Low ferritin causes hypothyroidism

questions and answers Tests for thyroid disease and anemia

Constantly tired and powerless, constantly pale and shivering - the causes for this can be as varied as they are complex. Sometimes it is the thyroid gland that is not working properly, sometimes too little vital fluid flows through the body.

Last revised June 2020

Blood tests clarify causes

Special blood tests provide information about what exactly the causes of the diffuse symptoms are, whether there is a dysfunction of the thyroid gland or anemia.

Thyroid Disease - TSH Test Questions and Answers

What is TSH?

TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is a hormone made by the pituitary gland that acts on the thyroid gland. TSH is absorbed by the thyroid gland (glandula thyreoidea), which then forms the hormones T3 and T4 in a control circuit and releases them to the blood. The pituitary gland is a cherry-sized gland at the base of the skull that releases various hormones. It is these hormones that enable the body's organs to function properly. The thyroid is located on the neck below the larynx. The hormones of the thyroid regulate essential metabolic processes in the body, e.g. B. in the liver, muscles and kidneys.

Why is a TSH test done?

The TSH test is a blood test that detects diseases of the thyroid gland such as underactive and overactive. The doctor will also arrange a TSH test for high blood pressure because an overactive thyroid could be the cause. In newborns, TSH determination is used as a search method in order to identify congenital hypothyroidism at an early stage and to be able to treat it in good time. In this way, severe physical and mental development disorders can be avoided.

What are the most common thyroid diseases?

The most common thing is a palpable or visible enlargement of the thyroid called a goiter or goiter. Women and men are affected roughly equally often. The goiter usually arises from an iodine deficiency, more rarely from a tumor or lump in the thyroid gland. Iodine is an important building block for the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Over and underactive thyroid are also common. Autoimmune diseases of the thyroid such as Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis must also be taken into account.

Which symptoms indicate an underactive thyroid?

In the case of underactive (hypothyroidism), the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. Those affected mainly complain of freezing, weakness, tiredness, constipation and muscle cramps.

How is an overactive thyroid noticeable?

If the thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroidism), it produces too many hormones. This leads to weight loss, nervousness, insomnia, palpitations, or hair loss. The eyeballs can also protrude under certain circumstances.

Which TSH levels are normal and which are not?

TSH levels between 0.4 to 4.0 mU / l (milli-units per liter) are normal. Elevated TSH levels indicate that the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones. If you have an overactive thyroid, there is not enough TSH in the blood because the thyroid produces too many hormones. With a benign enlargement of the thyroid gland, the TSH levels are usually normal. The gland has grown to produce more hormones.

Are there any other examinations made?

As a rule, the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 in the blood and other values, such as e.g. B. the free hormones FT3 and FT4, and for special questions also antibodies against structures of the thyroid gland. If the thyroid gland is palpable or detected during an ultrasound scan, a special examination called the thyroid scintigram is performed. Functional changes in the thyroid gland can be detected with this nuclear medicine method. This result has a decisive influence on the therapy.

How are thyroid diseases treated?

The use of iodized salt is recommended as basic therapy, and the doctor can also prescribe iodine tablets, the ingredient of which is the medically effective potassium iodide. This is to avoid iodine deficiency, the most common cause of hypothyroidism (underactive). It can also be the cause of thyroid nodules. Manifest hypothyroidism (underactive) is treated by administering the missing hormones T4 and T3 with medication. The dosage is chosen so that the TSH values ​​are within the reference range (0.4 - 4.0 mU / l). Regular therapy monitoring is necessary to maintain normal thyroid function,

Which drugs change TSH levels and can make diagnosis more difficult?

TSH levels can be increased through regular iodine intake or lithium supplements. Too low TSH values ​​may occur when taking acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), dopamine, heparin and corticosteroids.

Blood - a very special juice

Blood fulfills a variety of functions, such as transporting nutrients and producing metabolism. For example, the red blood cells transport the inhaled oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues. An important building block for oxygen transport is the iron level in the blood. Laboratory tests show whether there is an iron deficiency.

Anemia - Hemoglobin Test Questions and Answers

What is hemogobin?

Hemoglobin (Hb) is the pigment in the red blood cells, the erythrocytes. It consists of a protein component, globin, and heme, an iron compound. Adults have around 650 grams of Hb in their bodies. Hemoglobin transports the oxygen absorbed in the lungs to the body's cells, where it is converted into energy together with glucose.

How does the doctor test the hemoglobin levels in the blood?

Hemoglobin is usually determined as part of a blood count to identify anemia. In the small blood count, all cells of the blood - white and red blood cells, platelets, etc. - are counted; in the large blood count, these cells are also differentiated.

Which blood values ​​for hemoglobin are normal?

In men, the Hb values ​​are between 14 and 18 g / dl (grams per deciliter) and in women between 12 and 16 g / dl.

What is anemia

In anemia, the red blood cells and hemoglobin levels fall below the reference range (formerly known as the normal range). Anemia is mainly caused by blood loss, for example unnoticed in the case of bleeding gastric ulcers. Anemia can also occur with iron deficiency, vitamin deficiency, kidney disease, cancer and many other diseases.

What is iron deficiency anemia?

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia. As a result of the iron deficiency, the formation of heme and thus of hemoglobin is hindered. Iron deficiency can occur as a result of blood loss, menstruation and an increased need for iron during growth in children and in women during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

How is ones deficiency anemia recognized?

Hemoglobin and iron are decreased in the blood count. The adult body usually contains four to five grams of iron. Half a gram to a gram is excreted daily through the intestines, urine, bile and sweat. In women, due to menstruation, iron loss is twice as high.

How can iron deficiency anemia be treated?

Therapy consists of taking iron supplements daily, which can also be injected. Laboratory controls show an increase in hemoglobin between the seventh and tenth day of therapy. Preventive iron therapy should be given to infants fed low-iron cow's milk. Iron therapy is recommended for women during pregnancy.

Which foods are particularly high in iron?

Eggs, meat, liver, fish, soybeans, peas, lentils and plum juice are particularly high in iron. Women should breastfeed their newborns because breast milk contains a lot of necessary iron.

How are the other forms of anemia treated?

Treatment depends on the cause. If the bleeding is constant, for example from gastric ulcers, the source of the bleeding must be eliminated. Vitamin deficiencies can be eliminated by adding vitamins. In kidney disease, anemia can be treated with the hormone erythropoietin, which stimulates blood formation.