Toxic and Essential Elements Profile (Thyroid Essential). Our Toxic and Essential Elements Profile (Thyroid) is a comprehensive testing solution that analyses eight key elements in dried urine spots, providing valuable insights into your thyroid health. The elements tested include:
- Iodine (I): Iodine is an essential trace element required for the production of thyroid hormones. Adequate iodine levels are crucial for proper thyroid function, metabolism, and overall growth and development.
- Bromine (Br): Bromine is a halogen that can compete with iodine for receptor sites in the thyroid gland. Excessive bromine exposure may disrupt thyroid hormone synthesis and lead to thyroid dysfunction.
- Selenium (Se): Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in thyroid hormone metabolism and antioxidant defence mechanisms. Adequate selenium levels are necessary for optimal thyroid function and to protect the thyroid gland from oxidative stress.
- Arsenic (As): Arsenic is a toxic element that can be found in various environmental sources. Prolonged exposure to arsenic has been linked to adverse effects on the thyroid gland, including disruption of thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism.
- Mercury (Hg): Mercury is a highly toxic element that can accumulate in the body over time, primarily through exposure to contaminated fish and dental amalgams. Elevated mercury levels have been associated with thyroid dysfunction and impaired thyroid hormone production.
- Cadmium (Cd): Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal commonly found in industrial environments and cigarette smoke. High cadmium levels have been linked to an increased risk of thyroid disorders, including goiter and thyroid cancer.
- Lithium (Li): Lithium is a naturally occurring element that is commonly used as a medication for certain psychiatric conditions. It can affect thyroid function by altering thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism.
- Creatinine (Crtn): Creatinine is a waste product produced by the breakdown of creatine in muscles. Measuring creatinine levels in dried urine spots helps to assess the concentration of other elements, as it serves as a marker of urine concentration.
- Safe and Easy to Use: Our test is designed to be safe and user-friendly. With clear instructions provided, you can easily collect your urine sample using the included urine spot collection kit. The collection process is simple and can be completed in the comfort of your own home.
- Convenient Sample Collection: We understand the importance of convenience, which is why our test allows you to collect your urine sample at home. No need to visit a clinic or laboratory. You can collect the sample at a time that suits you, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
- Free Delivery in the UK: We offer free delivery of the test kit to addresses within the United Kingdom. Once you place your order, you can expect to receive the kit promptly, allowing you to proceed with the testing process without any additional costs.
- All-Inclusive Test Kit: Our test kit includes everything you need for the analysis, including the necessary collection materials and instructions. There are no hidden fees additional laboratory costs, or taxes. The price you pay covers the entire testing process.
- Fast and Informative Test Results: After the laboratory receives your sample, you can expect to receive your test results via email within 3-5 working days. The results will include detailed graphical and numerical representations of your hormone levels. Furthermore, our Hormone Specialist, PhD Dr, will provide comments explaining your hormone levels and recommendations for further action if necessary.
- Long Shelf Life: The test kit has a shelf life of 12 months from the date of purchase. This allows you ample time to plan and utilize the test at your convenience.
- Customers are responsible for shipping their samples to the laboratory.
- Take control of your thyroid health with our Toxic and Essential Elements Profile (Thyroid) - Dried Urine Spot Test. This test empowers you to make informed decisions about your well-being by providing valuable insights into key elements and hormone levels. Order your kit today and embark on your journey to a healthier you.
- Please click the link to see the Toxic and Essential Elements Test Sample Report
Test Kit Pack includes
- Test Requisition Form includes Symptom Checklist
- Requisition Form to complete, including your personal and medical history
- Contains collection instructions
- Sample collection cards (for dried urine spots)
- Shipping Instruction
- Return Envelope
Thyroid symptoms can manifest in various ways and are often associated with an imbalance in thyroid hormone levels. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism, energy production, and the overall functioning of the body. When there is an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), it can lead to a wide range of symptoms. Here are some common symptoms associated with thyroid dysfunction:
- Weight gain or inability to lose weight even with exercise and diet: Changes in thyroid hormone levels can affect metabolism, leading to unexplained weight gain or difficulty in losing weight despite efforts.
- Feeling cold all the time when others don't: Hypothyroidism can lower the body's metabolic rate, resulting in a decreased ability to generate and maintain body heat, making individuals feel colder than usual.
- Low energy and stamina (mostly in the evening): Fatigue and low energy levels are common symptoms of thyroid dysfunction. Individuals may feel tired and lack stamina, particularly in the evenings.
- Irregular bowel habits – constipation/loose stools: Hypothyroidism can slow down the digestive system, leading to constipation. In some cases, hyperthyroidism can increase bowel movements, resulting in loose stools or diarrhoea.
- Dry, thinning, and itchy skin: Thyroid imbalances can affect skin health, leading to dryness, thinning, and itchiness. The skin may also become more sensitive to temperature changes.
- Hair loss: Changes in thyroid hormone levels can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, resulting in hair loss or thinning of the hair, which can occur on the scalp and other body parts.
- Insomnia: Sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, can be associated with thyroid dysfunction.
- Water retention: Thyroid imbalances can affect fluid regulation in the body, leading to water retention and swelling, particularly in the face, hands, legs, or feet.
- Menstrual irregularities: Thyroid dysfunction can impact the menstrual cycle, leading to irregular periods, heavier or lighter bleeding, or changes in the duration of the menstrual cycle.
- Low sex drive: Thyroid imbalances can contribute to a decreased libido or loss of interest in sexual activity.
- Infertility: Thyroid dysfunction, especially when left untreated, can affect fertility and increase the risk of difficulties in conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy.
- Memory lapses or slow/fuzzy thinking: Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in brain function. Thyroid imbalances can result in cognitive symptoms such as memory lapses, difficulty concentrating, or feeling mentally foggy.
- Dry/brittle hair and nails: Thyroid dysfunction can cause dryness and brittleness of the hair and nails, making them more prone to breakage and damage.
- Depression: Thyroid imbalances can contribute to mood changes and symptoms of depression. Individuals may experience feelings of sadness, low mood, or a loss of interest in activities.
- Osteoporosis: Untreated or poorly managed thyroid dysfunction, particularly hypothyroidism, can increase the risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weakened and brittle bones.
- Weight loss: In the case of hyperthyroidism, individuals may experience unexplained weight loss despite maintaining their regular diet.
- Muscle and joint aches and pains: Thyroid imbalances can lead to muscle weakness, aches, and pains, along with joint stiffness or discomfort.
- High blood pressure: Hyperthyroidism can raise blood pressure levels, leading to hypertension.
- Increased cholesterol levels: Hypothyroidism can disrupt the normal metabolism of fats, leading to elevated cholesterol levels and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems.
- Heat or cold intolerance: Individuals with thyroid dysfunction may have difficulty tolerating extreme temperatures. Hypothyroidism may cause sensitivity to cold, while hyperthyroidism may lead to increased sensitivity to heat.
Thyroid Hormone Imbalance
Thyroid disease or dysfunction can explain a wide variety of symptoms (see list below), yet it is notoriously under-diagnosed. The Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study published in 20001 found that 9.9% of the study population consisted of people who were not being treated for thyroid problems yet had abnormal thyroid function test results. This suggests that their thyroid disease was previously undiagnosed. This study also found a significantly greater incidence of thyroid dysfunction in women than in men in each decade after the age of 34. The American Thyroid Association estimates that over 12% of the US population will develop thyroid disease during their lifetime and that as many as 60% of people with thyroid disease are not aware of it2. Overt hypothyroidism, with its characteristically high TSH and low circulating T4 levels, and hyperthyroidism, with low TSH and high T4 levels, are easy to recognise clinically. But an elevated TSH associated with normal thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) levels, defined as “subclinical” hypothyroidism, is thought to be present in 4-10% of the general population and in up to 20% of women over 60 years old; and a low TSH with normal T3 and T4 levels, subclinical hyperthyroidism, occurs in about 2% of the population and is most common in women, blacks, and the elderly.
Elements that Affect Thyroid Function
We are all, to varying degrees, depending on our dietary choices, our supplementation routine, or our lifestyle, exposed to the elements iodine, bromine, selenium, arsenic, and mercury. Levels of these elements in the food we eat are determined by soil levels and other environmental exposure of plants and animals that end up in the food chain and, ultimately, on our own dining tables. We can also be directly exposed to elements through environmental pollution of the air we breathe, as well as exposure through our skin. How does exposure to these elements affect health? Iodine is an essential component of T3 and T4, so its deficiency has a serious impact on thyroid hormone synthesis. While bromine is in the same chemical family as iodine and excessive amounts will compete with iodine in the thyroid. Selenium is a component of the selenoproteins, including the iodothyronine deiodinases, which convert inactive T4 to its active form in the body (T3), and glutathione peroxidase, which prevents free radical damage to the thyroid by destroying the hydrogen peroxide that is a by-product of thyroid hormone synthesis. Arsenic and mercury are toxic heavy metals that form tight complexes with selenium and, therefore, reduce selenium’s bioavailability, resulting in biological effects similar to selenium deficiency, including disruption to thyroid health. While bromine, arsenic, and mercury are known as biological toxins, even iodine and selenium can potentially be toxic if dietary intake, including excessive supplementation, is too high.
Tests in Dried Urine
Urine dried on filter paper strips is a convenient and practical way to test iodine, bromine, selenium, arsenic and mercury to assess deficient, adequate, and toxic intakes. Our Laboratory is a pioneer in commercial testing for elements using a simple, two-point (morning and night) urine collection, into which a filter paper strip is dipped and allowed to dry. Our research has shown the dried urine test to be accurate and comparable to full 24-hour liquid collections, which are cumbersome and inconvenient for patients. To correct results for hydration status, creatinine is also measured, and element test results are expressed in µg/g creatinine.
An essential component of the thyroid hormones T4 and T3. Iodine is an essential nutrient commonly found in dairy products, seafood, iodised salt, and grains. Iodine deficiency compromises thyroid hormone production and leads to serious diseases, including irreversible cretinism, pregnancy complications, goitre, and decreased cognitive function. Iodine deficiency has also been associated with breast cancer. Since over 90% of dietary iodine is eliminated in the urine, the adequacy of recent iodine intake can be accurately assessed with dried urine testing.
A common component of flameproofing agents, fumigants, medications, food products, and pool/spa sanitisers. Bromine has no known function in the body, but high environmental exposure can lead to excess accumulation. If iodine status is low, bromine competes with iodine for tyrosine binding sites within thyroglobulin and thereby impedes thyroid hormone synthesis. Bromine is mostly excreted in the urine, so dried urine analysis can indicate excessive bromine exposure.
An essential dietary element that is incorporated into the selenoproteins in the body, which include glutathione peroxidases, thioredoxin reductases, iodothyronine deiodinases, and the extracellular glycoprotein, selenoprotein P10. These selenoproteins play vital roles in thyroid hormone synthesis, free radical scavenging, DNA synthesis, and cancer prevention11. Foods such as Brazil nuts, seafood, eggs, and grains are significant selenium sources. The optimal therapeutic range for selenium is narrow: excess selenium intake can result in toxicity, while inadequate selenium affects thyroid function because of impaired synthesis and conversion of T4 into the active T312. Urine is the major route of selenium elimination; therefore, dried urinary selenium is an indicator of dietary selenium intake.
An environmental toxin can be found in some foods such as fish, shellfish, seaweed, rice, and fruit. Arsenic is a heavy metal with multiple toxic effects in the body, including carcinogenesis, goitre, diabetes, skin diseases, and damage to the liver, kidney, and cardiovascular, nervous, and endocrine systems. It also competes with selenium, preventing its incorporation into the selenoproteins. This reduces the levels of selenium-containing antioxidants and also the selenoenzymes that are essential for thyroid hormone production, thereby severely compromising thyroid function. Dried Urinary arsenic is a good indicator of recent arsenic exposure since around 80% of dietary arsenic is excreted into urine within three days.
A highly toxic heavy metal can accumulate in body tissues, including the brain. Besides occupational exposure, most human exposure to mercury is through dental amalgams, seafood, and vaccinations. Mercury toxicity can cause nervous system damage, leading to symptoms such as paresthesia, mood changes, and sensory disturbances, while very excessive exposure can also lead to renal toxicity, respiratory failure and death. Mercury and selenium have a very high affinity for each other and form a thigh complex; as a result, mercury reduces the biological availability of selenium and may inhibit the formation of selenium-dependent enzymes, affecting thyroid function in the same way as selenium deficiency or arsenic exposure. This is particularly problematic in people with inadequate selenium intake and consequent low selenium levels. Selenium can protect against mercury toxicity by sequestering mercury, reducing its bioavailability. There are three forms of mercury in the environment: elemental, found in batteries, thermometers, and dental amalgams; inorganic compounds, primarily mercuric chloride, present in skin-lightening creams; and organic compounds, primarily methylmercury, found in seafood. Elemental mercury is most commonly breathed in as a vapour and absorbed through the lungs, while inorganic and organic compounds are ingested and absorbed through the intestine. The predominant form of mercury in urine is inorganic mercury. The urinary mercury level is an excellent biomarker for whole-body exposure to both elemental and inorganic mercury.
Cadmium is a hazardous heavy metal that is frequently encountered in industrial settings and can also be found in cigarette smoke. Elevated levels of cadmium have been associated with an elevated risk of thyroid disorders, including goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) and thyroid cancer. Due to its toxic nature, minimizing exposure to cadmium is crucial for maintaining thyroid health.
Lithium is a naturally occurring element that is widely used as a medication for certain psychiatric conditions, particularly bipolar disorder. While effective in managing mood disorders, lithium can influence thyroid function by affecting the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones. It is important to closely monitor thyroid function in individuals taking lithium, as it may lead to alterations in thyroid hormone levels and potentially impact overall thyroid health. Regular thyroid evaluations are essential to ensure proper management and minimize any potential adverse effects associated with lithium treatment.
Advantages of Dried Urine for Testing Iodine, Bromine, Selenium, Arsenic, Mercury, Lithium, Cadmium and Creatinine
• Iodine testing allows for the determination of iodine status based on CDC and WHO guidelines for thyroid sufficiency, as well as extra-thyroidal sufficiency
Clinical Aspects of Thyroid Dysfunction
Thyroid hormones are primarily involved in directing the metabolic activity of cells, and a properly regulated thyroid is therefore essential to a wide array of biochemical processes in the body. Functional hypo- and hyperthyroidism can also result in symptoms even when hormone levels appear to be normal. Thyroid function can be affected by interactions between thyroid hormones and other hormone systems, particularly estrogens and cortisol, by some nutritional deficiencies, particularly iodine and selenium, and by environmental exposure to bromine, arsenic, selenium,
And mercury. Management of thyroid dysfunction requires an understanding of these interactions and careful monitoring of treatment with thyroid hormone testing. The presence of thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies has been found to help diagnose thyroid disease in patients with abnormal TSH and/or thyroid symptoms with normal thyroid hormone levels and is used to indicate the presence of autoimmune thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of overt hypothyroidism, and 95% of patients are positive for TPO antibodies. Thyroid dysfunction, including thyroid autoimmunity, is also strongly linked with infertility.