The thyroid gland is a small (about one ounce) butterfly shaped gland located in the lower, front part of the neck, near the trachea. The thyroid gland's primary function is to produce thyroid hormones, known as triiodothyronine and thyroxine, or T3 and T4, respectively. In addition to regulating our energy levels and body temperature, the thyroid gland is essential for absorbing iodine. In fact, thyroid cells are the only cells in the body capable to doing this. The thyroid gland needs iodine to regulate metabolism, so an unhealthy thyroid that doesn't process iodine intake efficiently can create major health concerns.

How do you know if you're a candidate for thyroid testing?

The two most common problems associated with the thyroid gland are hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).

Hypothyroidism is most common among women over 50, but by no means excluded to that demographic. Some estimates show that as many as 10 million Americans may have some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency. Of this number, it is possible that millions are unaware of the condition entirely. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary significantly from person to person, but are mostly related to:
Fatigue Weight gain or difficulty losing weight Dry, pale skin Hair loss Cold intolerance Muscle cramps Decreased libido Depression
If any of these symptoms are severe or you experience a cluster of them, a thyroid blood test can help you detect thyroid problems and put you on the path to get them resolved. Hypothyroidism is easily treatable for many patients by taking a pill once a day. Treatments differ depending on the severity of the case.

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism can be so gradual that many patients don't realize what's happening until they've become severe. Like hypothyroidism, the symptoms of hyperthyroidism can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Patients predominantly exhibit increased appetite, weight loss and depression. Other symptoms include:
Palpitations Nervousness Insomnia Breathlessness Increased heart rate Hair loss Trembling hands Increased bowel movements Heat intolerance
Treatments of hyperthyroidism in large part depend on age. Doctors commonly issue pills called beta-blockers that can temporarily alleviate symptoms while a final course of action is determined. After beta-blockers are issued (if they're issued), the two most common treatments are:
Radioactive iodine treatment – This treatment can cure patients with one dose. It kills part of the thyroid gland without harming other parts of the body. Antithyroid medicine – This can be taken in pill form for patients that exhibit milder symptoms. The pills don't destroy the thyroid gland and need to be taken at the same time every day. If this treatment doesn't work, radioactive iodine treatment is usually the next course of action.
Getting a thyroid test can help catch the disease before symptoms worsen, which increases the chances for complications. If you have a history of thyroid problems in your family or feel you may be demonstrating symptoms indicating thyroid problems, getting a thyroid test is quicker and easier than ever.

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how do you test for lupus

15 thoughts on “How Do You Test For Lupus

  1. TINY

    why would a person with lupus be sent to an endocrinologist?
    On a scale of 1-10 for testing for Lupus, I scored an 8.Now being sent to another specialist.

    1. ShiLovely

      I was diagnosed with lupus when I was 19, I’m almost 25 now. I have personally never seen an endocrinologist, but I have seen a lot of other specialists. Is it possible that your tests revealed anything else your doctor could also possibly be concerned about? I’ve never heard of a 1-10 testing scale for lupus so maybe your doctor wants some of your hormone levels checked as well. Endocrinologists handle many different disease so it’s possible your doctor just wants to have all the bases covered and make sure that there are no other underlying problems that you need to be aware of. Good luck!

  2. roxemarie

    Is it possible to have lupus even though non of your family has lupus?
    I have tested positive for lupus, and I have many lupus symptoms. My doctors believe I may have lupus, but I have not been officially diagnosed with lupus. All of my family members are very healthy. No one in my family has any illnesses. No one in my family has ever had any type of autoimmune disease. I am the first and only person. Is this possible and how could this be?

  3. befuddled

    Would someone with Lupus be willing to tell me more about the disease?
    I tested positive for Lupus, but don’t appear to have any symptoms. I’ve looked it up on line, I’m not looking for those kinds of answers. I’ve read about the symptoms and things. I guess I want to hear from people who have it, what do you deal with? What are your symptoms? How has it affected your life? Thank you for your help.

    Serious answers only, please.

    1. reifguy

      first i dont have it,second since u tested but asymptomatic i suggest u confirm becoz lupus is more of symptomatic before tests come positive ,on the long run some get many complicatiosn and problems so better u get regular examination and follow up with a rheumatologist

  4. Mia Bella

    What are they signs of Lupus and what kind of test do they do to find out if you have it?
    I went to the ER because I was having chest pain they did a bunch of test and said my heart was fine but I had some kind of inflammatory thing going on and then the doctor asked me if I had Lupus in my family and I have no idea what it is or anything and no we don’t. Could I have it? I’m making a follow up appointment with my doctor. Should I ask him to test me for Lupus? What do you think?

    1. Linda R

      There is no test for lupus. A diagnosis of lupus is made based on a variety of lab tests, medical history, symptoms and after other diseases have been ruled out. It often takes years to get a diagnosis.

      Inflammation of the lungs, pleurisy, is one of the symptoms of lupus. The ER doc was wise to mention it. I had repeated bouts of pleurisy and joint pain throughout my life. The docs dismissed it. In 2003, I ended up in hospital for 14 days where I was diagnosed. I was 51 at the time and had been having these problems since the age of 13!!!

  5. Ash W

    How do autoimmune disease affect fertility and pregnancy?
    I would like to start trying for a baby next year. I have chronic erticaria and raynauds, and I have been tested for lupus twice and recieved a low positive result. I am really worried.

    1. .

      Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) may appear for the first time, worsen, or become less severe during pregnancy. How a pregnancy affects the course of lupus cannot be predicted, but the most common time for flare-ups is immediately after delivery.

      Women who develop lupus often have a history of repeated miscarriages, fetuses that do not grow as much as expected, and preterm delivery. If women have complications due to lupus (such as kidney damage or high blood pressure), the risk of death for the fetus or newborn is increased.

      In pregnant women, lupus antibodies may cross the placenta to the fetus. As a result, the fetus may have a very slow heart rate, anemia, a low platelet count, or a low white blood cell count. However, these antibodies gradually disappear over several weeks after the baby is born, and the problems they cause resolve except for the slow heart rate.

      Autoimmune Disorders: The abnormal antibodies produced in autoimmune disorders can cross the placenta and cause problems in the fetus. Miscariage often happen in 1st and 2nd trimester of pregnancy. Pregnancy affects different autoimmune disorders in different ways.

      Raynaud’s comes in two forms. One is Raynaud’s disease, which occurs in isolation. The other is Raynaud’s phenomenon, which occurs in conjunction with other diseases, including scleroderma, a hardening and shrinking of the skin; lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the skin, joints, kidneys, nervous system and mucous membranes; and rheumatoid arthritis. Raynaud’s phenomenon also commonly occurs in people who use vibrating or hammering tools or instruments
      It’s not known why more women than men have Raynaud’s, but women get autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma and lupus more than men do, and Raynaud’s often develops with these.

      Pregnancy often aggravating urticaria.

      Your condition is very complicated.But there are many worst condition. Baby are worthed, every women ready to sacrifice almost everything to have baby. You might need ask your family to support you, get as many information as you can, and very important to cooperate with your physicians. Select them carefully. We want you and your future babies to be safe.

      Best wishes.

  6. Ash W

    How do autoimmune disease affect fertility and pregnancy?
    I would like to start trying for a baby next year. I have chronic erticaria and raynauds, and I have been tested for lupus twice and recieved a low positive result. I am really worried.

    I haven’t spoken to my GP about it yet but will soon. I just want some more opinions. Especialy from people in similar positions

    1. andijxo

      I have MS – for a psychotic moment a couple years ago I thought I wanted to have a baby (I got over it pretty fast – but still) I spoke with my neurologist and my GP – both of them said having a baby shouldn’t be a problem.

      Definitely talk to your doctor – sometimes the issue isn’t “can I get pregnant – it’s should I get pregnant.”

      Your doctor can best help you answer that question.

  7. julie

    What kind of Neurological symptoms do you have with Lupus?
    I’m being tested for lupus after being sick for 2 yrs and I have tons of neurological symptoms just wondering if these are common symptoms for lupus. here are my symptoms.
    Burning stinging headaches, dizzy, lightheaded,vertigo, seizure type incidents, sharp shooting pains in head, also get weard sensations on my body like warm water pouring on me. Any info will be appreciated. If you have any neurological symptoms from Lupus pleas list them for me. Thanks!

    1. Linda R

      Some lupus patients have neurological symptoms, some do not. Lupus symptoms vary widely from patient to patient.

      Headaches could be caused by lupus or by Raynaud’s phenomenon or other things. Many lupus patients have Raynaud’s, a condition in which stress or cool temperatures cause the nerves to tell the blood vessels to clamp down and restrict blood flow, usually to hands and feet, but can also cause headaches.

      Lightheadedness can be caused by a number of things as well. Lupus patient are often anemic, When you are anemica, there is not enough available oxygen in your blood, which could account for light headedness or dizziness.

      Vertigo usually has to do with the inner ear. Lupus can cause inflammation anywhere, including the inner ear.

      I am not sure what you mean my “seizure type” incidents. Do you lose consciousness? Do you convulse? Some lupus patients do have seizures. But seizures can be caused by many other things.

      Lupus patients with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (sticky blood) which causes clots may have TIAs or ministrokes. This could account for your head pain and seizure type incidents. Ask to have your blood tested for this.

      As for the weird sensations, please find a clearer way to describe that as well. If you tell the doctor that you have “seizure type incidents” and “weird sensations on your body” you are not helping the doctor get to the root cause of your problem. If these weird sensations are painful, you could have neuropathy which sometimes comes with lupus, or diabtetes, or multiple sclerosis, or other things.

      As a patient your job is to give the doctor the best and clearest information possible. It is the doctor’s job to connect the dots. A diagnosis of lupus is made based on family history, your medical history, a wide variety of lab tests and after everything else is ruled out. There is no definitive lab test for lupus.

      To do your job, keep a symptom journal including
      1. a clear description of the symptom
      2. when it started
      3. how often it happens
      4. how long it lasts
      5. what makes it feel better
      6. what makes it feel worse
      7. to what degree does it interfere with your activities of daily living

      Then create a concise summary and bring a copy for your doc and a copy for you.

  8. Cassia

    Is there anyway I can get tested for lupus without my fathers consent?
    I’m currently 15, and my father won’t get me tested for lupus even though my mother has it. I show signs of Lupus, and my mother wants to get me tested (my parents are divorced) what should I do? How can I get these tests done, just to be sure, without my fathers consent? Is there anyway?
    I have no “doctor”, and i have these symptoms:
    Painful or swollen joints and muscle pain
    Unexplained fever
    Red rashes, most commonly on the face
    Chest pain upon deep breathing
    Extreme fatigue
    And Swelling (edema) in legs
    mouth ulcers

  9. Liz

    What physical symptoms can flea bites cause?
    Ive been having knee/leg pain also arm pain. Basically joint pain. I seen a rhematologist today and my doctor took arthritis tests, lupus, and some others, all negative. He noticed flea bites that i have from about two months ago. Their everywhere! Tons! He said that infections from other people or animals can cause these symptoms, and that they go away in about 6 weeks. Has anyone else ever had this? Or heard about it? This is new to me. I hope that’s all it is. I don’t want arthritis!


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