Why Do You Need Thyroid Screening?
At Women’s Health Medical Group, we test the level and function of your thyroid hormones. These hormones are incredibly important for all kinds of body functions. Here’s why screening is so important.
What does the thyroid do?
Only two inches in length, the thyroid plays in a big role in our health. It produces a hormone that is carried in the bloodstream to all parts of the body. Thyroid hormone plays a major role in regulating metabolism, the process where the body turns food into energy. It also helps regular body temperature, heart rate, and even brain function.
How does the thyroid work?
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, which is made up of glands that produce, store, and release hormones into the bloodstream. From there they can reach the body’s cells. The thyroid gland uses iodine from the foods you eat to make two main hormones: Triiodothyronini (T3) and Thyroxine (T4).
It’s important that T3 and T4 levels aren’t too high or too low. Two glands in the brain, the hypothalamus and the pituitary communicate to keep T3 and T4 levels in balance. When T3 andT4 levels are low in the blood, the pituitary releases a hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to get the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones. If the T3 and T4 levels are high, the pituitary releases less TSH to the thyroid gland to slow production.
The thing about T3 and T4 is that they impact just about every cell in the body. They regulate the speed of metabolism. They regulate heart rate and how fast your intestines process the food you eat. Because of that, if your T3 and T4 levels are low, your heart rate may be slower than normal, and you’ll have constipation and possible weight gain. If the T3 and T4 levels are high, your heart rate may be high, leading to possible diarrhea and weight loss.
Symptoms of too much T3 and T4 (hyperthyroidism):
- Hand trembling
- Hair loss
- Missed menstrual periods
Symptoms of too little T3 and T4 (hypothyroidism)
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry skin and hair
- Sensitivity to cold temperatures
- Frequent, heavy menstrual cycles
- Joint and muscle pain
We perform thyroid tests at Women’s Health Medical Group. Call us at (817) 346-5336 to make an appointment.