Comprehensive thyroid testing to check that your gland is functioning effectively
The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that produces hormones that control the metabolism and have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. Thyroid disorders are common, affecting around one in 20 people in the UK.
London Medical’s top endocrinologists are expert at diagnosing, treating and monitoring thyroid disease. If you’ve had unexplained weight gain or loss, or you’re feeling tired, irritable and unwell, London Medical offers comprehensive thyroid function tests to check that your thyroid is healthy and working well.
What are the symptoms of thyroid disease?
The symptoms of thyroid disease may be subtle and develop gradually so that problems can often be missed.
Hypothyroidism is the medical term for an underactive thyroid. It’s a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroid hormones are crucial for driving the body’s metabolism. When there’s too little, the body processes slow down, making you gain weight and feel sluggish, cold and exhausted. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
Hyperthyroidism is the medical term for an overactive thyroid. It’s a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid hormones drive the body’s metabolism, so when the gland is overactive you may lose weight, feel hot and hyperactive. Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- High energy and hyperactivity, however conversely people can also feel fatigued
- Anxiety and irritability
- Palpitations and irregular heartbeat
- Problems sleeping
- Unexplained weight loss
- Disturbed menstruation - periods may be absent or infrequent
- Low libido
For anyone who is worried about their health and concerned about thyroid disease, London Medical offers screening investigations, expert analysis and supportive care by experienced endocrinology consultants.
Thyroid testing at London Medical
The endocrinology consultants at London Medical will listen carefully to your concerns, perform a detailed examination and arrange for investigation in the state-of-the-art outpatient clinic.
The definitive way of testing for a thyroid problem is by performing a quick, simple blood test to the check the levels of thyroid hormones. London Medical offers tests for a number of different hormones to provide a detailed analysis of the thyroid function. This includes:
- Thyroxine (T4)
- Tri-iodothyronine (T3)
- Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH), which typically goes up when the thyroid is underactive
- Antithyroid antibodies which are produced in people with autoimmune thyroid disease
- Thyroid ultrasound if the gland is large or abnormal on examination
- Thyroid technetium scan in some cases
Having tests can be worrying, but staff at London Medical will be on hand to offer support and guidance throughout. A follow-up appointment will be arranged to discuss the results and make a customised treatment plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
It can take some time to feel better after thyroid medication has been started. It can be up to a week to ten days before the levothyroxine fully enters the cells. So, it may be two weeks before you notice a real improvement. You may also need to have your medication dose adjusted, so it can be a slow process.
Some people treated with levothyroxine still feel unwell, even though their blood tests are in the normal range. If this is the case, extra treatment may be needed. If you are worried, London Medical’s accredited endocrinologists can provide an expert second opinion and help fine-tune your thyroid treatment, so that you feel healthy and well.
Dr Rakesh Amin
Rakesh is educational lead for endocrinology and diabetes at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Dr Harvinder Chahal
Dr Harvinder Chahal is a consultant in Endocrinology, Diabetes, Bariatric Medicine and GI Medicine at Imperial College...
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