Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test is used to screen for thyroid health and is typically the first test run when there’s a question as to whether or not the thyroid gland it functioning optimally. When thyroid hormones are low, it’s called hypothyroidism.
Symptoms associated with hypothyroidism include, depression, difficulty in losing weight, dry skin, fatigue, headaches, menstrual problems, recurrent infections and cold sensitivity and weight gain.
When the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, it’s called hyperthyroidism. Symptoms associated hyperthyroidism are agitation, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, excessive sweating, fatigue, increased bowel movements, heat intolerance, nervousness, strong, rapid or irregular heart beat, tremors, weakness and weight loss.
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
Methodology: Immunoassay (IA)
Water: Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.
Medications: Take all medications as prescribed.
Dietary supplements: Avoid dietary supplements the day of the test.
1-2 business days
Result turnaround times are estimates and not guaranteed. Due to factors outside of our control, such as weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing or equipment maintenance, our lab may require additional time to complete tests.
While most people believe that TSH is a thyroid hormone, it technically is not. TSH is produced by the anterior pituitary gland in the brain.
TSH regulates the thyroid gland, telling it to produce more thyroid hormones. TSH travels to the thyroid gland at the base of the neck (just below your Adam’s apple) where it stimulates the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones. Since the hormones of the thyroid gland regulate metabolism in every cell of the body, a deficiency or excess of thyroid hormones can affect virtually all body functions.
When TSH is elevated, it can mean that the thyroid gland is having a hard time producing enough hormone, a condition called hypothyroidism.
We currently test TSH using an ultrasensitive 3rd generation chemiluminescent assay (sensitivity = 0.01 mIU/L).
Top Reasons to Test Your Thyroid, by Dr. John Neustadt
Hypothyroidism (Mayo Clinic)
Hyperthyroidism (Mayo Clinic)
Gaitonde DY, Rowley KD, Sweeney LB. Hypothyroidism: an update. Am Fam Physician. 2012;86(3):244-251.
LeFevre ML, Force USPSTF. Screening for thyroid dysfunction: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(9):641-650.