What is a TSH Test?

A TSH, also known as a Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is a blood test done to see if your thyroid functions are overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism).

Even before symptoms occur the TSH test can reveal a Thyroid disorder. The test itself determines however much of the hormones are released into the blood.Usually, the TSH is not the only test used to determine a thyroid disorder, commonly a doctor also likes to include free T3, free T4, the reverse T3, and the anti-TPO.  

How is a TSH collected?

To collect the specimen it is quite simple and all that would be needed is a quick blood draw. The blood is then sent off to the local lab for further testing. The blood collection for the TSH is best in the mornings seeing as your thyroid hormones can fluctuate throughout the day. No fasting is really needed for the TSH blood draw but certain medications such as Dopamine and Lithium can alter your results.

Let’s look into the differences between Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism.

What is Hypothyroidism?

If your TSH comes back lower than the average ranges, then you could have an underactive thyroid, also known as Hypothyroidism. Symptoms may include unexplained fatigue, chronic indigestion, a gradual loss of interest or motivation, depression,  unexplained weight gain, constipation, hair loss, cold sensitivity(always cold), muscle weakness, dry and itchy skin, infertility, females can have irregular or heavy cycles, high cholesterol, and jaundice. If a number of these symptoms are occurring it is recommended to seek a physician’s help.  

What is Hyperthyroidism?

If your TSH comes back higher than the average ranges, then you could have an overactive thyroid, also known as Hyperthyroidism. Symptoms may include an increase or decrease in appetite, dramatic mood swings, irregular heartbeat, for females a lighter and less frequent cycle, a change in appearances such as acne or weight gain or loss, and bowel dysfunction. If any of these symptoms occur it is recommended to seek a physician’s help.

What are TSH Expected Ranges?

TSH Expected Range
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone 0.35-5.50 uIU/mL

Your TSH and Your Health

It is important to ensure the normal levels of your TSH to prevent your thyroid functions from becoming either overactive or underactive, which can lead to symptoms that negatively impact your health and overall performance. A simple TSH test should help your doctor determine any abnormality in your thyroid levels and address issues through the right medication and therapy for your specific condition.