Medically reviewed on August 17, 2022 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Your thyroid is a powerful gland capable of regulating metabolism, heart rate, and body temperature. It can even impact your mental performance. 
However, if you’re one of the 20 million Americans who have a thyroid disorder, you may need to monitor your thyroid health.  That’s because thyroid disorders can cause several negative symptoms. 
Fortunately, checking your thyroid with an at-home thyroid test isn’t only possible—it can also be simple. To identify what you can do to keep your thyroid in check and avoid a future thyroid issue, follow our guide on three ways how to check your thyroid at home.
Check for thyroid disorder symptoms
Thyroid disorders can show several symptoms—from fatigue and weight gain to heart palpitations and anxiety.  Many of these symptoms appear together, making it easier to detect a thyroid problem.
Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms associated with two of the most common thyroid disorders: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition caused by the active thyroid’s excess production of thyroid hormones.  When an overactive thyroid gland occurs, you may feel and experience: 
- A rapid heartbeat
- Weight loss
- An increased appetite
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Knowing when and how to diagnose hyperthyroidism is essential in getting the appropriate treatment.
If an overabundance of thyroid hormones can cause hyperthyroidism, a hormone deficit can cause hypothyroidism. If you have hypothyroidism, you may feel and experience: 
- Dry skin
- Weight loss
- An enlarged thyroid gland
- Neck pains
Like hyperthyroidism symptoms, hypothyroidism symptoms can be serious if left untreated. Knowing how to test for hypothyroidism can help you spot it early to avoid serious risk factors.
Whether you’re experiencing hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or another thyroid disorder, monitoring your symptoms is crucial. You should keep an accurate record of how you’re feeling—especially if your symptoms progress.
Feel for lumps and nodules
Before taking a thyroid blood test or other thyroid function tests, you may want to feel for lumps or nodules at the base of your neck. That’s because the thyroid is located close to your larynx and collarbone.  Lumps or nodules may be an indication that something is wrong with your thyroid. 
To check for a thyroid nodule or lump, you may need to tilt a mirror towards the base of your neck as you feel for any masses.
You may also want to drink a glass of water. If you notice pain or tenderness as you swallow, you could be experiencing thyroid disorder symptoms.  If you’re curious about when to worry about thyroid nodules, check with your healthcare provider for more information.
Take an at-home thyroid lab test
At-home lab tests can be accessible, convenient, and valuable tools when it comes to checking your thyroid or for potential thyroid dysfunction.
Most at-home thyroid tests work by measuring thyroid hormone levels in your blood. These hormones include: 
- Thyroxine – Thyroxine, or T4, is the thyroid’s primary hormone. However, before the body can use this hormone, it must be converted into its “active” hormone counterpart, triiodothyronine.
- Triiodothyronine – Also known as T3, triiodothyronine is produced in lesser quantities than T4. That said, T3 impacts metabolism much more than T4.
- Thyroid stimulating hormone – Produced by the pituitary gland, thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH, helps regulate T3 and T4.
- Thyroid antibodies – Thyroid antibodies are proteins that mistakenly attack the thyroid. An abundance of these antibodies could be an indication that your thyroid isn’t working as it should.
Some of the best at-home lab thyroid tests go one step farther by testing free T3 and T4. These thyroid function tests take into account the proteins that bind to these hormones. In doing so, Free T3 and T4 tests can provide a much more accurate picture of your thyroid hormone levels.
How to take your test
Although the specifics of each test may vary slightly by company, most tests follow a similar procedure:
- Register your kit with the testing company. That way, you can receive digital results.
- Clean and disinfect your collection area. You should also wash your hands with soap and water.
- Take a blood sample. Many tests will include a lancet to finely prick your finger. Once you prick your finger, gently squeeze your finger until your blood sample soaks through the collection card.
- Place your collection card in a biohazard bag and envelope, and mail your sample to the lab that’s partnered with the testing company.
Once the lab has your sample, they will measure your thyroid hormone levels and send you the test result. Some testing companies will even work with board-certified healthcare providers. These healthcare providers can provide you with further information based on your measurements.
Everlywell: Your source for at-home lab thyroid tests
When it comes to checking your thyroid, you can’t leave anything to chance. In other words, you need Everlywell.
Our Thyroid Test makes measuring your free T3, Free T4, TSH, and thyroid antibody levels as straightforward as possible. Furthermore, our testing kits allow you to receive personalized, actionable results within days. We’ll even provide a digital consultation with a certified healthcare provider based on your results.
What Are Free T3 and T4 and How Can You Test for Them?
What Is Hashimoto’s Disease, And How Can You Test For It?
What is thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)?
- Cleveland Clinic. Thyroid. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
- American Thyroid Association. General Information/Press Room. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
- Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. Thyroid Disease. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
- Mayo Clinic. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
- StatPearls. Hypothyroidism. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
- Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Chapter 138 Neck and Thyroid Examination. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
Source by www.everlywell.com
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