Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
The TSH test is often the test of choice for evaluating thyroid function and/or symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. It is frequently ordered along with or preceding a T4 test. Other thyroid tests that may be ordered include a T3 test and thyroid antibodies (if autoimmune-related thyroid disease is suspected).
TSH testing is used to:
- Diagnose a thyroid disorder in a person with symptoms
- Screen newborns for an underactive thyroid
- Monitor thyroid replacement therapy in people with hypothyroidism
- Diagnose and monitor female infertility problems
- Help evaluate the function of the pituitary gland (occasionally)
- Screen adults for thyroid disorders, although expert opinions vary on who can benefit from screening and at what age to begin
Glucose (Blood Sugar)
The blood glucose test is ordered to measure the amount of glucose in the blood right at the time of sample collection. It is used to detect both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, to help diagnose diabetes, and to monitor glucose levels in persons with diabetes. Blood glucose may be measured on a fasting basis (collected after an 8 to 10 hour fast), randomly (anytime), post prandial (after a meal), and/or as part of an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT / GTT). An OGTT is a series of blood glucose tests. A fasting glucose is collected; then the patient drinks a standard amount of a glucose solution to "challenge" their system. This is followed by one or more additional glucose tests performed at specific intervals to track glucose levels over time. The OGTT may be ordered to help diagnose diabetes and as a follow-up test to an elevated blood glucose.
The uric acid blood test is used to detect high levels of this compound in the blood in order to help diagnose gout. The test is also used to monitor uric acid levels in people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Rapid cell turnover from such treatment can result in an increase in uric acid.The uric acid urine test is used to help diagnose the cause of recurrent kidney stones and to monitor people with gout for stone formation.