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A thyroxine test is a blood test that helps diagnose thyroid conditions. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your throat. Your thyroid makes hormones that control the way your body uses energy. These hormones affect your weight, heart, body temperature, muscle strength, and even your mood. In children, thyroid hormones affect growth, too.

A free T4 test (FT4) directly measures the amount of free T4 in your blood. Medical experts believe this test provides more accurate information than a total T4 test, so it’s used more often.

A total T4 test (TT4) measures free and bound T4 together. A calculation may be done to figure out how much T4 is free. This is a less accurate way to check how well your thyroid is working.