Total T4 (Total Thyroxine) Lab Test

Total T4 (Total Thyroxine)
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Clinical Definition of Total T4 (Total Thyroxine)

The thyroid gland, or simply known as the thyroid is a significant hormone gland that is accountable for multiple crucial body growths .it is responsible for constantly releasing thyroid hormones into the bloodstream so that it helps in properly regulating body functions. Located just below Adam's apple, the thyroid gland resembles a butterfly stretching out its wings, in shape.

Weighing just around 20 grams, the gland will, at times, swell, so that it can be felt by our fingers. But this can be purely dependent from person to person; At times, there is negligible swelling to be felt, or can be significantly swollen that one can identify it even visually.

The thyroid is an example of an endocrine organ that is liable for secreting hormones that regulate body functions like body temperature, menstrual cycle, body weight,heart rate, central and peripheral nervous systems, cholesterol levels and so much more which are, without a shadow of a doubt, of great need to us to lead life of normalcy.

Thyroid, using iodine that is present in the food we consume, releases two hormones; namely, Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4).

The thyroid hormones that are released by utilizing the iodine of the food in the bowel, are not to be released at constant similar rates every time. Sometimes, the thyroid hormones must be released at a faster rate than usual, and sometimes, they should be let out to the stream in fewer proportions.

To help the thyroid gland in this regard, it seeks help from another significant gland called the Pituitary gland. This gland is accountable for telling the thyroid gland to release the hormones as per the body requirement.

The two hormones T3 and T4 that are released by the thyroid must strike a right balance in proportion to establish normalcy in the functioning of the body. T3 and T4 in excess results in a condition called as hyperthyroidism, which can, in turn, result in the symptoms such as shaking of hands (trembling), hair loss, nervousness, anxiety, moodiness, missing/ light menstrual periods on a regular note etc.

On the other hand, if the proportion is too less, hypothyroidism can be an outcome and is followed by grim symptoms like depression, heavy menstrual cycles, trouble sleeping, difficulty in concentrating and much more.

Even though it is only obvious that diet cannot single-handedly sort out the thyroid problems, yet by avoiding and consuming certain types of food, one can substantially bring about the necessary, rudimentary changes that will help in better functioning of the thyroid gland.

Iodine happens to be one of the most vital ingredients, the thyroid would need to facilitate the secretion of necessary hormones. To improve the intake of iodine, one can rely on shrimps, eggs, codfish, and seaweed. But the consumption should be mindful because excessive iodine concentration can have the reverse effect.

The other food items that are recommendable to facilitate proper thyroid gland functioning are vegetables and fruits such as tomato, blueberries which are rich in antioxidants.

Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds which are rich in selenium should also be taken in low proportions. Selenium is known to help an enzyme that instigates thyroid to secrete hormones.

Conversely, the diet should also be amended and tailored in such a way that it does not include food items that are very well known to inhibit the secretion of hormones in the gland.

Soy consumption, researches have established, can have immense effect when it comes to hindering the enzyme that is known to help in hormone secretion. women who regularly ate soy and its supplements were known to be more vulnerable for hypothyroidism.

A diet that is rich in fibre is always considered good for us, but when it comes to thyroid hormone secretion, fibres do not necessarily sustain the goodness. A diet high in fibre can pose a major hurdle for secreting hormones.

Even the consumption of vegetables, that are considered cruciferous, such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels, despite having a good effect on our body, should be consumed it strict measures to keep hypothyroidism at bay.

To steer away from hyperthyroidism, a proper diet which includes berries like raspberries, strawberries can be equally effective. they are filled with antioxidants and can have pleasant effects on the gland. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli as mentioned earlier can hinder the secretion. but on the other hand, be used to alleviate one from hyperthyroidism as they are known to lessen the secretion.

Salmon is also helpful as they are a great source of omega 3-S and vitamin D. As these are not produced organically by us, it is imperative to take them in good measures from time to time.

And to ease hyperthyroidism symptoms, dairy products, and Turkey could be very helpful as Turkey provides loads of protein which is, in fact, necessary for someone suffering from weight loss which is a common symptom of hyperthyroidism.

A total T4 test is used to diagnose hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Total T4 is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. In the bloodstream, T4 is either free (not bound) or protein- bound (bound to thyroxine-binding globulin).

To counter the unwarranted changes in the body which can indeed result in severe implications, it's prudent to get it tested as soon as one finds themselves inclined towards the aforementioned symptoms.

When do you expect results?

24 to 36 Hours

Why Get Tested?

A total T4 test is conducted to evaluate thyroid gland function; diagnose hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism; to screen for hypothyroidism in newborns.

Reason to take Total T4 (Total Thyroxine) Test

Insufficient amounts of T4, show symptoms associated with hypothyroidism and a slowed metabolism, like:

  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue

Excessive amounts of T4 in the blood results in symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism like:

  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Shaking of the hands
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Eyes cannot move normally
  • Puffiness around dry, irritated eyes

Preparations Needed for Total T4 (Total Thyroxine) Test

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

Sample Required?

Specimen type: Serum (Blood Sample), Specimen collection procedure: Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

Understanding results of Total T4 (Total Thyroxine)

Reference RangeInterpretation
7.7 – 66 (Boy), 4.8 – 67 (Girl)1 - 7 days
Below 4.5 ug/dLMale (Hypothyroid)
21 – 66 (Boy), 13.6 – 83 (Girl)8 - 15 days
4.8 – 10.6 (Boy),6.5 – 13.3 (Girl)1 - 3 yrs
6.3 – 11.1 (Boy),6.2 – 12.5 (Girl)11 yrs
Above 13 ug/dLMale (Hyperthyroid)
6.2 – 11.7 (Boy),7.8 – 12.6 (Girl)4 - 6 yrs
4.7 – 15.6 (Boy),5.8 – 14.3 (Girl)9 - 10 yrs
4.6 – 9.8 (Boy),6.2 – 8.7 (Girl)17 yrs
7.2 – 10.9 (Boy),6.5 – 9.0 (Girl)12 yrs
6.2 – 9.6 (Boy),5.2 – 9.5 (Girl)14 yrs
6.3 – 14.0 (Boy),7.6 – 12.4 (Girl)7 - 8 yrs
4.7 – 9.2 (Boy),4.8 – 9.0 (Girl)18 – 19 yrs
5.1 – 9.9 (Boy),5.7 – 9.5 (Girl)15 yrs
5.1 – 10.2 (Boy),5.2 – 9.5 (Girl)13 yrs
5.5 – 9.6 (Boy),5.9 – 9.0 (Girl)16 yrs
3.2 - 12.6 µg/dLMale/Female

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

 

References

  1. https://www.allinahealth.org/CCS/doc/Thomson%20Consumer%20Lab%20Database/49/150014.htm
  2. https://www.canaryclub.org/home-diagnostic-tests/thyroid-tests/total-t4-blood-spot-test
  3. https://medlineplus.gov Ý Lab Test Information