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What is meant by a thyroid panel?

Question:

What is meant by a thyroid panel?

Answer:

A thyroid panel is a complete evaluation of the function of the thyroid gland. This is much more than just a screening TSH level which is done by many physicians. When we do a thyroid panel, we are looking at TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), free T3, free T4, reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies. This would be a complete thyroid panel and based on this we can see not only what the TSH level is, which is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, but we can see what the body’s levels of free hormone are, so if there is enough active hormone in the body, which is free T3, for optimal function. Reverse T3 actually acts as an antagonist to T3 and will block the T3 receptor. So we want to control the level of reverse T3 in the body. Thyroid antibodies are a common cause of hypothyroidism and we want to know if those are elevated as they could signify things such as Hashimoto’s thyroid disease.

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