A thyroid-stimulating hormone test is performed to measure the levels of this hormone in the body. It helps determine whether or not the thyroid is functioning correctly. 

Normal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels typically fall between 0.4 and 4.0 milliunits per liter (mU/L), according to the American Thyroid Association (ATA). Higher levels suggest hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, while lower levels indicate hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. 

When TSH and thyroid hormones are out of balance, this can cause a range of issues relating to the muscles, breathing, body temperature, and more.

For undergoing the best TSH test in Hyderabad, you must reach out to a well-known diagnostic centre. 

Uses

A TSH test is used to find out how well the thyroid is working. You may need a TSH test if you have symptoms of too much thyroid hormone in your blood (hyperthyroidism), or too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).

Here mentioned are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, also known as overactive thyroid:-

  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Tremors in the hands
  • Increased heart rate
  • Puffiness
  • Bulging of the eyes
  • Difficulty sleeping

Symptoms of hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, include:

  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness
  • Hair loss
  • Low tolerance for cold temperatures
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Constipation

Procedure

A TSH level test involves taking a blood sample. It is similar to other simple blood tests. A doctor will usually draw blood from a vein on the inside of the elbow.

He will begin by cleaning the skin and may then place an elastic band around the upper arm to make the vein easier to access. Then, he will insert a needle into the vein, allowing blood to flow into the connecting tube and vial. Once the vial contains enough blood to carry out the test, the doctor will remove the needle and elastic band and place cotton wool or a bandage over the puncture site. After labeling the blood sample, they will send it to a laboratory for testing.

The TSH test can be performed at the best diagnostic centre near me.

Results

The procedure of the test is quick, straightforward, and relatively painless. People may feel a slight pinch when the needle first enters the skin. There may also be some minor bleeding following the removal of the needle.

Side effects of the test are uncommon. When they do occur, they are usually mild. And, may include dizziness or nausea and slight skin bruising for a couple of days after the procedure.

High TSH levels can mean your thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormones, a condition called hypothyroidism. Low TSH levels can mean your thyroid is making too much of the hormones, a condition called hyperthyroidism. A TSH test does not explain why TSH levels are too high or too low. If your test results are abnormal, your health care provider will probably order additional tests to determine the cause of your thyroid problem. These tests may include:-

  • Tests to diagnose Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease that causes hyperthyroidism
  • Tests to diagnose Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that causes hypothyroidism
  • T4 thyroid hormone tests
  • T3 thyroid hormone tests

Normal TSH ranges vary depending on several factors, including the testing laboratory. The normal range is anywhere between 0.4 and 4.0 mU/L, but experts continue to debate this. Some research from 2017 cites an even wider range of levels as being normal. People who are unsure what their results mean should speak to their doctor.

If a person’s results show them to have high or low levels of TSH, they will usually require further testing to determine the underlying issue.

Pregnancy can cause high TSH levels. High TSH levels suggest an underactive thyroid. However, pregnancy and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis might also cause an abnormally high TSH reading. Treatment for hypothyroidism involves taking medication daily to return hormone levels to normal.It can sometimes take a while to determine the best dosage of medication. Regular TSH testing can help ensure that people are getting the correct dosage to manage their specific condition.

Preparation

No specific preparation is necessary for a standard TSH test. However, some people may be having other types of blood test at the same time, some of which may require overnight fasting or other preparations. 

People using specific medications may need to stop taking them for a time before the TSH test because some drugs can affect the results. 

Some doctors will recommend that pregnant women have TSH tests to check their thyroid hormone levels.

According to the ATA, many experts support testing for thyroid disease in women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.

Newborn babies will also often get a routine TSH test for congenital hypothyroidism as part of their screening program.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

TSH is made in a gland in the brain called the pituitary. When thyroid levels in your body are low, the pituitary gland makes more TSH. When thyroid levels are high, the pituitary gland makes less TSH. TSH levels that are too high or too low can indicate your thyroid isn’t working correctly.

Thyroid changes can happen during pregnancy. These changes are usually not significant, but some women can develop thyroid disease during pregnancy. Hyperthyroidism occurs in about one in every 500 pregnancies, while hypothyroidism occurs in approximately one in every 250 pregnancies. Hyperthyroidism, and less often, hypothyroidism, may remain after pregnancy. If you develop a thyroid condition during pregnancy, your health care provider will monitor your condition after your baby is born. If you have a history of thyroid disease, be sure to talk with your health care provider if you are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant.

If you need to get a TSH test done, visit a nearby diagnostic centre.