TSH stands for “thyroid stimulating hormone” produced by the pituitary gland and the test measures the amount of TSH in your bloodstream to identify potential Thyroid Disorders. When the hormone levels are low, your brain sends out a message to the pituitary glands to release TSH.
A TSH test is done to find out if your thyroid gland is working normally. If untreated, a thyroid disorder can cause health problems.
The TSH test involves simply drawing some blood from the body. The blood will then be analyzed in a lab.
We achieve optimum results when the test is conducted in the morning as TSH levels can fluctuate throughout the day. No preparation is needed (such as overnight fasting) before taking the test. However, if you’re on certain medications, like dopamine and lithium, you may need to avoid taking the respective medication beforehand.
Normal TSH levels in an adult body range anywhere from 0.4 – 4.0 mlU/L (mini international units/liter). The goal for people consuming thyroxine is to get TSH levels between 0.5 – 2.0 mlU/L.
A high TSH level shows an underactive thyroid gland also known as hypothyroidism, on the other hand, a low TSH level shows hyperthyroidism.
Variations in the TSH Test:
The TSH test usually isn’t the only one used to diagnose thyroid disorders. Other tests, like the free T3, the free T4, the reverse T3, and the anti-TPO antibody, are often used too to determine whether you need thyroid treatment or not.