With your pituitary gland working overtime, some changes occur in the T3 and T4 levels due to which these levels appear within normal range in the early stages of thyroid condition. If you have hyperthyroidism, your thyroid hormone levels will be high and low in hypothyroidism. T3 levels of a healthy person should typically lie between 80 to 180 and FT4 between 0.7 to 1.9.
Thyroid Pill has to be taken once in a day: Usually, treatment of thyroid condition requires a one-time pill. The pill is made of synthetic hormones that work to balance thyroid levels. Your TSH level will be monitored regularly to decrease or increase the dose accordingly.
[Read: Cure Thyroid with Ayurveda]
It is easy to maintain your thyroid levels even during pregnancy: Despite of thyroid difficulties, you can have a safe pregnancy, uneventful delivery and undisrupted breastfeeding experience. But, for this, you have to be extra vigilant about your thyroid levels during and after pregnancy. Check your thyroid levels regularly and take the prescribed thyroid medications as recommended. Also, pay attention to what you eat during pregnancy and the weight gain. Your thyroid levels should remain within the normal range during pregnancy because studies have shown that low thyroid levels may affect baby’s mental growth and increase the risk of retardation.
[Read: Thyroid during Pregnancy]
By following a low fat diet and exercise routine, you can prevent your hormone levels from going haywire.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jan 10, 2013
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