THYROID STIMULATING HORMONE (TSH)
TSH test is used to measure the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood. It will help your doctor determine if you need medication to treat hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland). It is sometimes called a “thyrotropin test.”
TSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that tells the thyroid to make and release thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Together, these essential hormones help control the rate at which the body uses energy.
Prior to your TSH blood test, make sure that you wont be undergoing any test involving radioactive materials or the use of X-rays with iodine dyes. Certain medications may also interfere with the test, leading to inaccurate results. These include corticosteroids, lithium, dopamine, and various thyroid medications. One suggestion is to get your test done before you take your medication on a given day. Fasting isn't required when preparing for a TSH blood test.
A TSH blood test determines the level of TSH in your blood. This measure can give you insight about the functioning of your thyroid and your pituitary gland. For adults, a normal TSH level falls between 0.4-4.2 milliunits per liter (mU/L).
If your TSH levels are too high, you could be experiencing hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid isn't sufficiently active.
If your TSH levels are too low, there's a possibility you might have hyperthyroidism, a condition where the thyroid is overactive.