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Ongoing Thyroid Disorder Monitoring Test

This test measures the level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4) in your blood.

Collection method

Typically blood (venipuncture)

Test preparation



Ages 18+ only; Could vary by provider

Turnaround time

Typically 48-72 hours

Book a ongoing thyroid disorder monitoring test near you

Thyroid Disorder Monitoring

Thyroid disorder monitoring involves regular testing to check the levels of thyroid hormones in the body and to ensure that the thyroid gland is functioning properly. According to the CDC, monitoring the thyroid gland is very important because it plays a crucial role in regulating many of the body's functions, including metabolism, growth, and development.

What does thyroid disorder monitoring consist of?

The following tests are commonly used to monitor thyroid function, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test
  • Free T4 (thyroxine) test
  • Total T3 (triiodothyronine) test
  • Thyroid antibody tests

When should I get thyroid disorder monitoring?

The frequency of monitoring your thyroid function will vary depending on your individual medical history, symptoms, and response to treatment, according to the CDC.

Typically, people with thyroid disorders will need to have their thyroid function checked every 6-12 months or more frequently if there are changes in symptoms or medication, notes the CDC. Your doctor can guide how frequently you need to have your thyroid checked.

What to expect with thyroid disorder monitoring

When monitoring thyroid disorders, you can expect to undergo various tests and examinations to check the levels of thyroid hormones in your body and ensure that your thyroid gland is functioning properly. The most common of these, according to the Mayo Clinic, is blood testing. However, you may also have other types of testing, such as:

  • Physical examination
  • Thyroid ultrasound

Understanding your thyroid disorder testing

Your doctor should go over your test results with you, as well as give insights on how your current treatment plan is working. According to the Mayo Clinic, here is what your thyroid monitoring tests could mean:

  • TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test: This test measures the level of TSH in the blood. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland and stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. A high TSH level can indicate an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), while a low TSH level can indicate an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
  • Free T4 (thyroxine) test: This test measures the level of free T4 in the blood. T4 is one of the main hormones produced by the thyroid gland and plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism. Low levels of free T4 can indicate hypothyroidism, while high levels can indicate hyperthyroidism.
  • Total T3 (triiodothyronine) test: This test measures the level of total T3 in the blood. T3 is another hormone produced by the thyroid gland that plays a role in regulating metabolism. Low levels of T3 can indicate hypothyroidism, while high levels can indicate hyperthyroidism.
  • Thyroid antibody tests: These tests measure the levels of antibodies produced by the immune system that can attack the thyroid gland. High levels of thyroid antibodies can indicate autoimmune thyroid diseases, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Graves' disease.

Finding thyroid disorder testing

Thyroid monitoring tests can be ordered by a physician in most healthcare settings, including:

Can I monitor my thyroid disorder at home?

There are at-home thyroid tests available online or in pharmaceutical stores. However, it is important to note that the accuracy and reliability of at-home thyroid tests may vary, and they may not be suitable for diagnosing or monitoring thyroid disorders.

It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider to interpret thyroid test results and determine the appropriate treatment.

Cost of thyroid disorder monitoring tests

The cost of thyroid testing will vary depending on the type of test you are receiving and the location of the testing facility. Other factors like your insurance coverage will also affect the cost.

The national average cost for a thyroid panel blood test is around $114, while the cost for a TSH blood test ranges from $40 to $100, according to However, it is important to note that these costs may not reflect the actual price, as insurance coverage and negotiated rates with healthcare providers can significantly impact the final cost.

More about thyroid disorders

What is a thyroid disorder?

A thyroid disorder is a condition that affects the function of the thyroid gland—a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck that produces and releases hormones that help regulate many bodily functions, according to the American Thyroid Association (ATA).

The ATA also notes that thyroid disorders are classified into two main types:

  • Hypothyroidism - when the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones, which can lead to a slower metabolism
  • Hyperthyroidism - when the thyroid gland is producing too many hormones, which can lead to a faster metabolism

There are other types of thyroid disorders, as noted by the ATA, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves' disease, thyroid nodules, and thyroid cancer.

Symptoms of a thyroid disorder

Thyroid problems can cause a wide range of symptoms, which can vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Here are some common symptoms to look out for, according to the ATA and Mayo Clinic:

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid):

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Muscle weakness

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid):

  • Weight loss
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Heat intolerance
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Eye problems (in Graves' disease)
  • Menstrual irregularities

Thyroid nodules:

  • Lump or swelling in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing (if the nodule is large)
  • Hoarseness or voice changes

Thyroid cancer:

  • Lump or swelling in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing (if the tumor is large)
  • Hoarseness or voice changes
  • Pain in the neck or throat

It is important to note that not everyone with thyroid problems will experience symptoms, and some symptoms may be mild or nonspecific. It is recommended to discuss any concerns about thyroid symptoms with a healthcare provider.

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Thyroid Disorder Monitoring (Ongoing Test) FAQs

Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about lab tests.

Thyroid tests are generally considered to be very accurate, but the accuracy can vary slightly depending on the specific test and your overall health. Factors that can affect the accuracy of thyroid tests, according to the ATA are:
  • Specific testing methods: Different testing methods may have different sensitivities and specificities, which can affect the accuracy of the results. For example, some studies have suggested that certain thyroid antibody tests may have lower accuracy than other tests. Medical-grade testing done at a healthcare facility or laboratory is more accurate than at-home testing.
  • Medications and supplements: Some medications and supplements can interfere with thyroid tests, leading to false results. For example, iodine supplements, corticosteroids, and some psychiatric medications can affect thyroid hormone levels.
  • Health status: Certain health conditions, such as pregnancy or liver disease, can affect thyroid test results. In addition, some people may have abnormal thyroid test results without experiencing any symptoms or health problems, which can complicate interpretation.
Both blood tests and imaging tests can be used to check the thyroid, according to the ATA. Blood tests for the thyroid include testing the levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), T4, T3, and thyroid antibody tests. Imaging tests look at the size and shape of the thyroid gland.
The TSH test is a blood test that measures the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the body. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain and stimulates the thyroid gland to produce and release thyroid hormones (T4 and T3). The TSH test is used to help determine if the thyroid gland is functioning properly, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The normal range for thyroid function tests can vary depending on the specific test being performed and the laboratory where the test is conducted. However, the following are generally accepted normal ranges, according to the ATA:
  • TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone): The normal range for TSH is typically between 0.4 and 4.0 milli-international units per liter (mIU/L). However, some laboratories may use a narrower range, such as 0.5-2.5 mIU/L.
  • Free T4 (thyroxine): The normal range for free T4 is typically between 0.9 and 1.7 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
  • Total T3 (triiodothyronine): The normal range for total T3 is typically between 80 and 200 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
Yes, certain medications can affect thyroid function tests. It is important to inform your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking before undergoing thyroid function testing to ensure accurate results.Some medications that can affect thyroid function tests according to the ATA include:
  • Thyroid hormone replacement therapy
  • Antithyroid medications, such as methimazole or propylthiouracil
  • Steroids, such as prednisone
  • Lithium
  • Amiodarone
It is important to discuss any medications you are taking with your healthcare provider before undergoing thyroid function testing to ensure that the results are accurate and can be properly interpreted. In some cases, it may be necessary to temporarily discontinue certain medications before testing to ensure accurate results.
An underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone according to the Mayo Clinic. Common symptoms of an underactive thyroid may include:
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Cold intolerance
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Constipation
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Depression
  • Memory problems
  • Menstrual changes
  • Elevated cholesterol
An overactive thyroid, also called hyperthyroidism, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. According to the Mayo Clinic, the common symptoms of an overactive thyroid include:
  • Weight loss
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heat intolerance
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Changes in menstrual patterns
  • Changes in bowel patterns

This publication is not intended to solicit the purchase of laboratory testing from any individual consumer.

Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Updated on Jan 25, 2023

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Dr. Rob Rohatsch currently serves as Chief Medical Officer for Solv Health. Dr. Rohatsch brings his extensive background in multi-site ambulatory medicine operations, on-demand healthcare, and consumerism to Solv, where he helps drive strategic initiatives in a cross functional executive role. He brings comprehensive healthcare expertise ranging from medical group operations to revenue cycle management and clinical expertise.

Dr. Rohatsch completed his military service in the US Air Force and earned his MD from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Rohatsch served on the Yale School of Medicine faculty teaching at the medical school and is currently on faculty at the Haslam School of Business at the University of Tennessee teaching in the Executive MBA Program. He also serves on several boards and chairs The TJ Lobraico Foundation.

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