Health Glossary

Thyroid Function Profile

Thyroid Function Profile is referred to as results of a group of tests performed to check the functionality of our thyroid gland, or simply to check how well our thyroid gland is working.
Author Dr. Jacky Lio
Date 2021-07-19
Updated on 2021-07-21
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How does the Thyroid Gland function?Normal ranges in a Thyroid Function ProfileWhat causes high or low thyroid levels?Risks of high or low Thyroid Hormone levelsWays to maintain normal Thyroid Hormone Levels

How does the Thyroid Gland function?

Thyroid gland produces two certain hormones (usually called T3 and T4) that if not produced in sufficient amounts can cause hypothyroidism. Similarly, when the thyroid gland begins to stay more active and produce excess of T3 and T4 hormones, the condition is referred to as hyperthyroidism. Available tests include the testing of T3, T4, and Thyroid Stimulating Hormones (TSH).

Normal ranges in a Thyroid Function Profile

TSH 0.4 to 4.5 mIU/L

(may be as high as 7.5 mU/L in 70 year olds)

Free T4 Reference ranges can vary by laboratory but often fall between 0.8 and 1.5 ng/dL in adults
Total T3 75 to 195 ng/dL (1.1 to 3 nmol/L)

What causes high or low thyroid levels?

The causes of hyperthyroidism can be numerous. However the main factors that cause the thyroid gland to produce high amounts of T3 and T4 hormones usually include autoimmune disorders (e.g Grave’s disease), excessive intake of iodine, inflammation of the thyroid gland and benign tumours. 

Whereas, the main causes of hypothyroidism differ in the different age groups. There is an autoimmune disorder that goes by the name of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and that is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in most age groups. This autoimmune disorder directly attacks the thyroid gland and causes inflammation that results in restricting the thyroid gland from functioning properly and ultimately causing hypothyroidism.

Risks of high or low Thyroid Hormone levels

Thyroid gland is responsible for some of the most crucial internal processes of the human body. In case of hyperthyroidism, the T4 hormone is produced in excess and can result in heart problems, vision problems, brittle bones also known as osteoporosis, skin irritations and thyrotoxic crisis, which is the state where all of your hypothyroidism symptoms get more intense all of a sudden. 

In case of hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland fails to produce enough amounts of T3 and T4 hormones, and can cause renal(kidney) complications, cardiovascular complications, pregnancy complications, nervous system disorders such as difficulty in breathing, hoarse voice, trouble in walking and pain in the limbs. Aside from that, hypothyroidism also tends to reduce fertility in both genders, and in worst case scenarios, it can lead to infertility as well.

Ways to maintain normal Thyroid Hormone Levels

Maintaining a healthy thyroid level is all about keeping a check on the amount of T3 and T4 hormones our thyroid gland is producing. Depending on the disorder a person is suffering from, there are certain possible changes in their diet that can help bring their thyroid levels to normal.

Excess of iodine intake should be avoided in case of hyperthyroidism. There are certain medications for both kinds of thyroid disorders, but by taking the appropriate diet for the right disorder, we can easily maintain a healthy production of T3 and T4 hormones. Roasted seaweed, dairy products, nuts, and fresh eggs are examples of some edibles that can aid in improving the overall thyroid function.

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