Thyroid problems are very common in today’s age and many people are suffering from these problems all over the world. A great proportion of patients do not even realize they have a serious disease just because of failure of diagnosis. What a shame!

I “stumbled” upon my Hashimoto’s during an annual physical several years ago. If I had not requested to add a few of these thyroid markers to my routine blood work, I may still be without a diagnosis. My story demonstrates the importance of being an educated patient and your own advocate!

Thyroid imbalance, which can lead to several dangerous health issues, has many symptoms but these symptoms are not clear and distinctive; therefore, proper checkup and tests are important to diagnose the actual disease. Once the actual problem is known, only then steps can be taken to fight it.

The following are very effective tests that should be used to discover and diagnose thyroid imbalances:

TSH Test

TSH stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. It is an important pituitary hormone that is secreted in response to the level of thyroid hormone present in the blood.

If you have hypothyroidism, the test result will show an increased level of TSH. This refers to an underactive thyroid which fails to produce sufficient hormone.

On the other hand, patients with Grave’s disease will show a decreased level of TSH in the report. This indicates that your thyroid is overactive and producing an excessive amount of the hormone.

If your blood reports of TSH test are not normal, you should go for another test, the T4 test.

Free T4 Test

The thyroid gland produces a hormone named thyroxine, which is also called T4.  An excessive T4 level refers to hyperthyroidism while a low level of T4 may indicate that you have hypothyroidism. The T4 test alone is not sufficient to diagnose the problem. T4 is usually conducted in conjunction with the TSH test for finding the accurate cause of the problem.

Free T3 Test

The T3 hormone is also known as Triiodothyronine. The test is conducted to measure its level circulating in the bloodstream to determine the condition of the thyroid gland. If the reports show an increased level of T3, it suggests hyperthyroidism. On the contrary, lower level of T3 refers to hypothyroidism.

Free T3 measures the amount of T3 that is not bound to proteins, and that which is useable.

Reverse T3

The reverse T3 (rT3) test measures how much of the free active T3 is able to bind at thyroid receptors. RT3 is produced in stressful situations and binds to thyroid receptors but turns them off instead of activating them. Think of reverse T3 ass “blanks” in a gun. The gun may be loaded, but unable to fire. Therefore, you may have sufficient T3 levels, but if they are not able to be used within the body, you may continue suffering from hypothyroid symptoms.

Thyroid Antibodies Test

These antibodies are produced as a result of a mistaken attack on the thyroid by the immune system. This important test is taken to diagnose the autoimmune disorder of the thyroid. This disorder can cause either Grave’s disease, which often causes Hyperthyroidism, or Hashimoto’s disease, which usually results in hypothyroidism. If the previously conducted tests indicate a problem in the thyroid, this one can be used to confirm the disorder.

  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb)
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)

My mantra is TEST DON’T GUESS! Many of my patients find it difficult to have the proper testing ordered through their Primary Physicians. If this is the case for you, please contact me! Email me ( and I can order a requisition form for the Advanced Thyroid Panel with UltaLabs and send it directly to you within minutes, regardless of where you live in the country.

You may also order your own thyroid labs here, no doctor’s appointment required: