Friday, August 12, 2022
HomeExclusiveWhat Does Low Thyroid Levels Mean

What Does Low Thyroid Levels Mean

Can I Take The Test At Home

Low TSH: 3 Causes and What it Means if you are Hypothyroid

Several test kits are commercially available that allow you to provide a sample for TSH testing at home. Some kits test only TSH, and others test TSH in combination with other thyroid hormones or additional hormones, such as cortisol and free testosterone.

These kits may be purchased online and include the materials you need to take a finger prick sample of blood and return it to the company for testing. Your test results will be reported to you via a secure online platform.

At-home testing is convenient and can help you participate in your health care. But at-home tests cannot replace working with a health care provider. If you have symptoms or are concerned that your thyroid is not functioning properly, be sure to share your concerns with your doctor. If an at-home test detects an abnormal TSH level, your doctor is likely to retest the TSH and follow-up with additional testing if the second TSH test is also abnormal.

What You Can Do To Get Healthy Thyroid Hormone Levels

After all this thyroid-hormone-levels-gone-wrong talk, youâd be justified in thinking to yourself, âOkay, so how can I get healthy thyroid hormone levels to help avoid a thyroid problem?â

First, make sure youâre getting the right amount of iodine in your diet .

For men and non-pregnant women, the recommended daily allowance for iodine is 150 micrograms . For pregnant women, that number rises to 220 mcg per day â and 290 mcg a day for women who are breastfeeding.

If you want to check if you have an underactive thyroid gland âor if youâre interested in finding out if you have high thyroid levelsâgetting a thyroid function test can be a good place to start.

Of course, if your thyroid hormone level isn’t within a normal range and you may have a thyroid dysfunction, consult with your healthcare provider to learn what solution is best for you to help get your hormone levels back in balance . If you do have a thyroid disorder or thyroid condition, your healthcare provider may recommend ongoing thyroid testing to monitor results of your treatment plan.

Symptoms Of Low Tsh Levels

Thyroid hormones act on a feedback loop. The pituitary gland is signaled to stop producing TSH when there is enough thyroid hormones, like thyroxine and triiodothyronine , in the blood. When something other than the pituitary gland causes excess thyroid hormone production, TSH levels will drop.

The conditions associated with low TSH levels produce a lot of symptoms, including:

Also Check: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid

What Does Low Tsh And Normal T3 And Normal T4 Mean

Some patients with low TSH combined with normal levels of T3 and T4 eventually develop overt thyroid disease, but clinical assessment and management needs to be tailored to each patient, according to Thyroid Foundation of Canada. Typically, low or suppressed TSH combined with high levels of T4 or T3 indicates hyperthyroidism. Abnormally high TSH in conjunction with low T4 is usually a sign of hypothyroidism.

TSH is released by the pituitary gland to stimulate and regulate thyroid production of the hormones T3 and T4. When thyroid levels decrease, TSH production increases and vice versa. An abnormal TSH reading is believed to indicate thyroid disease, according to Thyroid Foundation of Canada, but there are exceptions.

Research shows that unusual results on TSH tests combined with normal levels of serum hormones T3 and T4 could be related to a nonthyroidal illness, according to Medscape. After the patient recovers, thyroid function tests should return to normal.

Symptoms of true hypothyroidism, or low thyroid production, include dry skin, fatigue, poor appetite, intolerance to cold, constipation and muscle weakness. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, include weight loss, accelerated or irregular heartbeat, and irritability, according to Mayo Clinic. True hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are both treatable with medication, radioactive iodine or surgery.

What Is A Tsh Test

Weight Loss And Tsh Level

TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone. A TSH test is a blood test that measures this hormone. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located near your throat. Your thyroid makes hormones that regulate the way your body uses energy. It also plays an important role in regulating your weight, body temperature, muscle strength, and even your mood. TSH is made in a gland in the brain called the pituitary. When thyroid levels in your body are low, the pituitary gland makes more TSH. When thyroid levels are high, the pituitary gland makes less TSH. TSH levels that are too high or too low can indicate your thyroid isn’t working correctly.

Other names: thyrotropin test

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Thyroid Swelling

Hypothyroidism Tests: A Measure Of Treatment Success

Hypothyroidism is treated with daily medication. Taking synthetic thyroid hormone medication can bring your T4 and TSH levels back to their normal ranges. Once youre on the right dose, your symptoms should subside.

When you first start taking medication, your doctor will need to monitor your blood to fine-tune the dosage. Initially you will need to be tested more frequently, Doria-Medina says. A person who is newly diagnosed and taking medication for hypothyroidism should be tested every six weeks until the dosage is just right.

The dose you start with is your doctors educated guess about whats best for you most likely the lowest dose possible to avoid side effects, which can include a rapid heartbeat and restlessness.

Medication for hypothyroidism is slow acting, and it can take several weeks for your body to adjust. If your TSH is still high and your symptoms havent subsided after 6 to 10 weeks, your doctor will likely increase the dose, and youll need your blood tested again after another 6 to 10 weeks.

What Is The Thyroid Gland And What Does It Do

The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands in the body. It is located in the neck near the trachea or windpipe and has two lobes, one on each side of the trachea. The thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain.

“If the thyroid is overactive , the body’s metabolism is elevated. If it is underactive , the metabolism slows down.”

The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolic rate. If the thyroid is overactive , the body’s metabolism is elevated. If it is underactive , the metabolism slows down.

You May Like: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid

Can Hypothyroidism Cause Erectile Dysfunction

In some cases, there can be a connection between untreated hypothyroidism and erectile dysfunction. When your hypothyroidism is caused by an issue with the pituitary gland, you can also have low testosterone levels. Treating hypothyroidism can often help with erectile dysfunction if it was directly caused by the hormone imbalance.

What Is Low Tsh

What do TSH levels mean?/what do high and low tsh means?

The endocrine system is responsible for regulating the function of organs in your body. The pituitary gland produces thyroid stimulating hormone . TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones.

If the pituitary gland is not functioning to produce TSH as it should, then the thyroid will not make the level of hormones it should be. This reduction of hormones from the thyroid can lead to many health problems.

Low TSH levels can affect your health, quality of life, and your relationships. The signs of the conditions caused by a low TSH level are essential to know so that you can recognize that you might have a health issue and discuss it with your doctor to get the proper treatment.

Also Check: What Organ System Is The Thyroid Gland In

What Causes Hypothyroidism In Pregnancy

In most cases, women with hypothyroidism during pregnancy have Hashimotos disease. This autoimmune disease causes the bodys immune system to attack and damage the thyroid. When that happens, the thyroid cant produce and release high enough levels of thyroid hormones, impacting the entire body. Pregnant women with hypothyroidism may feel very tired, have a hard time dealing with cold temperatures and experience muscles cramps.

Thyroid hormones are important to your babys development while in the womb. These hormones help develop the brain and nervous system. If you have hypothyroidism, its important to control your thyroid levels during pregnancy. If your baby doesnt get enough thyroid hormone during development, the brain may not develop correctly and there could be issues later. Untreated or insufficiently treated hypothyroidism during pregnancy may lead to complications like miscarriage or preterm labor.

What Should My Thyroid Levels Be To Get Pregnant

When it comes to optimal thyroid levels during preconception, this is unfortunately a topic that has been long debated. If you recently had your thyroid labs completed and you are not pregnant, you may notice that the normal range is anywhere from 0.4-4.5 milli-international units per liter. The problem with this range, especially during preconception, is that your thyroid is extremely important during the first few weeks of pregnancy. In fact, during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy your babys brain development relies solely on your thyroid function. This is why it is actually NORMAL for your thyroid function to increase during pregnancy. Once the baby reaches 10 weeks gestation, the babys thyroid gland is developed enough to begin to produce its own thyroid hormones.

That being said, the minute you are pregnant, your doctor will want to make sure your TSH stays between 0.5-2.5, NOT 0.4-4.0 as it was previously when you were not pregnant. So how come two weeks before you get pregnant a TSH of 3.5 is totally normal but then, the minute you get pregnant your doctor will likely give you a thyroid medication to get you to the optimal 2.5 range? This is where there is still much debate however, for my patients who come to see me during preconception, I generally aim for their TSH to be 0.5-2.5 so that we know that their thyroid is well supported and ready for a health pregnancy.

Also Check: How To Tell If You Have Thyroid Disease

You May Like: Armour Thyroid Copay Card

What You Should Do When The Levels Are Low

When your TSH levels are low, it is vital to consult your doctor to find the underlying cause of the abnormality. For there, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate medication and other recommendations, which includes the following:

  • Medications

Doctors will typically prescribe an anti-thyroid drug to increase your levels caused by hyperthyroidism. Depending on the severity of your condition, surgery may be necessary. This type of surgical procedure has a high chance of success for complete recovery.

For patients with hypothyroidism, your doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy to boost your TSH level.

  • Diet Changes

A dietary change is essential to increase your TSH. The most valuable minerals for hyperthyroidism are selenium and iodine. You have to include foods that are rich in these two minerals. The common sources of iodine are sea vegetables, cranberries, and yogurt. For examples of selenium-rich foods, you can eat beef liver, chicken, halibut, and Brazil nuts.

In addition, a low TSH can also be a result of abnormal blood sugar levels. Your doctor will prescribe a medication to balance this abnormality. You also have to follow a diet plan that will help regulate your blood sugar levels.

  • Supplements
  • Exercise

Low T3 Symptoms And Causes

7 Causes Behind Low Thyroid Function

November 20, 2014//;;by;Dr Hagmeyer

Normal Thyroid Labs With Symptoms Hypothyroidism Low T3 Syndrome

A very common problem that we see in our office everyday is Low T3 due to Thyroid Underconversion. It is now widely accepted that there are 6 major patterns of thyroid dysfunction and only 1 of these patterns responds well to thyroid replacement. For the purpose of this post, I will discuss one of the more common patterns called Thyroid underconversion or Low T3. Patients with Thyroid problems often suffer terrible with a laundry list of thyroid symptoms, but when the basic thyroid panel comes back the two main markers for hypothyroidism are normal. Why does this happen? If you read on, you will understand.

How is it possible to have thyroid problems with normal labs?

Let me explain.

There is two forms of thyroid hormone. Thyroxine, commonly called T4, and triiodothyroxine, commonly called T3. T4 is the inactive form of thyroid hormone, meaning it does not have the ability to bind to cells and create a metabolic response. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone, responsible for binding to cells and creating metabolic responses.

Your thyroid gland produces predominantly inactive T4. This means that we must convert T4 to T3, called thyroid conversion, in order to have normal thyroid responses. This conversion takes place primarily in the liver and gut mucosa.

So what does this have to do with thyroid symptoms and normal looking labs?

Don’t Miss: Is Thrush A Sign Of Underactive Thyroid

What Does The Thyroid Do

Your thyroid is a gland in the front of the neck that secretes important hormones in the body. This small, butterfly-shaped organ produces hormones that control metabolism and growth in the body.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine say that a healthy thyroid is needed to control how your body uses energy. Thyroid hormones affect your heart rate, body weight, menstrual cycles, intestines, and central nervous system. Hormones produced by the thyroid regulate how tissues produce or dont produce proteins.1

Weakness And Aches In Muscles And Joints

Low thyroid hormone flips the metabolic switch toward catabolism, which is when the body breaks down body tissues like muscle for energy .

During catabolism, muscle strength decreases, potentially leading to feelings of weakness. The process of breaking down muscle tissue can also lead to aching .

Everyone feels weak once in a while. However, people with hypothyroidism are twice as likely to feel more weak than usual, compared to healthy people (

6 ).

One study in 35 individuals with hypothyroidism showed that replacing low levels of thyroid hormone with a synthetic thyroid hormone called levothyroxine improved muscle strength and decreased aches and pains, compared to no treatment .

Another study showed a 25% improvement in the sense of physical well-being among patients receiving thyroid replacement .

Weakness and aches are normal following strenuous activity. However, new, and especially increasing, weakness or aching is a good reason to make an appointment with your physician.

Summary: Low levels of thyroid hormone slow down your metabolism and can cause painful muscle breakdown.

Recommended Reading: What Are Early Warning Signs Of Thyroid Cancer?

Signs And Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

Thyroid disorders are common. In fact, about 12% of people will experience abnormal thyroid function at some point during their lives.

Women are eight times more likely to develop a thyroid disorder than men. Also, thyroid problems increase with age and may affect adults differently than children.

At the most basic level, thyroid hormone is responsible for coordinating energy, growth and metabolism in your body.

Problems can occur when this hormones levels are too high or low.

Hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormone, slows your metabolism and decreases growth or repair of many parts of the body.

Thyroid Hormones: Metabolism And Functions

Thyroid TSH Levels High – What it means and what to do!

Thyroid hormones are essential to your metabolism. In fact, many of your bodyâs cells have thyroid hormone receptors, which means that thyroid hormones can influence your metabolism in a host of ways.

Take fat metabolism, for example. Thyroid hormones help your body burn fat â providing you with more energy. As a result of this effect on fat metabolism, thyroid hormones bump up your basal metabolic rate â which means youâll be burning off fat even when youâre not physically active.

Thyroid hormones also impact carbohydrate metabolism. For instance, thyroid hormones stimulate the production of glucose . Your brain runs on glucose as its energy source, so if it werenât for your thyroid hormones, your brain couldnât function. The result would be a bit like unplugging your computer from its power source â or taking out its battery!

Whatâs more, thyroid hormones also control your bodyâs internal temperature, protecting your organs from frosty temperature in the winter or boiling-hot conditions during the summer. In women, thyroid hormones help maintain a regular menstrual cycle â just one more example of the large number of ways thyroid hormones regulate so many aspects of your body.

In short, to feel energized and be healthy, you need optimal thyroid levels. But thereâs a catch: you have to have the right amounts of thyroid hormones. When your body doesnât have the right levels of thyroid hormones, your health falters.

Don’t Miss: How Long Can You Have Thyroid Cancer Without Knowing

Can Hypothyroidism Be Prevented

Hypothyroidism cannot be prevented. The best way to prevent developing a serious form of the condition or having the symptoms impact your life in a serious way is to watch for signs of hypothyroidism. If you experience any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, the best thing to do is talk to your healthcare provider. Hypothyroidism is very manageable if you catch it early and begin treatment.

Low Thyroid Hormone Levels

Iodine â frequently found in seawater and seafood â is essential to human health. And if youâre not getting enough iodine in your diet, then you may be putting your health through the gauntlet of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid â your thyroid gland doesnât produce enough thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency may result in hypothyroidism TSH levels , but this is not the only possible cause of low thyroid hormone levels. For example, autoimmune disorders â as well as exposure to radiation therapy during cancer treatment â can also lead to hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of low thyroid hormone levels range from the dramatic to the somewhat more subtle. People with hypothyroidism might gain weight rapidly, for example â or find themselves wearily running on fumes all day due to excessive fatigue. Hair loss can also result â and you may be less resistant to cold temperatures. Your skin can also have a cool and dry feel to it. In women, irregular â or even completely absent â menses is another sign of low thyroid hormone levels.

You May Like: Is Noni Juice Good For Thyroid


Popular Articles