Thyroid – a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front part of the neck produces thyroid hormones. Triiodothyronine (T3) is one of two major hormones made by your thyroid. And the other hormone is called thyroxine or T4. Both T3 and T4 help to regulate how your body uses energy. And these hormones also play a vital role in controlling weight, body temperature, nervous system, and muscle strength. Triiodothyronine test measures the level of T3 in the blood. This test is often part of a thyroid panel, a group of tests that are used together to evaluate thyroid health.
This article covers all the significant topics related to the triiodothyronine test such as the test cost, symptoms, preparation for tests, risk factor, and how to get tested for a triiodothyronine test.
- What is a triiodothyronine test?
- Purpose of triiodothyronine test
- Why do you need a triiodothyronine test?
- How should you prepare for a triiodothyronine test?
- What happens during the test?
- Risk of triiodothyronine test
- What do the results mean?
- Other tests
- Provider locations
For our readers who are interested in knowing the triiodothyronine test cost beforehand, we begin with that section.
How much does the triiodothyronine test cost?
Triiodothyronine test costs range from $39 to $52 in different labs and facilities across the US. Prior appointment isn’t required. You can order tests online by comparing the price or visiting the nearest lab during lab business hours. You will get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days after completing the procedure. Apart from this, doctor consultation is available for any kind of further treatment or medical advice.
The table below shows the triiodothyronine test provider and their prices. You can know more and book the test by clicking on the “Book Now” button. All the labs are certified and offer a network across the US.
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Triiodothyronine test cost with insurance
Many insurance companies in the U.S. cover all the vital tests like a triiodothyronine test. However, the coverage provided by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare varies widely. Most of the health insurance policies cover triiodothyronine test costs only once or twice a year and when your physician orders more than twice in a year, you should pay the test cost out of pocket. So, you are recommended to check if your health insurance policy covers the triiodothyronine test cost.
Our triiodothyronine test testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance policy. However, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details viz the name of the test, code of the test, and CPT code which is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is a triiodothyronine test?
The thyroid produces a hormone called triiodothyronine also known as T3. Triiodothyronine test measures the level of T3 in the blood. T3 hormone exists in two forms in your body. While most of the T3 in your bloodstream binds to protein. And some of the T3 doesn’t bind to protein (free T3). A test that measures both bound & free T3 is called a total T3 test. Whereas the free T3 test measures only the free T3 in your blood. Abnormal T3 levels can be a sign of thyroid disease.
This test is also called total triiodothyronine, free triiodothyronine, or FT3.
Purpose of triiodothyronine test
Generally, doctors will order a triiodothyronine test if they suspect a problem with your thyroid. This test is frequently ordered with T4 and TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) tests. And along with other thyroid function tests, T3 or triiodothyronine tests play a role in diagnosing thyroid disorders, assessing the severity of thyroid problems, and diagnosing pituitary gland disorders.
Triiodothyronine test may also be used:
- To monitor treatment for thyroid disease
- To evaluate thyroid function
- As a follow-up test if a patient has had an abnormal TSH test
A triiodothyronine test is most often used to diagnose hyperthyroidism. Though it may be used sometimes, triiodothyronine (T3) is less helpful in diagnosing hypothyroidism. Because T3 is usually the last hormone to become abnormal in hypothyroid patients.
Why do you need a triiodothyronine test?
You may also need a triiodothyronine test if you have symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a condition where your thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone. And this condition can make your metabolism speed up. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include:
- Weight loss
- Tremors in the hands
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Pounding of your heart (palpitations)
- Bulging of the eyes
- Trouble sleeping
- Low tolerance for heat and excessive sweating
- Inability to concentrate
- Increased appetite
- Vision changes
- Menstrual changes
- Enlargement and swelling of the neck
- Hair loss
- Change in hair texture
- Breast development in men
- Mood swings
How should you prepare for a triiodothyronine test?
You don’t need to take any special measures to prepare for this triiodothyronine test. Make sure to tell your doctor about the medications you are taking, before the test. Certain medications can affect test results, so your doctor may ask you to stop taking a particular medication.
What happens during the test?
A Triiodothyronine test requires a blood sample. Before drawing the sample, the healthcare professional or nurse will clean the area with an antiseptic to kill any germs. And to make your veins swell with blood, they will tie a band around the upper arm. Once a vein is found, the healthcare professional will insert a sterile needle into it and the blood is drawn into a tube attached to the needle. You may feel slight pain when the needle goes in or out. After taking the blood sample, your healthcare professional will remove the needle and place a bandage over the site. Usually, this blood test takes only a few minutes.
Risk of triiodothyronine test
There is little risk in having a triiodothyronine test. You may have minor bleeding or bruising in the area where the needle was inserted. But the symptoms go away quickly.
What do the results mean?
The normal range is from 100 to 200 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). It is important to note that a normal test result doesn’t necessarily mean that your thyroid is functioning perfectly. So, it’s vitally important to consult your doctor to interpret your specific results.
High T3 levels might indicate thyroid issues, like:
- Graves’ disease – a type of autoimmune disease that damages the thyroid gland. And this is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Although Graves’ disease is a lifelong condition, treatments can keep the thyroid gland in check.
- Hyperthyroidism – this occurs when your thyroid makes too much T4, T3, or both. Hyperthyroidism can cause your bones to become thin and weak and it can lead to osteoporosis.
- Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis – a condition in which there are episodes of severe muscle weakness. And this occurs in people who have high levels of thyroid hormone.
- Toxic nodular goiter – it involves an enlarged thyroid gland. And the gland contains areas that have increased in size & formed nodules. One or more nodules produce high levels of thyroid hormone.
- Painless (silent) thyroiditis – is an immune reaction of the thyroid gland. And can cause hyperthyroidism.
High levels may indicate high levels of protein in the blood. Or it may indicate thyroid cancer or thyrotoxicosis (rare).
Low T3 levels may indicate hypothyroidism or starvation. Doctors don’t routinely use only the triiodothyronine test as a thyroid test. Because low levels could also indicate that you have a long-term illness. And T3 levels decrease when you’re sick.
Thyroid’s functions are complicated and a single test may not give your doctor any definitive answers about what is wrong. Your doctor may also perform other tests to gain a clearer picture of your thyroid function. It may include:
- Thyroid T4 test – The thyroid produces a hormone called thyroxine also known as T4.
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone test – TSH is a hormone made by the pituitary gland and stimulates the thyroid to produce T4 & T3 hormones.
A triiodothyronine test can be done in any of the following locations by visiting the lab near you. To know the triiodothyronine test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you with a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order any time before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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