The symptoms of hypothyroidism include feeling tired and lethargic, weight gain, dry skin and brittle hair, becoming forgetful and sometimes depressed, feeling cold and enduring constipation as well as menstrual irregularities in women. A home thyroid test kit allows you to test for the underactive thyroid hormone (also known as hypothyroidism) by using just a finger prick of human blood.
Underactive Thyroid TSH Blood Test
A home thyroid test kit allows you to test for the underactive thyroid hormone (also known as hypothyroidism) by using just a finger prick of human blood.
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid can be found in the front of your neck just below the Adam’s apple and is a small butterfly shaped gland where hormones are produced and released into the bloodstream.
The thyroid hormones are very important as they control the rate at which the body uses and stores energy from the food we eat (the metabolic rate).
What causes thyroid problems?
Thyroid problems can result from either of the following causes:
If the thyroid is overactive it produces too much T3 and T4, this condition is known as hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis.
If the thyroid is underactive it doesn’t produce enough T3 or T4, this condition is known as hypothyroidism (‘hypo’ means under). An underactive thyroid is the most common thyroid problem and is more common in women and people over the age of 60, though the condition can be present at birth.
What causes hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)?
In babies it is not known what causes hypothyroidism. In older children and adults, the most common cause of hypothyroidism is due to the autoimmune disease, called Hashimoto’s disease, which tends to run in families. An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system, which normally produces antibodies to attack foreign substances (like viruses and other bugs), starts producing antibodies which attack part(s) of the body. In people with hypothyroidism the immune system attacks the thyroid cells as if they were foreign substances.
Other possible causes may include complications from previous thyroid surgery, treatment for previous hyperthyroidism or certain medications, such as Lithium and Amiodarone.
Why should I take this Thyroid test?
This test looks for the level of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) in capillary blood. A raised TSH level is an indication of an underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
In hypothyroidism the thyroid is underactive and so the rate of metabolism slows down. As hypothyroidism usually develops slowly you may have no symptoms until the condition is well advanced. The symptoms you may have might be blamed on old age and can vary in severity but as your metabolism continues to slow, the symptoms should become more obvious. The symptoms may include any of the following:
Later symptoms may include constipation, dry, pale skin and dry hair, which may be brittle and break easier.
For a more detailed explanation about the thyroid gland and why you can have an under or over active thyroid gland please click here.
How is this test carried out:
1. Wash your hands with soap and rinse with clear warm water.
2. Bring the pouch to room temperature before opening it. Open the foil pouch and get out the cassette.
3. Carefully pull off and dispose of the clear plastic cap of the lancet. The lancet is a single use lancet so make sure you do not fire the lancet prematurely.
4. Use the provided alcohol pad to clean the fingertip of the middle or ring finger as the puncture site.
5. Press the lancet (on the side from where the cap was removed) firmly against the fingertip (the side of the ring or middle finger is advised). The tip retracts automatically and safely after use.
6. Keeping the hand down, massage the finger that was pricked to obtain a blood drop.
7. Without squeezing the capillary dropper bulb, gently put it in contact with the edge of the blood drop. The blood should automatically be drawn up the dropper by capillary action. You should fill the dropper up to the black line.
You may continue to massage your finger to obtain more blood if the line is not reached. As far as possible, try to avoid air bubbles.
8. Transfer the collected blood into the sample well (S) of the cassette, by squeezing the dropper bulb.
9. Wait for the blood to be totally dispensed in the well. Unscrew the cap of the buffer bottle and add 2 drops of buffer into the sample well of the cassette.
10. Wait for the coloured line(s) to appear. Read results at 10 minutes. Results obtained after this time may be inaccurate.
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