Consumers are becoming more tech-savvy and taking their health into their own hands – and that’s a good thing.
Home test kits in particular are often cheaper than visiting a doctor and can help uncover health concerns in your time. The results can easily be sent to your doctor for follow-up checks.
The thyroid is located at the base of your neck. It is part of the endocrine system and is responsible for regulating hormones throughout the body to help you sleep, give you energy, and help you stay warm.
The main hormones it produces are tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which control how your cells use energy. Your thyroid regulates your metabolism by releasing these hormones.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid doesn’t make enough T4, T3, or both. It is the most common thyroid disease and affects
The opposite occurs in hyperthyroidism. The thyroid becomes too active and produces too much thyroid hormones.
Testing your thyroid levels at home is convenient and accurate when done correctly and with the selection of home testing kits you may find one that you like.
Read on to find out what thyroid tests are available and if they are right for you.
Anyone can have their thyroid checked. However, certain populations may be at greater risk of developing thyroid disease, including:
- People born with a womb
- People with autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes
- People with a history of thyroid disease
- People who smoke
You may want to have a test if you show symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
If you have any of these symptoms it is a good idea to have your thyroid levels checked. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to developmental problems in a fetus, an enlarged thyroid, heart problems, and fertility problems.
Hyperthyroidism can cause osteoporosis, heart failure, and an irregular heartbeat.
Since thyroid problems are common and you can have thyroid problems with no symptoms, you can still get tested as part of your preventative care.
No home thyroid testing company is perfect, but we chose the ones who have been able to bring many benefits to their clients. The listed companies offer data protection and reliable follow-up results.
A price range was also taken into account. We also looked at online reviews of real user experiences. After reading our reviews, we recommend doing a full research on a company before buying a thyroid test to make sure it is right for you.
Best for tracking the results
LetsGetChecked offers two options: the thyroid test and the thyroid antibody test.
The thyroid test checks the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), T4 and T3. If your results are outside of the normal range (either high or low), you have the option to have a free phone consultation with a nurse to discuss your next steps. Your lab report will also provide you with information to help you understand your results.
The thyroid antibody test for TSH, T4 and T3 as well as the antibodies thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase (TPO). Knowing whether or not you have these antibodies can help determine if you have an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
After requesting a thyroid testing kit, you will receive an unmarked box in the mail that contains everything you need to test. You prick your finger in the morning and send your sample back on the same day in the biohazard bag provided and in the white box. The results will be sent to you in 2 to 5 days.
Costs: $ 99-119 depending on which test you choose
Cover: LetsGetChecked does not take out insurance, but accepts Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Cards (HSA).
Learn more about LetsGetChecked here.
Best laboratory based tests
Instead of doing a thyroid test yourself, HealthLabs offers you the option to do a test at one of their laboratory locations. You order the test yourself and use the website to find a location nearby without the need to make an appointment. Taking a blood sample in the laboratory takes less than 10 minutes.
You have the option to choose which thyroid tests you would like to perform. Her most popular ones are the TSH test and the thyroid panel, which tests TSH, T3 recovery, T4, and the free thyroxine index (T7). Results come within 2 to 3 days of taking the test.
Costs: $ 39– $ 119, depending on which test you choose
Cover: You can use your HSA or FSA account to pay for tests, but you’ll need to submit receipts for insurance reimbursement. HealthLabs does not bill your insurance directly.
Learn more about HealthLabs here.
Everlywell is a relatively new company that offers a range of testing options, including thyroid kits. These thyroid tests assess TSH, TPO antibodies, T3, and T4.
When you become a member, you will receive a significant discount on trial options. You take your sample with a prick of your finger and send the kit back for testing. There are videos on their website to walk you through collecting and returning your sample.
The results will be returned within 5 working days. Depending on the volume, it can take up to 8 days.
Costs: $ 99 (without membership) or $ 24.99 (with membership)
Cover: Everlywell is not insured, but you can use your HSA or FSA account to pay for the tests.
Best for specialized care
Paloma Health is a telemedicine company with providers specializing in thyroid disease. The company only does thyroid tests. Their main goal is to be a one stop shop for all aspects of thyroid health.
This is how Paloma sets itself apart from its competitors with a more holistic care approach. They provide nutritional advice and health coaching, and a doctor will be assigned to you during all of your tests. This full-body approach offers more than just the usual thyroid tests. Your additional antibody tests can detect Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other thyroid disorders.
You have the option to get tested for TSH and free T4 levels, but the thyroid panel also includes testing for anti-TPO antibodies and free T3 levels.
You will be given a lancet to prick your finger. This sample is sent back in the biohazard bag provided, which is in the original packaging. A return envelope is provided for this. Healthcare professionals can provide information about your results and a treatment plan for a separate fee while the results are read. Results will be returned in 7 days.
Costs: $ 99 for the thyroid testing kit, additional costs for medication, and coaching and treatment plans
Cover: The consultations are insured. If Paloma is not on the network, you can request a refund. Check with your insurance company to see if this covers home test kits.
Best for women
I am aware of it
imaware offers tests that are peer-reviewed by the medical community. Their laboratories are CLIA certified and the company states that their thyroid testing kit only measures TSH and is only for women. The kit ships to all 50 states except New York. Each test is reviewed by the doctor who originally ordered the test.
The company provides instructional videos and detailed instructions on how to take your test. The test is carried out with a finger prick and the sample is sent back in the return box and envelope. The results will be sent 7 days after the sample has been sent.
Costs: $ 69
Cover: imaware does not bill your insurance company directly, but you can submit receipts for reimbursement.
Thyroid tests use blood samples to check TSH and T4 levels. If the results are worrying, more detailed testing may be done, including checking for T3 levels.
If your levels are too high or too low, you may also need an ultrasound to see the structure of your thyroid, as tumors on the thyroid can cause symptoms similar to hypo- and hyperthyroidism. You may need to take medication every day to regulate your levels.
According to the
Some endocrinologists or doctors who specialize in hormone-related conditions such as thyroid disease have concerns about the reliability of thyroid kits and the possibility of misdiagnosis. For this reason, it is still important to let your doctor know about these results.
Most of these home test kits provide interpretations of your laboratory results. If it doesn’t, it is always best to consult your doctor.
TSH levels depend on your age and gender, but can fluctuate based on medication, diet, and pregnancy. The normal range is 0.45 to 4.5
Changing these hormones for long periods of time can affect your overall health. When TSH levels are too high, the thyroid doesn’t make enough T4, which can lead to hypothyroidism. Conversely, if the TSH levels are too low, the thyroid can produce too much T4, which can lead to hyperthyroidism.
Overall, thyroid test kits are a great way to check and monitor how your thyroid is working, and if you have any concerns, it is worth looking into.
Home testing companies differ in the services and prices they offer. It is a good idea to research each company for more information about their services and health professionals and accreditations. This can help you decide whether home thyroid testing is right for you and which company to try.
Risa Kerslake is a nurse, freelance writer and mother of two from the Midwest. She specializes in issues related to women’s health, mental health, oncology, the puerperium and fertility content. She enjoys collecting coffee mugs, crocheting and trying to write her memoirs. Read more about her work with her website.