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According to statistics, thyroid disorders are on the rise in India. Approximately 1 in 10 Indian adults suffer from hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the needs of the body. This condition is twice as prevalent in women as in men and is common among women of child-bearing age.

A thyroid panel is a group of tests that may be ordered together to help evaluate thyroid gland function and to help diagnose thyroid disorders. The tests included in a thyroid panel measure the amount of thyroid hormones in the blood. These hormones are chemical substances that travel through the blood and control or regulate the body's metabolism — how it functions and uses energy.

A thyroid panel is used to evaluate thyroid function and/or help diagnose hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism due to various thyroid disorders. The panel typically includes tests for:

T4 and T3 are hormones produced by the thyroid gland. They help control the rate at which the body uses energy, and are regulated by a feedback system. TSH from the pituitary gland stimulates the production and release of T4 (primarily) and T3 by the thyroid. Most of the T4 and T3 circulate in the blood bound to protein. A small percentage is free (not bound) and is the biologically active form of the hormones. A thyroid panel may be ordered when symptoms suggest hypo – or hyperthyroidism due to a condition affecting the thyroid.

Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism may include:

  • Weight gain

  • Dry skin

  • Constipation

  • Cold intolerance

  • Puffy skin

  • Hair loss

  • Fatigue

  • Menstrual irregularity in women

Signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include:

  • Increased heart rate

  • Anxiety

  • Weight loss

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Tremors in the hands

  • Weakness

  • Diarrhea

  • Puffiness around the eyes, dryness, irritation, or bulging of the eyes

Recommended Test: Thyroid Function Test – Total & Thyroid Function Test - Free

By Dr. Aditi Gupta

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