Interpreting your thyroid test results can be difficult if you don’t know what the terms and numbers mean. Here are some tips for understanding your report.
Thyroid disorders are extremely common, with over 20 million people in the US having one. Women, people older than 60, and those with a family history of thyroid problems are especially vulnerable. If you want to test your thyroid with a home test but aren’t sure how to read your results once they arrive, read these tips for understanding your home thyroid test results so you can make sense of your report.
An at-home thyroid test measures the levels of various hormones and antibodies in your blood. You’ll supply a finger-prick sample for the test. Four hormones and antibodies these tests commonly check are:
TSH, short for “thyroid-stimulating hormone,” is a hormone made by the pituitary gland in your brain. Its role is to encourage the thyroid gland to produce T4 and T3. When your thyroid gland produces low levels of T4 and T3, your pituitary gland produces high levels of TSH to stimulate the thyroid and vice versa. Both low and high levels of TSH in the blood can indicate a thyroid problem.
Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are two hormones produced by your thyroid gland. T3 affects your metabolism, bone health, and digestive health, while T4 affects your energy levels, mood, and temperature. Thyroid tests measure two types of T3 and T4: “total,” which is the total amount of hormones in the body, and “free,” the levels of hormones not bound to another protein. The latter is what actually affects your body.
Certain autoimmune conditions cause the body to produce antibodies (TgAb and TPOAb) that attack the thyroid. A test can identify these antibodies in the blood.
So, how do you read your home thyroid test results? Understanding your test results is easy. If your results fall out of the acceptable range, they’re considered abnormal. The normal ranges for each hormone and antibody vary depending on the lab and how they analyze your samples, but they are typically as follows:
If the numbers in your report are higher or lower than the ones listed above, it could signify a thyroid disorder.
If the results of your at-home test are abnormal, we recommend reaching out to your doctor. They can run additional tests, if necessary, confirm a diagnosis, and get you treatment for managing thyroid conditions like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease, and Hashimoto’s.
If you want to test your thyroid health at home, pick up a home test kit from RxHomeTest. Our tests are quick and convenient to use, and you’ll get professionally reviewed results from our world-class labs in less than a week. Get your kit today!
All About Thyroid - an in depth summary.
Normal TSH Levels: What's Normal and Why? - a detailed look at thyroid stimulation hormone.
Thyroid and Pregnancy - about the critical role thyroid plays during pregnancy.
Thyroid and Iodine - thyroid problems depend on lack or excess of iodine.