TSH test is an examination using blood samples taken from venous veins in the arm to measure the concentration of the thyroid-stimulating hormone in the blood. Therefore I suggest knowing about What is TSH in Blood Test? And What Is The Difference Between High level and Low level TSH?
What is the TSH check procedure?
Thyroid-stimulating hormone is a hormone produced by glands in the brain, namely the pituitary gland. The thyroid is a small butterfly-like gland located near the throat.
When thyroid hormone levels in the blood are low, then the pituitary gland will produce TSH to stimulate the formation of thyroid hormones. And vice versa. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is a hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
TSH function is affected by thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) produced by the hypothalamus to maintain a stable concentration of thyroid hormones in the blood. Therefore, TSH level measurement or examination is performed to evaluate the activity of thyroid hormone-producing thyroid gland which has various functions such as:
- Body temperature
- Muscle strength
- Energy use
- Controlling weight
Why does the TSH check procedure need to be performed?
TSH tests are performed to evaluate the glandular function and thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormone disorders are broadly divided into two groups namely excess thyroid hormone or hyperthyroid and lack of thyroid or hypothyroid hormone.
Therefore, generally, TSH tests are performed on people who have symptoms of hyperthyroid or hypothyroidism as follows.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism:
- Tremors in the hands
- Heart palpitations
- Swelling of the limbs.
- Protruding eyes
- Menstrual changes
- Anxiety disorders and difficulty sleeping
- Abnormally enlarged goiter or thyroid gland
Symptoms of hypothyroidism:
- Easily tired
- Hair loss
- Can’t stand the cold
- Irregular menstruation
- Weight gain
In addition to the above symptoms, TSH tests are also performed to show other diseases, such as:
- Graves disease or excessive thyroid activity
- Hashimoto’s disease or an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the thyroid
- Thyroid nodules or lumps in the thyroid due to overactive thyroid gland
- Thyroiditis or inflammation of the thyroid.
- Evaluating the effectiveness of administering therapy to thyroid hormone disorders
What to prepare before undergoing the TSH test procedure?
You do not need to make special preparations before undergoing the TSH test procedure. However, some drugs containing biotin (B7), amiodarone, dopamine, lithium, potassium iodide, prednisone, and glucocorticoid drugs may affect TSH test results, should be discontinued. Consult your treating doctor about taking these medications before taking the TSH test.
What will the medical team do with the TSH test procedure?
The medical team will take blood samples from the veins using a syringe. Once the syringe is inserted into the blood vessels, the blood will be taken a little and put in a check tube. You will feel pain when the needle is inserted and removed. The procedure takes approximately five minutes.
What results do I get from the TSH test?
TSH test results are said to be normally ranging from 0.4-4 mU/L. High TSH levels indicate the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism). Meanwhile, high levels of TSH indicate the thyroid gland produces large amounts of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). However, the TSH test cannot explain the cause of high or low levels of TSH.
Therefore, if abnormalities are found in the TSH test, then some additional tests should be performed to determine the cause of thyroid disorders such as the T4 hormone test, T3 hormone test, and some autoimmune tests to find out the presence of Graves disease or Hashimoto’s disease.
Hyperthyroidism is a disease caused by excessively high levels of thyroid hormones in our body.
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What are the risks of the TSH test procedure?
The risk of TSH test procedure is related to blood sampling procedures such as bleeding, dizziness, fainting, hematoma (bruises), and the risk of infection at the needle puncture site.
Benefits of Examination:
As a screening test and help the diagnosis of thyroid disorders; monitoring the treatment of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
How does TSH in the blood work?
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is a hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).TSH function is affected by thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) produced by the hypothalamus to maintain a stable concentration of thyroid hormones in the blood.
What are the differences between high and low TSH levels?
High TSH Level
TSH levels typically drop between 0.4 and 4.0 milliunits per liter (mU/L), according to the American Thyroid Association. The distance between laboratories will vary with the upper limit between 4 to 5. If your degree is greater than this, odds are you have an underactive thyroidgland.
Generally, T3 and T4 levels rise in pregnancy, and TSH levels fall.
Low TSH Rate
It is also possible that the test results show lower than normal TSH levels and an overactive thyroid. This can be caused by:
- Graves’ disease
- Too much iodine in your body
- Too many thyroid hormone medications
- Too many natural supplements containing thyroid hormones
If you’re undergoing treatments like steroids, dopamine, or opioid painkillers like morphine, it can get lower results than usual. Taking biotin or B vitamin supplements can also give lower TSH levels incorrectly.
TSH tests are usually not the only ones used to diagnose thyroid disorders. Other tests, such as free T3, free T4, reverse T3, and anti-TPO antibodies, are often used also when determining whether you need thyroid treatment or not.
What about the treatment?
Treatment for an underactive thyroid usually involves the daily use of synthetic thyroid hormones per pill. This drug will restore your hormone levels to normal, and you may start to feel less tired and lose weight.
To make sure you are getting the right dosage of the drug, your doctor will check your TSH levels after 2 or 3 months. Once they are sure you got the right dosage, they will continue to check your TSH levels each year to see if it is normal.
If your thyroid is overactive, here are a few options:
- Radioactive iodine slow down your thyroid
- Anti-thyroid medications to prevent it from over-producing hormones
- Beta-blockers to reduce rapid heart rate Brought on by high thyroid levels
- Surgery to remove the thyroid
- Your physician can also routinely assess your TSH levels in case you’ve got an overactive thyroidgland.
Use TSH test results to monitor ongoing thyroid treatment
If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder and are undergoing ongoing treatment, your doctor will recommend that you obtain a regular TSH test to check and ensure the treatment runs effectively. Continuous monitoring can also ensure TSH levels remain within the target range.
Treatment of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is very different.
The target range of thyroid care usually ranges from TSH 0.4 – 4.0 mIU/L, although it may vary depending on the type of thyroid disorder.
Monitoring will be done more often at the beginning of treatment, until the establishment of a routine that maintains the consistency of TSH at this point unnecessary monitoring too often, usually every 12 months.