The thyroid is an extremely important gland that regulates metabolism by producing two hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine). Approximately 10% of the US population has a thyroid disorder, but only half of those people are aware of it. Testing for thyroid disorders is relatively easy and can be done with various types of thyroid tests. Blood tests are the most common and can be done through the comforts of home.
What Can At Home Thyroid Tests Measure?
At home thyroid tests can measure concentrations of hormones and antibodies in your blood.
- Thyroxine (T4) makes up 80% of the hormones produced by the thyroid.
- Triiodothyronine (T3) makes up 20% of the hormones produced by the thyroid.
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland and regulates how much T4 and T3 the thyroid produces.
Thyroid hormones that are not bound to proteins are called “free.” Measurements of free T4 (fT4) and free T3 (fT3) are usually considered more accurate than measurements of total T4 and T3 counts.
Some thyroid disorders like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis involve the immune system attacking the thyroid. Testing for thyroid antibodies can help diagnose these types of health conditions.
Thyroid antibody tests include:
- Thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO/TPEX)
- Thyroglobulin antibodies (TGAB)
At home blood tests are relatively quick and painless and can be completed in less than 10 minutes.
Steps involved with at home thyroid tests:
- Order your test. It will be shipped to your doorstep in a small package containing everything you need.
- Collect your blood sample. At home test kits come with instructions on how to use them. Most likely you will be instructed to wash your hands, clean the tip of a finger with an alcohol swab, prick your finger, and collect a few drops of blood. Depending on the company, you might put drops of blood onto paper or into a vial.
- Ship your sample to a lab. An at home thyroid test should come with prepaid packaging to return your sample in. There will also be a biohazard bag you put your sample into for safe transport.
- Review your results online. This should be available within a 2 to 5 days.
- Talk to a physician. If your results indicate a thyroid disorder, you should set up an appointment with a physician at PlushCare and determine a treatment plan that is right for you.
Basal Body Temperature
One of the symptoms of an underactive thyroid is low body temperature. By taking your body temperature one might be able to get an indication of thyroid activity. It is free, easy to do, and there is no harm in it, but it is not nearly as reliable and an official diagnosis will require blood tests.
FAQs About at Home Thyroid Tests
Are Tests Available Everywhere?
For regulatory reasons, at home thyroid tests are not allowed in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
Who Should Take an At Home Thyroid Test?
What Do At Home Thyroid Tests Tell Us?
Thyroid blood tests are quite reliable for diagnosing the most common thyroid disorders. Based on results from your tests, your doctor can diagnose you and prescribed the right treatment for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
How Accurate Are The Tests?
Thyroid blood tests are very accurate. At home thyroid tests are just as accurate as getting tested in person.
Will You Get Medical Advice?
At home tests include laboratory services and medical reports. Some companies will call and discuss your results whereas others will provide written reports. Either way, you should get assistance interpreting your results.
How is Privacy Protected?
LetsGetChecked keeps your data anonymous and they dispose of your samples after analysis. This might not be true for all companies.
Can I Use Insurance?
At home tests do not take insurance directly. Some insurance providers will reimburse you, but you have to file your claim with your insurance company independently.
At Home Thyroid Tests | Brands
There are a number of different companies through which you can order at home thyroid tests. These include:
- EverlyWell ($159). Measures fT4, fT3, TSH, and TPO antibodies.
- LetsGetChecked has two tests. One for $99 that measures fT4, fT3, and TSH. One for $199 that also measures TGAB and TPO antibodies.
- Wellnicity ($139). Measures fT4, fT3, and TSH.
- Throne ($175). Measures fT4, fT3, TSH, and TPO antibodies.
- DirectLabs offers a number of at home thyroid tests ranging from $39 to $189.
- HealthLabs has every option. Their tests range from $39 to $119.
- ZRT Labs makes at home thyroid tests, but you can only order from them from a provider such as livewelltesting.com.
If you want to speak to a doctor online about the best testing methods for you, book an appointment with PlushCare today to get more information.