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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-66

Fasting versus postprandial state: Impact on thyroid function testing

Department of Biochemistry, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. K Maheswari
Department of Biochemistry, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/trp.trp_11_21

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Context: Thyroid dysfunctions are common health problems worldwide. Thyroid function tests (TFTs) are the mainstay of diagnosis. A common question by labs and clinicians is whether food intake makes a clinically significant difference for TFTs. Aims: We aimed to assess the effect of fasting and postprandial state on thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3, and free T4. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted. Sixty patients were prospectively selected. Subjects and Methods: Patients were divided into two groups: Group A (known case of thyroid disorder and on medication) and Group B (no prior history of thyroid dysfunction). Two blood samples were collected from each patient, before and after breakfast, with a gap of 2 h. Serum samples were analyzed for TSH, free T3, and free T4. Results: Mean (± standard deviation) TSH values (mIU/L) in fasting state were 2.38 ± 1.88 and in postprandial state were 2.08 ± 1.65. A statistically significant postprandial decline was observed in TSH values (mean difference: -0.30 mIU/L) and free T3 (mean difference: –0.21 pmol/L), in both groups. Conclusions: TFT results were altered in a statistically significant manner after food intake. Multiple studies have reported a similar postprandial decline in serum TSH. This may impact the diagnosis and management of thyroid patients, especially where minor changes in TSH levels are clinically relevant.

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