A thyroid profile test is a vital health checkup measuring hormone levels to know how well your thyroid gland works. The test is important for both men and women to check their thyroid health.
Our thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped organ located in the neck region. It releases hormones such as TSH, T3, and T4. These hormones then influence body processes like regulating metabolism, energy levels, heart rate, brain function, reproductive function and mood. Any disruptions in the thyroid gland's hormone levels, whether overactive or underactive, can have significant consequences for both men and women. This is why thyroid profile tests are important to keep a check on hormone levels.
Functions Performed by Thyroid
The thyroid gland releases hormones, which play an important role in our various body functions, such as:
1. Metabolism: Thyroid hormones are responsible for converting food into energy. If there are any imbalances in hormones, then you may either gain weight, lose weight, have fatigue or experience other changes in body temperature.
2. Heart rate and blood pressure: Thyroid hormones influence your heart rate and blood pressure. An imbalance may lead to irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions.
3. Brain function: Thyroid hormones are crucial for brain development in children and adolescents. For adults, they are essential for memory, cognitive function and mood regulation.
4. Reproductive health: In women, an imbalance of thyroid hormones can cause irregular menstrual cycles, infertility and more. In men, it can extend to erectile dysfunction and decreased libido (sex drive).
5. Bone health: Thyroid hormones contribute to bone health. People with hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels) are at risk of developing osteoporosis.
6. Muscle function: Thyroid helps in muscle strength and function. Deficiency in thyroid hormones can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue and cramps.
When Should You Take a Thyroid Function Test?
You should book a thyroid profile test if you have the following health conditions:
Signs of hyperactive or hypoactive thyroid gland
Diagnosed thyroid disorder
Rapid or fast heart palpitations
High cholesterol levels
Osteoporosis, which causes brittle or thin bones
Decrease in sexual drive
Irregular menstrual periods in females
Repeated miscarriages in pregnant ladies
Having autoimmune diseases in the family, such as type 1 diabetes and vitiligo
Feeling sick after childbirth
Impact on Men and Women
The impact of irregular thyroid hormones is similar in both men and women, except for a few gender-specific differences:
Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid can cause menstrual irregularity, which can lead to irregular periods, cramps and heavy bleeding. Some women can also have amenorrhea, which means the absence of periods.
Fertility issues: Imbalances in hormone levels can interfere with ovulation and lead to difficulty in conceiving.
Pregnancy complications: Hypothyroidism during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, low birth weight babies and premature birth.
Postpartum thyroiditis: During postpartum (after giving birth), you may have temporary thyroid gland inflammation.
Hypothyroidism: Underactive thyroid in men can decrease libido and make it difficult to achieve erection.
Decreased sperm quality: Thyroid imbalance can take a toll on sperm quality.
Increased depression: Men with thyroid issues are more prone to develop symptoms of depression or anxiety.
How Should I Prepare for the Test?
Before going for a thyroid profile test at home you may need to fast for at least 8 hours. You can drink water before the test, but ensure you do not drink any other liquid as it may influence the test results.
In conclusion, both men and women should undergo routine thyroid function tests to keep track of their thyroid function. Changes in the hormone levels may cause several problems, such as heart and fertility issues. Therefore, keeping your thyroid gland healthy is extremely important.