Essentials Blood Screen
Information for this blood test
Target Turn Around Time in working days: 5 Working Days
Test Inclusions: TSH, FT4, FT3, TT4, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies, Thyroglobulin Antibodies, Ferritin, Folate, Vitamin B12 (NOT ACTIVE B12), C Reactive Protein, Vitamin D (25-OH), Cortisol, Iron (Fe) & TIBC
Special Instructions: Fasting not required. 8am - 10am sample required. PLEASE NOTE: This sample MUST be posted the same day the sample is taken and delivered to the Laboratory the next working day.
Ferritin is a protein found in the blood which carries iron. Like TIBC/UIBC, and transferrin saturation, it can tell us how much iron is stored in the body. The higher the level within a health screening, the greater the amount of iron stored. This test can be used to detect iron deficiency, and also conditions of iron excess (such as haemochromatosis). Ferritin can also be raised if inflammation is present in the body somewhere.
Thyroid related blood testing
TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is a hormone manufactured in the pituitary gland (found in the brain). It s role is to stimulate thyroxine production in the thyroid gland (found in the neck). A high level within a health screening is associated with an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and a low level is found if the thyroid gland is over-active (hyperthyroidism). Changes in the TSH level alone can indicate underlying thyroid problems even if the thyroxine levels are normal.
Free T4 (free thyroxine) is the active form of thyroxine, released from the thyroid gland in the neck. Its role is to control metabolism - release of energy from all cells of the body. A lack of thyroxine leads to, for example, tiredness and weight gain, whereas an excess will lead to weight loss, rapid heart rate and anxiety. It is generally believed that this level (FT4) is the most reliable indicator of thyroid status - ie whether the gland is over-active (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism).
Free T3 (Free Triiodothyronine) - This is one of two hormones produced by the thyroid gland. This measures the level of T3 that is 'free' and is able to regulate metabolism.
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies This is an enzyme found in the thyroid gland mostly. This allows the production of thyroid hormones.
TT4 A Total T4 measurement measures ALL of the T4 hormone – bound and free. Most endocrinologists find “Free T4” more useful, but we still include T4 in this profile as some doctors still specifically request it when investigating thyroid function.
Cortisol As Cortisol decreases TSH, thereby decreasing thyroid hormone production, as well as inhibiting T4 to T3 conversion, measuring Cortisol is important and is now included in all Blue Horizon postal Thyroid Profiles.
Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin, essential for the normal functioning of many body processes. Deficiency can lead to anaemia (poor quality red blood cells) and neurological (nerve) disorders. It is most abundant in meat products so vegetarians are more vulnerable to deficiency of this vitamin. Pernicious anaemia develops if uptake of vitamin B12 into the blood from the gut is absent or severely impaired, and even if a diet rich in the vitamin is taken, deficiency will occur if this disease is present. Recent evidence suggests that mild deficiency is probably more common than previously thought. Mild deficiency may explain the presence of fatigue and a host of other limiting symptoms which is why we have included it within the PLUS V and PLUS X health screening profiles.
Vitamin D Vitamin D is an important vitamin, essential for good bone health. It is manufactured in the skin through sunlight exposure and is found in several foods. Prolonged Vitamin D lack can cause osteomalacia, a disease which causes severe structural deformities to the skeleton. Lower level Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a number of non-specific symptoms, including chronic pain, weak bones, frequent infections depression and fatigue. It has been estimated that between 50-70% of people living in the northern Europe (where daylight length reduces your chances of receiving adequate sunlight in the winter) are deficient in this vitamin by March each year which is why health screening for this important vitamin is essential.