Test Details

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

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The thyroid gland, which is butterfly-shaped and situated at the lower region of the neck, is responsible for regulating body weight, temperature and muscle strength, along with your mood. TSH in the blood stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone and is a marker test to diagnose the functioning of the thyroid gland. TSH is a hormone produced and secreted into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland situated in the brain. TSH binds to the receptor cells present in the thyroid gland that secretes the thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones monitor the energy usage by the body, thereby regulating metabolism. Metabolism is described as the process of food being converted into energy and is measured as BMR or Basal Metabolism Rate. The value of BMR is directly influenced by the thyroid hormone. Altered functioning of the thyroid gland is signified by disturbed metabolism, which further leads to other health consequences. Poor functioning of the thyroid gland may present with symptoms, such as hair loss, dry skin, mood swings, depression, menstrual irregularities, cold extremities, perfused sweating and stunted growth in children. The TSH test acts as an ‘early warning signal’ in diagnosing and managing the conditions beforehand. The Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test is also prescribed if a noticeable lump develops near the lower neck or throat region due to the enlargement of the thyroid gland, a condition commonly known as Goitre. A person diagnosed with Goitre may have hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) as a result of TSH test. If your thyroid gland is functioning well, then the TSH level will be within the normal range. If the levels of TSH are on the higher or lower side, then the thyroid gland is not working optimally. Low thyroid levels (T3, T4) in the blood mean the pituitary gland is producing and releasing more TSH. In contrast, a high thyroid level signifies the pituitary gland is forming low levels of TSH. Both the scenarios state abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland. The value range of TSH tests varies in children, during pregnancy and with the region of residence. It is an important test during and before pregnancy, as abnormal thyroid function can affect the growth of the foetus. Thyroid disorders are endemic to certain parts of India where the naturally available iodine is poor. Also, women are more likely to be diagnosed with thyroid disorders compared to men. Individuals are more likely to suffer from thyroid disorders with less iodine intake in the diet, certain environmental factors and lifestyle.
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