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Thyroid test without doctor


3 Best At-Home Thyroid Tests of 2022

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We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

  • Best for follow-up on results: LetsGetChecked
  • Best membership: Everlywell
  • Best for specialized care: Paloma Health

Consumers are becoming more tech-savvy and taking their health into their own hands — and this is a good thing.

Home test kits, in particular, are often cheaper than in-office visits and can help uncover any health concerns. Results can easily be sent to your healthcare professional for a follow-up appointment.

The thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck. It’s part of the endocrine system and is responsible for regulating hormones throughout your body to help you sleep, give you energy, and help you stay warm.

The main hormones it produces are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which control how your cells use energy. Your thyroid gland regulates your metabolism through the release of these hormones.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid doesn’t make enough T4, T3, or both. It’s the most common thyroid condition, affecting 5% of the population worldwide, with another 5% who have the condition but haven’t been diagnosed.

In hyperthyroidism, the opposite occurs. The thyroid becomes too active and makes too much of the thyroid hormones.

Testing your thyroid levels at home is convenient and accurate when done correctly, and with the range of home test kits to choose from, you may find one that you like.

Read on to find out what thyroid tests are available and if they’re right for you.

Anyone can get their thyroid checked. However, certain populations can be at higher risk for thyroid disorders, including:

  • people born with a uterus
  • people with autoimmune disorders, including type 1 diabetes
  • people with a history of thyroid disorders
  • people who smoke
  • people with a family history of thyroid disorders

You may want to undergo testing if you’re showing any symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Symptoms of hypo- and hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism

  • feeling tired or having little energy
  • feeling cold
  • gaining weight
  • dry, scaly skin
  • brittle hair and nails
  • depression
  • constipation

Hyperthyroidism

  • feeling hot or sweating
  • fast or irregular heart rate
  • weight loss
  • frequent and loose bowel movements
  • hand tremors
  • muscle weakness
  • fertility concerns
  • fatigue, but difficulty sleeping
  • nervousness
  • irritability

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consider getting your thyroid levels checked. If left untreated, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause health concerns.

Hypothyroidism may increase your risk of:

  • developmental issues for a fetus
  • an enlarged thyroid
  • heart issues
  • fertility concerns
  • renal complications
  • nervous system issues, including muscle weakness and nerve injury

Hyperthyroidism may increase your risk of:

  • osteoporosis
  • heart failure
  • irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)
  • eye issues
  • thyroid storm

Since thyroid concerns are common and you can have thyroid issues without symptoms, you can still get tested as part of your preventive healthcare routine.

To choose the best at-home thyroid testing companies, we looked for those that offered the most benefits.

We used the following criteria:

  • Cost: We chose tests that are reasonably priced.
  • Type of test: All tests measure thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Some options also measure additional biomarkers, including T3, T4, and antibodies.
  • Privacy: To protect your privacy, the companies on this list offer confidentiality and discreet packaging.
  • Online reviews: We read online reviews to look for positive mentions of clients’ experiences and the test’s reliability.
  • Reliable follow-up results: We looked for companies that provide interpretation, consultations, and medical guidance so you can easily understand your results.

A note about at-home test results

The at-home test kits recommended below have gone through our vetting process and have passed. In general, however, at-home test kits are not a reliable substitute for visiting your primary healthcare professional.

At-home tests are not all-encompassing and don’t consider your personal or family history. They also may not test for features or cultures that a healthcare professional would know to look for. The tests listed below are recommended to use in conjunction with a healthcare professional to make sure you get the best possible care.

An important note: You shouldn’t change your medication based on what the at-home test kit results provide to you. Always consult your doctor before making changes to your medication. For any abnormal results, make sure the tests are confirmed at a lab and with supervision and guidance from your healthcare professional.

Best for follow-up on results

LetsGetChecked

LetsGetChecked offers two options: the thyroid test and the thyroid antibody test.

The thyroid test checks thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), T4, and T3. If your results come back outside of the normal range (either high or low), you have the option of a free consultation by phone with a nurse to discuss your next steps. With your lab report, you’ll also receive information on how to understand your results.

After requesting a thyroid test kit, you will receive an unmarked box in the mail that includes everything you need for testing. You’ll take a finger prick in the morning and send back your sample in the provided biohazard bag the same day. Results are sent to you in 2 to 5 days.

Best for: follow-up on results

Price: $99–$119, depending on which test you choose

Coverage: LetsGetChecked doesn’t take insurance, but they do accept flexible savings account (FSA) and health savings account (HSA) cards.

Learn more about LetsGetChecked here.

Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off

SHOP NOW AT LETSGETCHECKED

Pros

  • free nurse consultation to discuss test results
  • confidential packaging
  • labs are Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified and accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP)

Cons

  • shipping may not be available in all countries
  • some concerns with data privacy and timeliness of personal information deletion from the site
  • provides testing only — no health assessments are offered

Best membership

Everlywell

Everlywell is a relatively new company that provides a range of testing options, including thyroid kits. These thyroid tests evaluate TSH, TPO antibody, T3, and T4.

By becoming a member, you’ll get a significant discount on testing options. You’ll collect your sample with a finger prick and return the kit to be tested. There are videos on their website that walk you through how to collect and return your sample.

Results are returned in 5 business days. Depending on volume, it may take up to 8 days.

Best for: membership

Price: $99 (without a membership) or $24.99 (with a membership)

Coverage: Everlywell isn’t covered by insurance, but you can use your HSA or FSA account to pay for testing.

SHOP NOW AT EVERLYWELL

Pros

  • membership options for more frequent testing
  • high-quality certified lab
  • accepts HSA and FSA payments

Cons

  • more expensive than other test kits
  • less comprehensive than other tests
  • not available to New York residents

Best for specialized care

Paloma Health

Paloma Health is a telemedicine company with healthcare professionals who specialize in thyroid disorders. The company only does thyroid testing. Their main goal is to be a one-stop shop for all aspects of thyroid health.

In this way, Paloma stands out from their competitors with a more holistic approach to care. They offer nutritional consults and health coaching, and one doctor is assigned to you throughout all your testing. This whole-body approach offers more than just the usual thyroid testing. Their additional antibody tests can detect Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other thyroid disorders.

You have the options to have TSH and free T4 levels tested, but the thyroid panel also includes testing of anti-TPO antibodies and free T3 levels.

You’re provided a lancet to take a finger prick. This sample will be sent back in the provided biohazard bag. While results are read by healthcare professionals, for a separate fee, they can provide information about your results, as well as a treatment plan. Results are returned in 7 days.

Best for: specialized care

Price: $99 for the thyroid test kit, additional costs for medications, and coaching and treatment plans

Coverage: Consultations are covered by insurance. If Paloma isn’t in-network, you can submit for reimbursement. Check with your insurance company to find out if they will cover at-home test kits.

SHOP NOW AT PALOMA HEALTH

Pros

  • fully focused on managing hypothyroidism
  • remote telemedicine services
  • offers free consultation before you sign up

Cons

  • can have slower test shipping and processing
  • not available in all states in the United States
  • each service is priced separately

At-home thyroid testPriceCoverageResults
LetsGetChecked$99–$119no insurance but accepts HSA/FSA2–3 days
Everlywell$99 (no membership)
$24.99 (with membership)
no insurance but accepts HSA/FSA5–8 days
Paloma Health$99check with your insurance on coverage7 days

To decide which at-home thyroid test is best for you, consider the following:

  • Type of test: Decide if you want a test that measures only TSH or additional biomarkers such as T3, T4, TSI, and TPO antibodies.
  • Price: Find out what the price includes and if the company accepts HSA, FSA, or insurance.
  • Test results: Check to see how much interpretation, guidance, or medical support the company offers. See if there is an additional cost for consultations, personalized advice, or treatment recommendations.
  • Privacy: Check out the privacy policy of each company. Find out if they provide confidentiality and discreet packaging.
  • Reviews: Read online reviews to get a sense of the company’s reputation and the test’s reliability, benefits, and downsides. You can also get a feel for the company’s reputation.

What to consider when searching for an at-home thyroid test

In your search for an at-home thyroid test, decide what is most important for your needs. Most tests measure TSH and T4 levels. You may need further tests that measure levels such as T3, T7, TSI, and antibodies. Find out what types of recommendations for additional testing or treatment plans each company offers.

At-home tests can be considered if you have symptoms that cause you to suspect a thyroid disorder. You may also want to test your thyroid levels after implementing lifestyle changes, starting a new medication, or beginning a treatment plan. It’s also a good idea to do a home test if you are at risk of developing a thyroid disorder.

At-home thyroid tests offer plenty of advantages and drawbacks to consider.

Pros

  • often more confidential, convenient, and affordable than in-office testing
  • fairly reliable and accurate if performed correctly
  • results may include a consultation, health assessment, and detailed interpretation

Cons

  • results may be difficult to interpret
  • more room for human error, which can reduce accuracy and reliability
  • diagnosis and treatment require a doctor’s visit

Thyroid tests use blood samples to check the levels of TSH and T4. If there are any concerning results, more detailed testing can be done, including checking T3 levels.

If your levels are too high, you may also need an iodine uptake and scan to view how much your thyroid absorbs. You may need to go on daily medication to regulate your levels.

Kits may show your results in different ways, use different units of measurement, and provide varying levels of information that help you to understand them. You may also have the option of having a consultation or receiving another type of medical guidance.

It’s always a good idea to show your results to your doctor. They can provide more interpretation and decide if additional testing or a treatment plan is necessary. Your results may also provide insights into some of your other health concerns.

Interpreting results

Most of these home test kits do provide interpretations of your lab results. If they don’t, it’s best to consult with your healthcare professional.

TSH levels depend on your age and sex, but they can fluctuate based on medications, diet, and pregnancy. The normal range is 0. 45 to 4.5 milliunits per liter (mU/L).

Hypo/hyperthyroidism

A prolonged change in these hormones can affect your overall health. When TSH levels are too high, the thyroid gland isn’t making enough T4, which can lead to hypothyroidism. Conversely, if TSH levels are too low, the thyroid gland may be producing too much T4, which can lead to hyperthyroidism.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), home test kits, in general, are a suitable way to receive quick and confidential lab results. They’re not a substitute for receiving regular care from a healthcare professional.

A thyroid blood test is only one part of receiving a diagnosis, and for some people, more testing or clinical exams might be necessary.

Some endocrinologists, or doctors who specialize in hormone-related conditions like thyroid disorders, have concerns about the reliability of thyroid kits and the potential for misdiagnosis. But this is why it’s still important to inform your healthcare professional of any at-home test results.

Contact a doctor if your test results are abnormal, which could indicate a thyroid disorder. If your results are normal, you may want to see a doctor if you have any health concerns, symptoms of a thyroid disorder, or a personal or family history of thyroid conditions.

You can also visit your doctor to discuss or interpret your test results. They can confirm the results of your home test, which may include a diagnosis of a thyroid condition. Your doctor can also recommend treatments, additional tests, and any lifestyle changes.

See a doctor if you have symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, which may include:

  • mood changes
  • energy level changes
  • body temperature changes
  • weight fluctuation
  • irregular bowel habits
  • fertility or menstruation concerns
  • cardiovascular concerns
  • a swollen or thick neck

How can I check my thyroid at home?

To check your thyroid at home, order an online test, which you will receive by mail. Once you receive your kit, carefully read and follow the instructions, which may specify the time of day to do the test.

In addition to written directions, companies may provide instructional videos and online tutorials. Contact the company or a healthcare professional before taking the test if you have questions or if any of the information is unclear.

Most tests require using a lancet to prick your finger and collect a blood sample. Drop the blood onto a test strip or into a small tube before sending it to the laboratory. You’ll usually receive your electronic results within a week.

How reliable are home thyroid tests?

Home thyroid tests from reputable companies are usually reliable if you perform the test correctly. To ensure quality and accuracy, choose a company with CAP accreditation and CLIA certification.

Compared with tests done in a healthcare setting, home thyroid tests are less accurate and reliable. They’re not a replacement for routine exams at a doctor’s office.

How do you get a thyroid test without a doctor?

To get a thyroid test without a doctor, order a test from an online supplier. After receiving your testing kit in the mail, collect a sample and send it to the lab. Most companies provide you with digital test results within a week.

You’ll still need to visit a doctor to analyze your results and receive a diagnosis. Don’t change your medication or treatment plan based on home test results.

Do I need to fast before a thyroid test?

In most cases, it’s not necessary to fast before a thyroid test. However, if you are taking additional blood tests at the same time — for lipids and glucose, for example — you may need to fast for 8 to 10 hours.

Overall, thyroid test kits are a great way to check and monitor how your thyroid is functioning and if there are any concerns you should address.

Home testing companies vary in the services they offer, as well as their pricing. It’s a good idea to research each company for more information on their services, as well as their healthcare professionals and accreditations. This can help you decide whether at-home thyroid tests are right for you and which company to try.

Risa Kerslake is a registered nurse, freelance writer, and mom of two from the Midwest. She specializes in topics related to women’s health, mental health, oncology, postpartum, and fertility. She enjoys collecting coffee mugs, crocheting, and attempting to write her memoir. Read more about her work at her website.

3 Best At-Home Thyroid Tests of 2022

Share on Pinterest

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

  • Best for follow-up on results: LetsGetChecked
  • Best membership: Everlywell
  • Best for specialized care: Paloma Health

Consumers are becoming more tech-savvy and taking their health into their own hands — and this is a good thing.

Home test kits, in particular, are often cheaper than in-office visits and can help uncover any health concerns. Results can easily be sent to your healthcare professional for a follow-up appointment.

The thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck. It’s part of the endocrine system and is responsible for regulating hormones throughout your body to help you sleep, give you energy, and help you stay warm.

The main hormones it produces are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which control how your cells use energy. Your thyroid gland regulates your metabolism through the release of these hormones.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid doesn’t make enough T4, T3, or both. It’s the most common thyroid condition, affecting 5% of the population worldwide, with another 5% who have the condition but haven’t been diagnosed.

In hyperthyroidism, the opposite occurs. The thyroid becomes too active and makes too much of the thyroid hormones.

Testing your thyroid levels at home is convenient and accurate when done correctly, and with the range of home test kits to choose from, you may find one that you like.

Read on to find out what thyroid tests are available and if they’re right for you.

Anyone can get their thyroid checked. However, certain populations can be at higher risk for thyroid disorders, including:

  • people born with a uterus
  • people with autoimmune disorders, including type 1 diabetes
  • people with a history of thyroid disorders
  • people who smoke
  • people with a family history of thyroid disorders

You may want to undergo testing if you’re showing any symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Symptoms of hypo- and hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism

  • feeling tired or having little energy
  • feeling cold
  • gaining weight
  • dry, scaly skin
  • brittle hair and nails
  • depression
  • constipation

Hyperthyroidism

  • feeling hot or sweating
  • fast or irregular heart rate
  • weight loss
  • frequent and loose bowel movements
  • hand tremors
  • muscle weakness
  • fertility concerns
  • fatigue, but difficulty sleeping
  • nervousness
  • irritability

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consider getting your thyroid levels checked. If left untreated, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause health concerns.

Hypothyroidism may increase your risk of:

  • developmental issues for a fetus
  • an enlarged thyroid
  • heart issues
  • fertility concerns
  • renal complications
  • nervous system issues, including muscle weakness and nerve injury

Hyperthyroidism may increase your risk of:

  • osteoporosis
  • heart failure
  • irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)
  • eye issues
  • thyroid storm

Since thyroid concerns are common and you can have thyroid issues without symptoms, you can still get tested as part of your preventive healthcare routine.

To choose the best at-home thyroid testing companies, we looked for those that offered the most benefits.

We used the following criteria:

  • Cost: We chose tests that are reasonably priced.
  • Type of test: All tests measure thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Some options also measure additional biomarkers, including T3, T4, and antibodies.
  • Privacy: To protect your privacy, the companies on this list offer confidentiality and discreet packaging.
  • Online reviews: We read online reviews to look for positive mentions of clients’ experiences and the test’s reliability.
  • Reliable follow-up results: We looked for companies that provide interpretation, consultations, and medical guidance so you can easily understand your results.

A note about at-home test results

The at-home test kits recommended below have gone through our vetting process and have passed. In general, however, at-home test kits are not a reliable substitute for visiting your primary healthcare professional.

At-home tests are not all-encompassing and don’t consider your personal or family history. They also may not test for features or cultures that a healthcare professional would know to look for. The tests listed below are recommended to use in conjunction with a healthcare professional to make sure you get the best possible care.

An important note: You shouldn’t change your medication based on what the at-home test kit results provide to you. Always consult your doctor before making changes to your medication. For any abnormal results, make sure the tests are confirmed at a lab and with supervision and guidance from your healthcare professional.

Best for follow-up on results

LetsGetChecked

LetsGetChecked offers two options: the thyroid test and the thyroid antibody test.

The thyroid test checks thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), T4, and T3. If your results come back outside of the normal range (either high or low), you have the option of a free consultation by phone with a nurse to discuss your next steps. With your lab report, you’ll also receive information on how to understand your results.

After requesting a thyroid test kit, you will receive an unmarked box in the mail that includes everything you need for testing. You’ll take a finger prick in the morning and send back your sample in the provided biohazard bag the same day. Results are sent to you in 2 to 5 days.

Best for: follow-up on results

Price: $99–$119, depending on which test you choose

Coverage: LetsGetChecked doesn’t take insurance, but they do accept flexible savings account (FSA) and health savings account (HSA) cards.

Learn more about LetsGetChecked here.

Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off

SHOP NOW AT LETSGETCHECKED

Pros

  • free nurse consultation to discuss test results
  • confidential packaging
  • labs are Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified and accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP)

Cons

  • shipping may not be available in all countries
  • some concerns with data privacy and timeliness of personal information deletion from the site
  • provides testing only — no health assessments are offered

Best membership

Everlywell

Everlywell is a relatively new company that provides a range of testing options, including thyroid kits. These thyroid tests evaluate TSH, TPO antibody, T3, and T4.

By becoming a member, you’ll get a significant discount on testing options. You’ll collect your sample with a finger prick and return the kit to be tested. There are videos on their website that walk you through how to collect and return your sample.

Results are returned in 5 business days. Depending on volume, it may take up to 8 days.

Best for: membership

Price: $99 (without a membership) or $24.99 (with a membership)

Coverage: Everlywell isn’t covered by insurance, but you can use your HSA or FSA account to pay for testing.

SHOP NOW AT EVERLYWELL

Pros

  • membership options for more frequent testing
  • high-quality certified lab
  • accepts HSA and FSA payments

Cons

  • more expensive than other test kits
  • less comprehensive than other tests
  • not available to New York residents

Best for specialized care

Paloma Health

Paloma Health is a telemedicine company with healthcare professionals who specialize in thyroid disorders. The company only does thyroid testing. Their main goal is to be a one-stop shop for all aspects of thyroid health.

In this way, Paloma stands out from their competitors with a more holistic approach to care. They offer nutritional consults and health coaching, and one doctor is assigned to you throughout all your testing. This whole-body approach offers more than just the usual thyroid testing. Their additional antibody tests can detect Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other thyroid disorders.

You have the options to have TSH and free T4 levels tested, but the thyroid panel also includes testing of anti-TPO antibodies and free T3 levels.

You’re provided a lancet to take a finger prick. This sample will be sent back in the provided biohazard bag. While results are read by healthcare professionals, for a separate fee, they can provide information about your results, as well as a treatment plan. Results are returned in 7 days.

Best for: specialized care

Price: $99 for the thyroid test kit, additional costs for medications, and coaching and treatment plans

Coverage: Consultations are covered by insurance. If Paloma isn’t in-network, you can submit for reimbursement. Check with your insurance company to find out if they will cover at-home test kits.

SHOP NOW AT PALOMA HEALTH

Pros

  • fully focused on managing hypothyroidism
  • remote telemedicine services
  • offers free consultation before you sign up

Cons

  • can have slower test shipping and processing
  • not available in all states in the United States
  • each service is priced separately

At-home thyroid testPriceCoverageResults
LetsGetChecked$99–$119no insurance but accepts HSA/FSA2–3 days
Everlywell$99 (no membership)
$24.99 (with membership)
no insurance but accepts HSA/FSA5–8 days
Paloma Health$99check with your insurance on coverage7 days

To decide which at-home thyroid test is best for you, consider the following:

  • Type of test: Decide if you want a test that measures only TSH or additional biomarkers such as T3, T4, TSI, and TPO antibodies.
  • Price: Find out what the price includes and if the company accepts HSA, FSA, or insurance.
  • Test results: Check to see how much interpretation, guidance, or medical support the company offers. See if there is an additional cost for consultations, personalized advice, or treatment recommendations.
  • Privacy: Check out the privacy policy of each company. Find out if they provide confidentiality and discreet packaging.
  • Reviews: Read online reviews to get a sense of the company’s reputation and the test’s reliability, benefits, and downsides. You can also get a feel for the company’s reputation.

What to consider when searching for an at-home thyroid test

In your search for an at-home thyroid test, decide what is most important for your needs. Most tests measure TSH and T4 levels. You may need further tests that measure levels such as T3, T7, TSI, and antibodies. Find out what types of recommendations for additional testing or treatment plans each company offers.

At-home tests can be considered if you have symptoms that cause you to suspect a thyroid disorder. You may also want to test your thyroid levels after implementing lifestyle changes, starting a new medication, or beginning a treatment plan. It’s also a good idea to do a home test if you are at risk of developing a thyroid disorder.

At-home thyroid tests offer plenty of advantages and drawbacks to consider.

Pros

  • often more confidential, convenient, and affordable than in-office testing
  • fairly reliable and accurate if performed correctly
  • results may include a consultation, health assessment, and detailed interpretation

Cons

  • results may be difficult to interpret
  • more room for human error, which can reduce accuracy and reliability
  • diagnosis and treatment require a doctor’s visit

Thyroid tests use blood samples to check the levels of TSH and T4. If there are any concerning results, more detailed testing can be done, including checking T3 levels.

If your levels are too high, you may also need an iodine uptake and scan to view how much your thyroid absorbs. You may need to go on daily medication to regulate your levels.

Kits may show your results in different ways, use different units of measurement, and provide varying levels of information that help you to understand them. You may also have the option of having a consultation or receiving another type of medical guidance.

It’s always a good idea to show your results to your doctor. They can provide more interpretation and decide if additional testing or a treatment plan is necessary. Your results may also provide insights into some of your other health concerns.

Interpreting results

Most of these home test kits do provide interpretations of your lab results. If they don’t, it’s best to consult with your healthcare professional.

TSH levels depend on your age and sex, but they can fluctuate based on medications, diet, and pregnancy. The normal range is 0. 45 to 4.5 milliunits per liter (mU/L).

Hypo/hyperthyroidism

A prolonged change in these hormones can affect your overall health. When TSH levels are too high, the thyroid gland isn’t making enough T4, which can lead to hypothyroidism. Conversely, if TSH levels are too low, the thyroid gland may be producing too much T4, which can lead to hyperthyroidism.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), home test kits, in general, are a suitable way to receive quick and confidential lab results. They’re not a substitute for receiving regular care from a healthcare professional.

A thyroid blood test is only one part of receiving a diagnosis, and for some people, more testing or clinical exams might be necessary.

Some endocrinologists, or doctors who specialize in hormone-related conditions like thyroid disorders, have concerns about the reliability of thyroid kits and the potential for misdiagnosis. But this is why it’s still important to inform your healthcare professional of any at-home test results.

Contact a doctor if your test results are abnormal, which could indicate a thyroid disorder. If your results are normal, you may want to see a doctor if you have any health concerns, symptoms of a thyroid disorder, or a personal or family history of thyroid conditions.

You can also visit your doctor to discuss or interpret your test results. They can confirm the results of your home test, which may include a diagnosis of a thyroid condition. Your doctor can also recommend treatments, additional tests, and any lifestyle changes.

See a doctor if you have symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, which may include:

  • mood changes
  • energy level changes
  • body temperature changes
  • weight fluctuation
  • irregular bowel habits
  • fertility or menstruation concerns
  • cardiovascular concerns
  • a swollen or thick neck

How can I check my thyroid at home?

To check your thyroid at home, order an online test, which you will receive by mail. Once you receive your kit, carefully read and follow the instructions, which may specify the time of day to do the test.

In addition to written directions, companies may provide instructional videos and online tutorials. Contact the company or a healthcare professional before taking the test if you have questions or if any of the information is unclear.

Most tests require using a lancet to prick your finger and collect a blood sample. Drop the blood onto a test strip or into a small tube before sending it to the laboratory. You’ll usually receive your electronic results within a week.

How reliable are home thyroid tests?

Home thyroid tests from reputable companies are usually reliable if you perform the test correctly. To ensure quality and accuracy, choose a company with CAP accreditation and CLIA certification.

Compared with tests done in a healthcare setting, home thyroid tests are less accurate and reliable. They’re not a replacement for routine exams at a doctor’s office.

How do you get a thyroid test without a doctor?

To get a thyroid test without a doctor, order a test from an online supplier. After receiving your testing kit in the mail, collect a sample and send it to the lab. Most companies provide you with digital test results within a week.

You’ll still need to visit a doctor to analyze your results and receive a diagnosis. Don’t change your medication or treatment plan based on home test results.

Do I need to fast before a thyroid test?

In most cases, it’s not necessary to fast before a thyroid test. However, if you are taking additional blood tests at the same time — for lipids and glucose, for example — you may need to fast for 8 to 10 hours.

Overall, thyroid test kits are a great way to check and monitor how your thyroid is functioning and if there are any concerns you should address.

Home testing companies vary in the services they offer, as well as their pricing. It’s a good idea to research each company for more information on their services, as well as their healthcare professionals and accreditations. This can help you decide whether at-home thyroid tests are right for you and which company to try.

Risa Kerslake is a registered nurse, freelance writer, and mom of two from the Midwest. She specializes in topics related to women’s health, mental health, oncology, postpartum, and fertility. She enjoys collecting coffee mugs, crocheting, and attempting to write her memoir. Read more about her work at her website.

What tests to take if you suspect thyroid disease?

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped organ located at the base of the neck. Its halves - the petals - lie on both sides of the windpipe and are connected by a thin strip of glandular tissue - the isthmus.

The thyroid gland provides the foundation for a stable life of the body:

  • respiration and body temperature;

  • heart rate and functions of the nervous system - central and peripheral;

  • muscle strength and body weight;

  • cholesterol level;

  • menstrual cycles and menstruation, reproductive system and more.

What could be the reasons for thyroid problems?

Since almost everything in our body depends on immunity, its decrease greatly affects the overall picture of human hormones, and this, in turn, leads to imbalance.

Most common thyroid diseases:

  • Hypothyroidism - lack of thyroid hormones.

  • Hyperthyroidism - increased levels of the hormones triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4). Depending on the level of occurrence of the disorder, the following types of hyperthyroidism are distinguished: primary - thyroid gland, secondary - pituitary gland, tertiary - hypothalamus.

  • Hyperparathyroidism - a violation of calcium metabolism.

To find out if you have problems with the thyroid gland, you need to make an appointment with an endocrinologist. Physician begins the examination with a visual and tactile examination of the thyroid gland. Next makes:

  • Blood test to determine the level of hormones

  • ultrasound

  • Monitoring changes in sugar content in the body

  • Puncture of the thyroid gland.

To check the status of the thyroid gland, you need to take 5 tests for hormones.

  1. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

  2. Triiodothyronine free T3.

  3. Thyroxine free T4.

  4. Antibodies to thyroperoxidase.

  5. Onomarker calcitonin

  • The primary and most important of these is thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) . It regulates the functions of the thyroid gland, the production of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), ensures the flow of iodine from the blood into the thyroid gland.

If the TSH is normal, then the diagnosis ends. If not, then we turn to the endocrinologist and pass the following tests:

  • Triiodothyronine (T3) affects almost all physiological processes of a person: metabolism, heart function, body temperature, growth and development of intelligence, individual organs and tissues.

  • Thyroxine (T4) - triiodothyronine prohormone. Its synthesis and secretion make up approximately 4/5 of the total volume of gland hormones. This is an inactive form, which, when 1 atom of iodine is detached, is already converted into T3 in tissues and organs.

  • Antibodies to thyroperoxidase (AT-TPO ) - antibodies to thyroid peroxidase, or microsomal antibodies. They are produced by the body's immune system against thyroid peroxidase, which provides thyroglobulin with the active form of iodine. The result is a decrease in the secretion of T3, T4.

  • Calcitonin, or thyrocalcitonin , is an indicator of thyroid cancer at an early stage for nodular goiter. Goiter - enlargement of the thyroid gland, not associated with inflammation. B 95% of the formations are benign, do not need any type of treatment and do not threaten human health and life.

With an excess of hormones - "hyperthyroidism", the activity of the whole organism is disrupted.

This is caused by the following symptoms:

  • Hyperthermia - persistent or temporary increase in body temperature from 37.1 - 37.7 degrees.

  • Increased mental and physical activity, as a result of which the person becomes excessively nervous.

  • Weight loss despite good appetite.

  • Tremor - trembling of fingers and head.

In the later stages or with a significant increase in hormone levels, the following is disturbed:

  • Cardiac activity, vascular hypertonicity develops, pressure rises, persistent tachycardia develops even at rest.

  • Work of the nervous system, intellect suffers, concentration of attention and memory decrease;

  • The functioning of the digestive system, expressed in frequently recurring constipation and diarrhea, upset stomach and intestines.

Hormone deficiency causes the following symptoms:

  • Hypothermia - body temperature drops to 35. 5 degrees. The temperature does not return to normal for a long time.

  • Decreased blood pressure to 90-85/60-50, hypotension.

  • Swelling of the face, arms and legs due to a decrease in the rate of fluid excretion, disruption of the excretory system and kidneys.

  • Insomnia, lethargy, weakness and weakness, violation of the biological rhythm.

  • Decreased metabolic rate leading to weight gain and obesity.

  • Decreased efficiency of other endocrine glands. It leads to the extinction of libido, sexual dysfunction, violations of the monthly cycle, malfunctions of the digestive system, an increase or decrease in blood sugar levels.

  • Deterioration of the skin and nails, dryness and flabbiness of the skin, brittle nails, hair loss.

What should be done to prevent endocrine diseases?

Since disruption of the body is often associated with nervous strain, overwork, malnutrition, these simple tips will help maintain your health:

  • do not overwork;

  • try to avoid stressful situations as much as possible;

  • reduce your sugar levels;

  • include in the menu iodine-containing products (seaweed, potatoes, cranberries, strawberries, prunes, shrimp, tuna, white beans).

If you suspect that you have a thyroid disease, do not postpone your visit to the doctor. Violation of hormones is a rather dangerous process, if it is started, it will turn into a chronic form, complications will arise. Check your health in a timely manner and trust only experienced endocrinologists of Sanas Medical Center.

Make an appointment with an endocrinologist

Why are thyroid hormones checked?

The thyroid gland controls the metabolism in the body - from energy production to regulation of body temperature. A failure in her work leads to serious health problems. We tell how tests for thyroid-stimulating hormone, thyroid hormones and antibodies to thyroglobulin help to find out what is happening with the thyroid gland and choose the right treatment.

When they do it

Doctors prescribe tests for thyroid hormones to detect violations of its work. The problem may be in an elevated level, that is, in hyperthyroidism, or in insufficiency - hypothyroidism.

“Any healthy person should get tested for thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH, once a year. This analysis is included in many screenings because the symptoms of hypothyroidism vary in severity. In the early stages, people may not suspect that something is wrong with them,” advises the therapist of the Semeynaya clinic, Alexander Lavrishchev.

According to Alexander Lavrishchev, popular science articles often write that hypothyroidism is when a person gets noticeably fat, feels drowsy or swells all the time. But gradual unreasonable weight gain and swelling are already extreme manifestations of an advanced form of hypothyroidism, which he saw only 2-3 times in 11 years of practice.

In practice, the doctor begins to suspect that a person may have hypothyroidism when the possible manifestations of the disease have not yet become so bright: for example, a person has a constantly slightly lower body temperature. Depression and low mood also give the doctor reason to suspect that hypothyroidism may be the problem.

“People with pronounced hypofunction of the thyroid gland have an accelerated heartbeat, high blood pressure, hand tremors, and sometimes a goiter can be seen on the neck - an enlarged thyroid gland, as in the picture in the textbook with Graves' disease. But I also met only two or three such patients. As a rule, the symptoms are milder: patients with suspected hyperthyroidism are more often irritable, anxious, they have accelerated speech, elevated body temperature, ”Alexander Lavrishchev shares his observation.

Alexander Lavrishchev clarifies that, in addition to TSH tests, which every person should take once a year anyway, therapists rarely use other tests for thyroid hormones in practice, because they are mainly needed by endocrinologists, and they are prescribed according to indications.

It makes sense to do additional tests only if there are changes in TSH, or if a person has already been diagnosed - for example, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. If a person is already being treated, and the doctor informs the patient that he should have a certain target level of TSH and T4, then it makes sense to donate blood for both tests at the same time.

Healthy people without complaints do not need to be tested for T4, or for other hormones other than TSH. Any laboratory test norms are just an average of the majority of healthy people in the population. To understand what is happening with the patient, the data of analyzes alone is not enough. It is imperative to consult a doctor who will take into account complaints and symptoms and be able to distinguish a real illness from an accidental mistake.

Abroad, it is believed that there is no need to specially prepare for the analysis. But in our country it is customary to donate blood in the morning, refusing food and cigarettes 3 hours before the study. You can drink pure non-carbonated water.

Blood test for thyroid-stimulating hormone

What it is. Venous blood test, in which the concentration of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is determined in the sample. Allows you to figure out how efficiently the thyroid gland works.

“Thyrotropic hormone, or TSH, is a pituitary hormone that regulates thyroid function,” says Zilya Kalmykova, an endocrinologist at GMS Clinic. “It is prescribed for examination for thyroid diseases, and also as a screening.”

How it works. TSH works like a biochemical gas pedal. With its help, the pituitary gland, a small gland located at the base of the brain, controls the functioning of the thyroid gland. If her hormones in the blood become too low, the pituitary gland increases the production of TSH. This causes the thyroid gland to increase the synthesis of its own hormones. And if there are already too many of them in the blood, the pituitary gland stops producing TSH. In healthy people, this leads to a reduction in the production of thyroid hormones.

Why are they appointed. If you suspect hypothyroidism - a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, and hyperthyroidism, in which, on the contrary, it is overly active, and there are too many hormones in the blood.

How to understand the results. All over the world, it is believed that the normal level of TSH in the blood of an adult is 0.3-5.0 mIU / l. In our country, the normal TSH range is narrower: 0.32-3.0 mIU/L. If TSH in the blood is less than normal, the doctor has the right to assume that the thyroid gland is working too actively. And if there is too much TSH, most likely the thyroid gland is not active enough.

At the same time, an analysis for TSH does not allow us to understand what is the cause of problems with the thyroid gland, and how far the disease has gone. To deal with these issues, doctors prescribe additional tests.

Blood test for free thyroxine

What it is. Venous blood test, in which the concentration of free thyroxine (T4) is determined in the sample. Most often, the analysis is prescribed if the results of the TSH test are above or below normal.

According to Zili Kalmykova, T4 is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland itself. It increases the speed of many reactions of cellular metabolism - for example, the breakdown of fats and the metabolism of carbohydrates.

How it works. Information about how much free T4 is in the blood of a person allows you to clarify the stage of the disease. In the body, T4 is present in two forms: inactive, that is, associated with the protein thyroxine-binding globulin (TSG), and active, that is, not associated with TSH. An analysis for free T4 is prescribed for the purpose of a more detailed assessment of thyroid status. For example, for the diagnosis of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism syndrome.

Why are they appointed. To figure out if a person is sick, or is only at risk so far. For example, if a person has an elevated level of TSH, and at the same time a normal level of T4, then he has a risk of developing hypothyroidism. And if he has a high level of TSH and a low level of T4, the disease has already developed.

How to understand the results. Both in our country and abroad, the rate of free T4 is 12-30 pmol/l. In this case, a person may have symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, even if free T4 is within the normal range. To avoid mistakes, this analysis is usually prescribed together with TSH - it turns out to be much more informative.

What can the test results say:

  • TSH is slightly elevated, but free T4 is normal - mild thyroid insufficiency, which can develop into hypothyroidism. As a rule, in this situation, an additional test for antibodies to the thyroid gland is prescribed. This allows you to understand whether a person needs immediate treatment.
  • TSH high, free T4 low - hypothyroidism requiring treatment.
  • TSH low, free T4 low - secondary hypothyroidism associated with insufficiency of the pituitary gland, or the result of a serious disease not associated with the thyroid gland.
  • TSH low, free T4 high - hyperthyroidism requiring treatment.

If you wish, every person who is interested in the health of their thyroid gland can take an analysis for TSH and T4. At the same time, it is important to remember that it is impossible to self-diagnose, let alone prescribe treatment.

In addition, both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can have many causes - from a lack or, conversely, an excess of iodine in food to tumors or autoimmune diseases. Only a doctor at a personal appointment can figure out what exactly is happening with the patient.

Blood test for total triiodothyronine (T3)

What it is. Venous blood test, in which the concentration of total triiodothyronine (T3) is determined in the sample. As a rule, the analysis is prescribed together with TSH and T4 to clarify whether a person has hyperthyroidism.

Zilya Kalmykova says that T3 is a hormone very similar to T4 in its functions, but at the same time 3-4 times more active, so it is produced 10 times less. An analysis for total T3 is prescribed to assess the thyroid status in detail.

How it works. Like T4, T3 exists in the body in free and bound form. But since it is small, in laboratory practice both forms are determined at once - this is called total triiodothyronine. And since there is less total T3 in the body, fluctuations in its level in some cases can provide more information than an analysis for free T4.

Why are they appointed. To figure out if a person has hyperthyroidism or not. There are situations when a patient has symptoms of hyperthyroidism - heart palpitations, weight loss, trembling and sweating, tests show a low level of TSH, but free T4 is normal. To clarify what is happening to a person, the patient is prescribed an analysis for free T3.

How to understand the results. Abroad, the norm of total T3 is 1.1-2.6 nmol / l. In our country, the norm is wider - 1.23-3.0 nmol / l. By themselves, these indicators say almost nothing. It is necessary to evaluate the result of the analysis, focusing on the results of tests for TSH and free T4.

If a person has symptoms of hyperthyroidism, with a low level of TSH, and free T4 is normal, but:

  • T3 higher than normal - most likely, he still has hyperthyroidism
  • T3 is normal - most likely, there is no hyperthyroidism, and the symptoms are associated with other causes.

Blood test for antibodies to thyroid proteins

What it is. Venous blood test, in which the level of antibodies to thyroid proteins is measured in the sample. These analyzes make it possible to reveal not only the very fact of problems with the thyroid gland, but also to clarify their real cause.

According to Zili Kalmykova, endocrinologists prescribe an antibody test to thyroglobulin to assess the risk of recurrence after radical treatment of certain thyroid diseases. For example, to exclude the recurrence of thyroid cancer after its removal.

How it works. TSH is a protein produced by thyroid cells. Thyroid peroxidase is an enzyme that is found inside the cells of the thyroid gland, and thyroid-stimulating hormone receptors are proteins by which the thyroid gland receives orders from the pituitary gland. And antibodies are protective proteins that destroy viruses, microbes and cancer cells. If antibodies to thyroid proteins appear in a person’s blood, this means that her cells are attacked by her own immune system.

Why are they appointed. To distinguish autoimmune hypo- or hyperthyroidism from a disease associated with other causes - for example, deficiency or lack of iodine.

How to understand the results. Normally, antibodies to the thyroid gland should not be more than 50 IU / ml. If their number increases, things are not going well.

If the amount of antibodies to TSH increases, this may indicate chronic Hashimoto's thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, diffuse toxic goiter, and sometimes some rare autoimmune diseases like pernicious anemia. At the same time, sometimes the level of antibodies can increase, including in healthy people - for example, in elderly women.

If the amount of antibodies to thyroid peroxidase increases, this may indicate Hashimoto's thyroiditis, diffuse toxic goiter, neonatal hyperthyroidism, congenital hypothyroidism, postpartum thyroiditis, euthyroid goiter. The level of these antibodies can also increase in other diseases - for example, in idiopathic hypothyroidism, adenoma and thyroid cancer. And also for all types of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, autoimmune adrenal insufficiency and pernicious anemia. Antibody levels may be elevated in up to 5% of healthy men and women.

If the level of antibodies to TSH receptors increases, this may indicate thyroid atrophy, hypothyroidism, diffuse toxic goiter, euthyroid goiter, acute and subacute thyroiditis, neonatal hyperthyroidism and congenital hypothyroidism.


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