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What test should be done to detect thyroid problem? Is there a requirement of fasting?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
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Hi. For getting my thyroid checked is the blood test the way of finding out. Also is there a requirement of fasting for 8-10 hrs for the same?

Posted Fri, 16 Nov 2012 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Akhilesh Dubey 2 hours later

Thanks for posting query here.

Thyroid functions are detected by blood test T3, T4 and TSH level which is good test and gives vital information.

It is not absolutely necessary to be fasting for thyroid test, however if one is not fasting, levels of TSH may come slightly lower.

It is common practice to take blood in fasting as usually other tests are done simultaneously like Fasting Blood Sugar.

Hope this information will help you. If you have any further query, I will be happy to answer that.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What test should be done to detect thyroid problem? Is there a requirement of fasting? 28 minutes later
Thank you Dr.Dubey.

Currently I am having severe hairfall and a constant headaches. Could this be attributed to a imbalance in hormonal levels and thus may be thyroid issues?

What are the acceptables levels of T3 T4 and TSH?

When are then medications started?

Does taking medications help reverse the hairfall issues and the headaches>

Answered by Dr. Akhilesh Dubey 1 hour later

1. Hair fall is possible in hypothyroid state, but there are other features like generalized swelling, thick skin, slowing, constipation, weight gain, irregular cycles, etc which accompany hypothyroidism. Hence we cannot clearly attribute hair problems to thyroid issues.
Similarly headache may or may not be related to thyroid.

2. As far as normal / acceptable levels are concerned, that would depend on the units of measurements and age of the patient. In India the general accepted values in an adult are as follows:
- T3 is 80 to 200 nanogm/dl
- T4 is 4.5 to 12.5 microgm/dl
- TSH is 0.5 to 4.70 microIU/ml

3. The results of thyroid functions need to be correlated clinically. If all the findings are consistent with an abnormality medications can be started.
If thyroid problem is suspected, it is advisable to visit Endocrinologist for further evaluation. Accurate treatment can planned accordingly.

Do not worry and keep me informed about progress.

Hope I have answered your query.
If all your queries are answered, please close this discussion.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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