Doctors suspect the problem of Graves’ disease based on family and medical history of patients in combination with symptoms. However, to perform an appropriate diagnosis, doctors recommend for various thyroid tests, as we have mentioned in this article.
How Do You Test for Graves’ Disease?
Graves’ Disease Blood Tests
Endocrinologist or your doctor will take some blood samples to test specific hormone levels. These include-
Test of TSH Levels
Testing of TSH level is the first test conduct by doctors or endocrinologists, in which they check the level of thyroid stimulating hormone, abbreviated as TSH in patients. In case of Graves’ disease, the level remains at low, as pituitary glands will intend to compensate for the excessive production of T3 and T4 hormone levels present in the blood.
Test of Total T3 and Total T4 Hormone Levels
In case doctors find low TSH in patients, they take steps to check Total T3 and Total T4 hormone levels to perform diagnosis of the Graves’ disease. Normal ranges of both T3 and T4 require regulation of the body’s metabolism at the respective cellular level. Hence, in this blood test, doctors look for abnormal T3 and T4 levels. People suffering from Graves’ disease usually have T3 and T4 hormones in excessive amounts in the blood. This is because; antibody TSIs i.e. Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulins misdirect the patients’ thyroid to create T4 and T3 in excessive amounts.
Testing of Free T4 Hormone Levels
Endocrinologists recommend for another form of blood test run i.e. free T4 hormone levels in case they found TSH in abnormal condition. In this new form of test, alteration in the result takes place based on protein components found in the human blood, which bind to the levels of T4 hormone. Reason for this that free T4 remains relatively less affected because of blood proteins and thereby, give an accurate picture of dysfunction or function of thyroid.
Testing of TSI i.e. Thyroid Stimulating Immunogobulin Levels
TSI comes under the category of an antibody named immunoglobulin measured by blood test. TSIs may bind with tissues present in human’s eyeballs and beneath their skin to contribute towards the development of a few common Graves’ disease symptoms i.e. thickening of the skin at the front of one’s lower leg and bulging eyes. TSI level test becomes essential whenever the doctor is unable to diagnose the problem of Graves’ disease in a definitive way based on symptoms and levels of other tests i.e. TSH, T4 and T3 levels in patients.
Testing of TPO i.e. Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
Since Graves’ disease comes under the category of autoimmune disorder, doctors recommend for this blood test. TPO is responsible for measuring the thyroid perooxidase based antibodies. In case your blood contains such antibodies, the test suggests about the attack of your immune system because of thyroid. However, the problem is that about 5percent to 10percent of healthy people found the test positive in case of TPO antibodies. Because of this, presence of such antibodies does not always indicate the presence of an autoimmune disorder.
RAIU i.e. Radioactive Iodine Uptake Test and Scan
RAIU i.e. Radioactive Iodine Uptake Test and Scan is responsible for measuring the exact amount or percentage of iodine absorbed by one’s thyroid and determines if only a specific part or entire thyroid is of overactive. Doctors conduct this test in a nuclear image department of a medical center or a hospital. Patients have to intake a radioactive tracer or an iodine pill before 4 to 6 hours of the first scan of their thyroid glands.
Iodine is preferable because thyroid gland of a person absorbs it easily via the bloodstream from food items containing the same element to produce thyroid hormones. This specific test is beneficial, as thyroid is able to absorb iodine in a far better way as compared to any other body parts, particularly when a thyroid gland remains overactive.
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