The thyroid is a small gland that sits in the middle of your lower neck. It produces hormones that are released into your bloodstream to control your metabolism.
Anyone of any age can get thyroid disease, but women are five to eight times more likely than men to have it.
Relatively simple tests will identify if you have a problem. You can have either an underactive or overactive thyroid, which both cause many symptoms that make your life difficult. Both problems can be treated easily with drugs or, in rare cases, a simple operation to remove part or the whole of the gland.
A referral request from a consultant or GP is required before booking any blood test.
The thyroid tests are relatively straightforward and painless. They involve a member of our medical team taking a small blood sample for analysis in our laboratories.
We know that for some of our patients, having tests can often an anxious time, our caring medical staff will be there to reassure you.
These tests are carried out as an outpatient case, which means you will be able to go home straight after or as soon as you feel comfortable.
Thyroid disorders affect around one in 20 people in the UK. (source: British Thyroid Foundation). Overactive thyroid (known as hyperthyroidism) is a relatively common problem when you have too much thyroid hormone in your body. It has various causes including:
The symptoms of an overactive thyroid include:
Underactive thyroid (known as hypothyroidism) means your thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones. It’s most often caused by your immune system attacking the gland and damaging it, or from damage that happens as a result of other drug treatments. Other less common causes include a lack of dietary iodine, and sometimes you are just born with an underactive thyroid.
The symptoms include:
Blood tests are the simplest way to test your thyroid function. They can also be used to monitor the effects of treatment.
Your Consultant or GP is likely to want to see you after your tests results become available.
If you have been referred for the blood test by a Consultant at Sussex Premier Health, a follow up appointment will be made for you.
If your GP has referred you, you will need to contact your GP surgery to arrange an appointment to discuss your results.