Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH) Blood Test
The Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH) Blood Test measures TSH levels for detecting or diagnosing thyroid issues.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH) Blood Test, which measures TSH levels for detecting or diagnosing thyroid issues. Located in the front of the neck, the thyroid is a small gland shaped like a butterfly. The hormones produced by the thyroid are responsible for regulating the body's energy usage. These hormones significantly impact most organs, including the heart, weight, body temperature, muscle strength, and mood. When insufficient thyroid hormones are in the bloodstream, bodily functions slow down. On the other hand, if there is excessive thyroid hormone, the body functions tend to speed up.
When the thyroid hormone levels are low, the pituitary gland produces more TSH to encourage the thyroid to work harder. Conversely, when thyroid hormone levels are, the pituitary gland makes high, with little or no TSH. Healthcare providers can use this blood test to measure TSH levels and determine if the thyroid produces the appropriate amount of hormones.
The TSH Blood Test is a thyroid function test that helps:
- Diagnose thyroid disorders
- Monitor thyroid replacement therapy for hypothyroidism patients
- Diagnose and monitor female infertility problems
- Evaluate pituitary gland function
When should I order a Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH) Blood Test?
Although this test is commonly used to diagnose thyroid disorders in adults, opinions differ on the benefits of screening and when to start testing. Individuals may order this test if they have symptoms of too much or too little thyroid hormone in their blood.
Hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) is a type of thyroid disorder where the thyroid gland is overactive. This condition is characterized by symptoms such as:
- Weight loss
- Fast heart rate
- A feeling of being too hot
Hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone) is another type of thyroid disorder where the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones. This can cause various symptoms such as:
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- A feeling of being too cold
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