Is Thyroid Test Painful?
The thyroid is a vital gland in the human body. It helps to regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream.
If your thyroid is not functioning properly, this can affect your whole body. For example, an under-active thyroid can cause fatigue, weight gain and depression.
Did you know that there is a self-test that you can take, to check whether your thyroid is under-active? We will explain the thyroid test in further detail in this article, as well as answer the question ‘is thyroid test painful?’
What is the function of the thyroid?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland, located either side of the windpipe (trachea), just below the voice box (larynx).
The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body's metabolism, controlling heart, muscle and digestive function, brain development and bone maintenance.
The key function of the thyroid is to control the speed of your body’s metabolism, which is the complex process of how your body transforms the food you consume into energy.
T-3 and T-4 are the hormones produces by the thyroid, which are released into the bloodstream.
So, the T-3 and T-4 hormones produced by the thyroid affect:
- how your body uses energy
- your digestion
- how fast your heart beats
- how deep you breathe
- whether you gain or lose weight
- your body temperature
- your cholesterol levels
- your mood
- women’s menstrual cycles
- your calcium levels
What problems can occur with the thyroid?
Problems with the thyroid can cause an imbalance that affects your overall health.
For instance, thyroid problems in women can lead to:
- Very light, very heavy or irregular menstrual periods (or none at all)
- Reproductive problems such as a lack of ovulation, or cysts
- Pregnancy and postpartum complications such as severe morning sickness, miscarriage, stillbirth, and postpartum haemorrhage
- Early onset of menopause
Many patients who experience thyroid problems have an under-active or an over-active thyroid.
An under-active thyroid (Hypothyroidism) is when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones.
An over-active thyroid (Hyperthyroidism) is when the thyroid produces excess hormones.
Below, we have highlighted in more detail about the complications associated with an under-active or over-active thyroid.
Under-active thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
- Can lead to high cholesterol
- Can lead to heart problems and heart disease
- Can cause problems in pregnancy
- Can cause goitre (lump or swelling at the front of the neck)
- Can lead to a life-threatening condition called myxoedema coma (although this is very rare).
Over-active thyroid (Hyperthyroidism)
- Can lead to Graves’ ophthalmopathy (eye problems including blurred vision, red eyes and sensitivity to light)
- Can result in thinning bones, osteoporosis and muscle problems
- Having an irregular heartbeat can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related problems
What are the signs of an under-active thyroid?
The following symptoms are commonly associated with an under-active thyroid:
- Weight gain
- Feeling cold
- Weakness and aches in the muscles and joints
- Itchy, dry skin
- Hair loss
- Puffy face
- Trouble concentrating
- Sluggishness or lethargy
- Difficulties in memory
- Heavy or irregular menstrual periods
- High blood pressure
- Brittle nails
- Loss of libido
What are the signs of an over-active thyroid?
Here are common symptoms of an over-active thyroid:
- nervousness, anxiety and irritability
- mood swings
- difficulty sleeping
- persistent tiredness and weakness
- sensitivity to heat
- swelling in your neck from an enlarged thyroid gland (goitre)
- an irregular unusually fast heart rate (palpitations)
- twitching or trembling
- weight loss
- muscle weakness
- needing to urinate more frequently
- persistent thirst
- raised, itchy rash (hives)
- excessive sweating
- warm skin
- hair loss
- eye problems (such as redness, dryness, or vision problems)
What is a thyroid test?
There are different tests that can be performed, to check if a patient has problems with a thyroid:
- Thyroid blood test
- Thyroid self-test
- Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration (thyroid biopsy)
Thyroid blood test
A doctor or nurse will draw blood from a vein in the patient’s arm.
This blood sample will be analysed at a laboratory, to check the levels of thyroid hormones.
If levels are below or above normal, then the patient will be provided with the appropriate treatment or referred for further tests.
The thyroid self-test is at at-home test that you can do if you suspect you may have a problem with your thyroid.
The test detects your level of thyroid hormones, thus helping you identify whether your thyroid is under-active.
The test will show you the results very quickly, so you can take the next steps accordingly, if you are shown to have an under-active thyroid.
Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration (thyroid biopsy)
This is a 30-minute medical procedure where a very fine, hollow needle is inserted into the thyroid, to remove samples for testing.
The test is performed if a patient has a lump or nodule within the thyroid, to identify the cells inside and check whether they are cancerous or not.
The sample is then analysed to see if the cells are cancerous or benign.
Is thyroid test painful?
So, is thyroid test painful?
Well, he thyroid self-test is not painful. All it requires is a quick finger prick, to retrieve a blood sample.
The thyroid blood test is the same as any other blood test, so there is just a sharp scratch when the blood is taken.
With the needle thyroid biopsy, the most pain felt will be a small pinch. Usually, a local or topical anaesthetic is sometimes applied, to minimise any pain or discomfort. After the procedure, the patient may feel soreness, discomfort or bruising in the neck area and have difficulty swallowing. However, they are normally cleared to resume normal daily activities, following the procedure.
Where can I get a thyroid test?
Here at Official Rapid Tests, we sell an Instant Thyroid Test, which you can take from the comfort of your home.
The test detects the human thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), to aid the diagnosis of an under-active thyroid.
All you have to do is purchase our self-test online, and your order will be shipped to you quickly. Your results will be provided to you quickly- we will inform you via email how this process works.
If your results are outside the normal range and are of concern, it is a priority that you contact your local GP or emergency service by calling 111 or 999.
If you feel sick, unwell or are concerned about your health, it is your responsibility to get in touch with the emergency services as soon as possible; do not wait for results to be issued.
Disclaimer: If your test range is abnormal, we will not be held responsible for follow-up treatments or notifying a healthcare professional, by taking a test with us, you agree that you will take the necessary steps to follow up with a healthcare provider independently.
All orders placed Mon - Fri before 14:00 will be sent that day for next day delivery via the Royal Mail.
Orders placed after 14:00 will be dispatched the following day, for delivery the day after.
All orders placed on Saturday and Sunday will be sent out on the next working day. Such as Monday, with the kits arriving on Tuesday.
ABOUT OFFICIAL RAPID TESTS
At Official Rapid Tests, we are a UK Government listed testing provider. We are a team of medical industry experts, with a combined experience of 40 years in the testing, diagnostic and medical services sector.
With our services, it couldn’t be easier for you to test yourself (or your loved ones) for Covid-19. All you have to do is buy one of our Covid tests, which can be delivered the next day. Alternatively, book a Covid test at one of our test centres, as we have over 120 clinics all over the UK.
Our Covid tests are perfect for using as proof that you have negative Covid status if you are travelling. With every negative result, you will receive a signed note from one of our doctors, declaring that you are Covid-free and fit to travel.
To book a Covid Test with us at your nearest test centre, click here.
We sell a Rapid Antigen Test, Video Supervised Lateral Flow Test and a Covid Recovery Certificate, which you can use as proof that you are fit to travel abroad.
If you are not sure what kind of Covid Test you need, then click here to take our quiz. This will tell you which type of Covid test is suitable based on your travel requirements.
We hope we have answered the question ‘is thyroid test painful?’
Click here to purchase our Instant Thyroid Test.
Read more articles on health tests, Covid-19, and travelling on our blog here, such as: