Test Results & Interpretations
Overview of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
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 other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.
What Results of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone mean?
- 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.
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