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Thyroid Test | TSH Test

Your provider may order a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test if you have signs of an underactive or overactive thyroid. It is important for thyroid hormones to be in balance. When hormone levels are too high or low, the symptoms and side effects can cause poor health and impact your quality of life.

What is a TSH test?

A TSH test is used to measure the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone in your blood. Test results help your provider figure out what might be causing thyroid hormone levels to be too low or high. The test measures how well the thyroid is functioning and is used to help diagnose thyroid disorders.

How is a TSH test done?

A blood sample is taken from a vein in the inner elbow. The sample is then sent to a lab which may take a few days to analyze your test. Your health care provider will talk with you about your test results and what they mean.

Do I need a TSH test?

Your provider may order a TSH test if you have an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), or if you are showing symptoms of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). You may also be referred for TSH testing if you are currently being treated for a known thyroid issue. Less common reasons for TSH testing include screening newborns for underactive thyroid, diagnosing infertility issues and examining the function of the pituitary gland.

How do I prepare for a TSH test?

Tell your health care provider about all medicines and supplements that you are taking. Some medicines may cause inaccurate TSH test results.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

  • Sudden weight loss with increased appetite

  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

  • Trembling hands and fingers

  • Anxiety and irritability

  • More frequent bowel movements

  • Muscle weakness

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Thinning skin and hair

  • Sensitivity to heat

  • Change in menstrual pattern

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

  • Weight gain

  • Constipation

  • Fatigue

  • Slowed heart rate

  • Depression

  • Memory  issues

  • High blood cholesterol

  • Puffy face

  • Hoarse voice

  • Aching, stiff or tender muscles and joints

  • Thinning hair

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