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At-home testing for health issues is becoming increasingly popular. Thyroid tests are among the at-home tests available to buy online. Before selecting one, a person should consider which hormones the test detects, how much it costs, and how quickly they can get the results.

These tests are easy to perform at home and do not require long waits at a clinic or doctor’s office for results.

In this article, we look at how at-home thyroid tests work, why a person may wish to try at-home testing, and which tests are available to order online.

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland at the base of the neck. It helps regulate the production of hormones that affect various bodily functions, including sleep and metabolism.

Problems with the thyroid can cause a range of symptoms, including:

As other conditions can also cause these symptoms, it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose a thyroid problem.

A person may not be able to get a test from their doctor right away if their symptoms are mild.

In such cases, people may consider using an at-home test to determine whether an issue with the thyroid could be causing their symptoms.

Common thyroid disorders

The British Thyroid Foundation notes that the most common thyroid disorder is hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid.

Other conditions that can affect the thyroid include:

Learn more about common thyroid disorders here.

At-home thyroid tests typically measure several thyroid hormones:

  • thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • triiodothyronine (T3)
  • tetraiodothyronine (T4)

Some tests also check for thyroid antibodies, as their presence can indicate the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

The results of the test will help the person determine whether there is any need to see a doctor.

When a person receives their testing kit, they will have to take a finger-prick blood sample. They then place the sample in a plastic bag and return it using the provided envelope.

Each testing kit will have specific instructions, and it is essential to follow the guidelines to ensure an accurate result.

At-home testing companies also offer aftercare services, which include a doctor reviewing the person’s results. People can also opt for their results to go to their regular doctor if that is their preference.

It is important to note that various factors may interfere with thyroid test results. A few examples include:

  • pregnancy
  • underlying health conditions or illnesses
  • older age
  • certain medications, such as opioids, androgens, and estrogen
  • biotin supplements

Why use an at-home test?

At-home testing offers several advantages. These include:

  • convenience
  • cost effectiveness
  • quick and accessible results
  • confidentiality
  • the results can go to a person’s doctor

Do private medical insurance plans cover the costs?

Most private medical insurance companies do not cover the costs of at-home testing.

However, some at-home test providers will accept a flexible spending account or health reimbursement account card.

Below are several popular testing companies that offer at-home thyroid tests.

It is important to note that none of these companies state that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved their thyroid tests.

Please note that the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.

LetsGetChecked

LetsGetChecked offers two separate thyroid tests.

One of these tests only measures the three main thyroid hormones: TSH, T3, and T4.

The other test measures antibodies in addition to hormone levels.

The user will need to take a finger-prick blood sample. After taking a sample, they can return it to the company immediately using the prepaid shipping label in the kit.

According to LetsGetChecked, the results are typically available in 2–5 days.

The company has a team of doctors and nurses who will review the results and contact customers to discuss what they mean. These healthcare professionals can help alleviate any concerns and provide advice on the next steps if the result is positive.

EverlyWell

The EverlyWell at-home thyroid test measures thyroid hormone levels and antibodies in a finger-prick blood sample.

The testing kit comprises everything a person needs to take a sample and return it for analysis, including a prepaid shipping label.

EverlyWell says that a doctor reviews the digital results, which are available within just a few days on the secure EverlyWell platform. The company will also provide detailed information on what the results mean for the person’s health.

Once a person’s results are in, they can set up a call to discuss them with a healthcare professional if they want more detail.

Customers can also choose to speak with a doctor before ordering an at-home health test.

Imaware

The imaware at-home thyroid test is only available for females.

It measures the levels of TSH to check for an underactive or overactive thyroid. As with the other tests, a person needs to take a finger-prick blood sample.

According to the imaware website, a person can expect to receive their results within 7 days of returning their sample by mail.

A doctor will review the results after the lab testing is complete. A person can also choose to forward the results to their primary care physician.

If a person is experiencing symptoms that do not go away, they should contact a doctor for advice.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism may include:

  • fatigue
  • difficulty dealing with cold temperatures
  • constipation
  • weight gain
  • irregular or heavy periods
  • depression
  • slow heart rate
  • joint aches and pains
  • puffy face

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include:

  • nervousness
  • weakness and fatigue
  • difficulty handling heat
  • problems sleeping
  • hand tremor
  • diarrhea
  • weight loss

A person may have symptoms that indicate a thyroid disorder but receive test results that show that their thyroid is functioning normally. If this happens, they should contact a doctor for further advice. Their symptoms may be the result of another condition that might require treatment.

At-home thyroid tests and other forms of home health testing allow people to take control of their health. Instead of waiting for a doctor to order a test for them, a person can request an at-home testing kit that allows them to take a sample at their own convenience.

Often, a person can get their results within days and have a doctor review them.

Although home testing is convenient, it is still essential to follow up with a healthcare professional to discuss the test results and put a suitable treatment plan in place, if necessary.