Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

Clinical definition of the TSH test
TSH test measures the amount of thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH) in the blood, to screen for and help diagnose thyroid disorders and to monitor treatment of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland and controls the release of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) hormones.

Why is the TSH test done?
The TSH test is done to evaluate thyroid function and/or symptoms of hyper- or hypothyroidism. TSH testing is used to:

  • Diagnose a thyroid disorder in a person with symptoms
  • Screen newborns for an underactive thyroid
  • Monitor thyroid replacement therapy in people with hypothyroidism
  • Diagnose and monitor female infertility problems
  • Help evaluate the function of the pituitary gland (occasionally)
  • Screen adults for thyroid disorders

What are the common signs/symptoms when the TSH test is done?

  • Tiredness
  • Dry Skin
  • Constipation
  • Feeling of being too cold
  • Frequent menstrual periods
  • Unexplained weight changes
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nervousness
  • Diarrhea
  • A feeling of being too hot
  • Sweaty or warm, red itchy skin
  • Moody
  • Breathing problems
  • Weakness

What should I do before the TSH test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions before the test *

Serum

(Blood Sample)

Venipuncture

(Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm)

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my TSH test results?

Gender

Reference Range* (µIU/ml)

Male/female

5.51 – 15

Male/female (hypothyroid)

Above 15.0

Children

Boy

Girl

1-7days

1.99-28

1.81-12

8-15days

2.3-12.2

1.78-12.6

1-12months

0.8-8.2

0.8-8.2

Adults

0.35 – 5.5

* ‘A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’.

Diseases/conditions related to the TSH test

  • Graves’ disease
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Thyroiditis
  • Goiters

Other tests related to the TSH test

  • T4 
  • T3
  • Thyroid antibodies
  • Calcitonin

Synonyms : Thyrotropin
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TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)

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