Test Results & Interpretations
It is done to screen for and diagnose thyroid disorders. You should get this test done if you have symptoms of hyperthyroidism like weight loss, nervousness, tremors or hypothyroidism like weight gain, constipation, fatigue, cold intolerance. These days, this test is widely used for screening newborns. It can also help to diagnose and monitor infertility problems in women. If you are already taking anti thyroid medications, this test is helpful in monitoring thyroid replacement therapy. High TSH level is usually indicative of hypothyroidism while low levels usually indicate hyperthyroidism.
Why Get Tested
- If you have symptoms of low levels of thyroid hormone like weight gain, constipation, cold intolerance, fatigue
- If you have symptoms of high levels of thyroid hormone like weight loss, anxiety, palpitations, difficolty in sleeping
- To monitor the treatment if you are already diagnosed with thyroid disease
- Infertility work up
- Newborn screening - Since hypothyroidism has become such a common entity in females these days, that is why many institutes now recommend a mandatory neonatal screening
Do not eat or drink anything except water at least 9 to 12 hours before the test.
- If your TSH level is increased, it usually indicates that you have hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism.
- If your TSH level is decreased, it usually indicates hyperthyroidism. Grave’s disease, multi nodular goitre, toxic nodule are some of the common causes of hyperthyroidism.
- Whether high or low, an abnormal TSH indicates an excess or deficiency in the amount of thyroid hormone available to your body, but it does not indicate the reason why. So, additional tests like free T3 and T4 should be done to confirm the cause.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are there any other factors or conditions which can affect my TSH levels?
TSH levels can be affected by: A.Pregnancy B.Liver disease C.Estrogen D.Drugs like aspirin, steroids E.Extreme stress F.Acute infections
Q. Is there anything which I can do to raise or lower my TSH?
TSH does not respond to lifestyle changes. The important thing is that the pituitary and the thyroid gland are healthy and working together to produce appropriate amounts of thyroid hormone.
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