Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Test
What is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone test?
A Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test is conducted to measure the TSH levels in the blood and to check if the thyroid gland is working optimally. This is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the throat that creates 3 hormones â€“ T3, T4, and calcitonin. If the gland is not functioning properly, it may produce an excess of the hormones (hyperthyroidism) or an insufficient amount of them (hypothyroidism).
When is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone test recommended?
This test is recommended to be done first thing in the morning when the levels are most stable.
Preparing for the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone test
A TSH blood test is a standard test and does not require any special preparation. However, there are certain medical components such as lithium, dopamine, etc. that can interfere with the results. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are currently on.
Understanding Thyroid Stimulating Hormone test results
The recommended range for TSH is 0.4 to 4.0 milli-international units per liter. For those already diagnosed with a thyroid condition, it is advisable to have a level between 0.5 and 3.0 milli-international units per liter.
In case you have a reading higher than the recommended value, it could suggest an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. However, a lower level may be a sign of an overactive gland or hyperthyroidism.