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What Is A Healthy Tsh Thyroid Level

What Blood Tests Are Done To Test The Thyroid

TSH levels – Healthy vs Normal vs Optimal levels (on thyroid medication and off)

Thyroid blood tests include:

These tests alone arent meant to diagnose any illness but may prompt your healthcare provider to do additional testing to evaluate for a possible thyroid disorder.

Additional blood tests might include:

  • Thyroid antibodies: These tests help identify different types of autoimmune thyroid conditions. Common thyroid antibody tests include microsomal antibodies , thyroglobulin antibodies , and thyroid receptor antibodies .
  • Calcitonin: This test is used to diagnose C-cell hyperplasia and medullary thyroid cancer, both of which are rare thyroid disorders.
  • Thyroglobulin: This test is used to diagnose thyroiditis and to monitor treatment of thyroid cancer.

How Tsh Levels Change

TSH levels are not very intuitive. Why does a high TSH mean you have an underactive thyroid gland? Why do low levels means the gland is overactive?

Understanding exactly how the thyroid gland works can help.

Your thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone. When it functions properly, your thyroid is part of a feedback loop with your pituitary gland that involves several actions:

First, your pituitary gland senses the level of thyroid hormone that is;released into the bloodstream.

Your pituitary;then releases the special messenger hormone TSH, which makes the thyroid release more thyroid hormone. From there:

  • If your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, your pituitary triggers your thyroid to make more.
  • If your thyroid is overactive and producing too much thyroid hormone, your pituitary senses that and slows or shuts down TSH production.;

What Is A T3 Test

T3 TestsT3 tests measure triiodothyronine levels in the blood. A Total T3 test measures the bound and free fractions of triiodothyronine. Hyperthyroid patients typically have an elevated Total T3 level. T3 tests can be used to support a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and can determine the severity hyperthyroidism.

In some thyroid diseases, the proportions of T3 and T4 in the blood change and can provide diagnostic information. A pattern of increased T3 vs T4 is characteristic of Graves disease. On the other hand, medications like steroids and amiodarone, and severe illness can decrease the amount of thyroid hormone the body converts from T4 to T3 resulting in a lower proportion of T3.

T3 levels fall late in the course of hypothyroidism and therefore are not routinely used to evaluate patients with underactive or surgically absent thyroid glands.

Measurement of Free T3 is possible, but is often not reliable and therefore may not be helpful.

Read Also: How Long Can You Have Thyroid Cancer Without Knowing

What More Should I Know About Thyroid Blood Tests

Ranges noted here are approximate; your providers may differ slightly. Its important that you remember abnormal readings do not necessarily mean a thyroid disorder is present, as each test can be affected by a variety of factors.

No preparation is required for these tests. They can be taken any time of day without fasting.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/27/2019.


Thyroid And Tsh Levels

7 Causes Behind Low Thyroid Function

TSH stands for thyroid-stimulating hormone. TSH levels, measured with simple blood test, help diagnose thyroid disorders. Scroll down to explore the relationship between thyroid-stimulating hormone and the hormones secreted by thyroid gland.

TSH stands for thyroid-stimulating hormone. TSH levels, measured with simple blood test, help diagnose thyroid disorders. Scroll down to explore the relationship between thyroid-stimulating hormone and the hormones secreted by thyroid gland.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone is a peptide hormone released by the anterior pituitary gland. It stimulates the thyroid gland to release the hormones T3 and T4. The hormone thyrotropin released by the hypothalamus regulates the function of the anterior pituitary gland and controls the production of TSH. The hypothalamus also releases the hormone somatostatin, which acts as the antagonist of thyrotropin. The imbalance of these antagonistic hormones affects TSH levels in blood.

Functioning of Thyroid and Levels of TSH

Hormones Released by Thyroid and TSH Levels

T4 < 4.5 with elevated TSHUnderactive thyroid
T4 < 4.5 with low TSHPituitary problem
TSH0.3 to 3.0 . Still, the reference value may vary according to the labs or doctors.TSH < 0.3

The following chart explains the variations in the levels of TSH and thyroid status.

Levels of TSH and Thyroid Health

Thyroid Disorder0.5 and 3.0 mIU/L

Underactive Thyroid

Overactive Thyroid

Recommended Reading: How Doctors Check For Thyroid Problems

What You Can Do

If you have definite symptoms of hypothyroidism, you should talk to your clinician about being tested. If your LDL cholesterol has been advancing or your weight has been creeping up unexplainably, you’ll want to discuss getting a test. If you’re 60 or older and generally healthy, it’s still a good idea to check with your doctor to see whether your medical history suggests you might benefit from testing.

Image: Thinkstock

Undetected Low Levels Of Thyroid Hormone May Underlie Subtle Changes That Can Increase Your Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease

For a gland only two inches in size, the thyroid has a huge influence on our health. It produces a hormone that is carried in the bloodstream to all parts of the body. Thyroid hormone plays a major role in regulating metabolismthe process by which body cells convert nutrients into energyand thereby helps regulate body temperature, , and even brain function. So when thyroid hormone levels fall, the body slows.

You’re probably aware of the common symptoms of low thyroid hormonefatigue, fuzzy-headedness, weight gain, cold hands, and dry skin. But if you’re like most of us, you’re likely to blame your diet and exercise regimen instead of your thyroid if your cholesterol levels and weight are creeping up, especially if you don’t have any of the other symptoms of low thyroid. “Symptoms are often nonspecific, and since women over 60 generally have more of these nonspecific symptoms, their doctors may not think to test for hypothyroidism,” says endocrinologist Dr. Jeffrey Garber, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Overcoming Thyroid Problems.

Read Also: How To Improve Your Thyroid Without Medicine

Diagnosis Of Tsh Levels

If a person shows symptoms of a thyroid disorder, his or her doctor will most likely require a TSH test. The TSH test determines the level of TSH in the body, as well as T3 and T4 hormone levels too. It is the best way to know if one has a thyroid problem.

The TSH Levels Test is used to:

  • Identify if the person has a thyroid disorder, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, especially if the person has shown symptoms of either beforehand
0Confused about your recent thyroid test? Here is some information on TSH range.

Addressing Gaps In Your Best Thyroid Levels

What is a normal TSH?

When it comes to various scores, it is important to note which are larger between normal and optimal for each of the different values. Compared to T3 and T4, your TSH score will typically have the largest gap lets talk a bit more about that.

The TSH is something that is quickly controlled by the brain. It is also the first line to shift what the thyroid is doing at any point in time. So, if the amount of hormone in your body is too high or too low, your brain works to adjust that by controlling the TSH.

The free hormones, though, are what is in circulation throughout your body. While they certainly do change, they are not the first thing to change . They also do not change in such a way that is predictable.

Take a look at this image

This shows how the various scores fit together amongst a large number of people. Also across a range of different high and low thyroid levels.

Read Also: Should You See An Endocrinologist For Thyroid

Understanding Thyroid Stimulating Hormone

As mentioned above, the thyroid stimulating hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. It works sort of like the master of the hormones, and rules the production of T3 and T4 from its control center.If you have too much TSH, it might mean that your thyroid gland isnt making enough T3 or T4. Remember, the TSH is supposed to stimulate the thyroid gland but if the gland isnt responding, then youll have too much TSH in your system.If your TSH levels are too low, it may mean that your thyroid gland is making too much thyroid hormone. This excessive thyroid production could actually suppress the TSH.

A word of warning for pregnant women: Its incredibly important that your hormones are balanced in pregnancy, as thyroid stimulating hormone plays a role in the development of a healthy fetus.

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

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What Is The Reason For High Tsh Levels

High levels typically indicates an underactive thyroid gland, which produces too little thyroid hormone. This is known medically as hypothyroidism.

Common causes of hypothyroidism include an autoimmune disease , radiation treatment, or surgical removal of the thyroid gland.

Replacing thyroid hormone and altering your diet are crucial for the safe and effective treatment of an underactive thyroid.

Summary: High TSH levels for the average adult are 4.2 mIU/L and over. This reading typically indicates an underactive thyroid.

Can I Take The Test At Home

Optimal TSH T3 & T4 levels

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.

Also Check: Is Thyroid A Problem In Pregnancy

What Are Thyroid Blood Tests And Why Are They Taken

Thyroid blood tests are used to tell if your thyroid gland is functioning properly by measuring the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood. They are done by withdrawing blood from a vein in your arm. These blood tests help to diagnose thyroid diseases.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front part of your neck. Its job is to produce thyroid hormones, which travel through your bloodstream and regulate many aspects of your bodys metabolism, including temperature, weight, and energy.

Thyroid blood tests show if you have:

  • Hyperthyroidism: Overactive thyroid producing more thyroid hormones than your body needs. Hyperthyroidism speeds up your metabolism, which can cause weight loss, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, puffiness around the eyes, anxiety and other symptoms. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves disease.
  • Hypothyroidism: Underactive thyroid producing too few thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism slows down your metabolism, which can cause weight gain, menstrual irregularity, dry and puffy skin, fatigue and other symptoms. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimotos disease.

Thyroid blood tests are used to diagnose thyroid disorders associated with hyper- or hypothyroidism. These include:

Mild Hypothyroidism: Who Should Be Treated

What to do about mild hypothyroidism is a subject that has been studied and debated for years. Mild hypothyroidism is also called subclinical hypothyroidism. It doesn’t meet the standard definition of overt hypothyroidism. You may have no symptoms, and your thyroid function blood tests show a mixed picture.

Your free T4 level is normal, meaning your body is getting enough thyroid hormone. It is your TSH level that is above the normal range, which indicates your thyroid gland has to work harder to pump out that thyroid hormone.

One worry about mild hypothyroidism is the potential link between untreated subclinical hypothyroidism and coronary artery disease. Results of research on whether subclinical thyroid disease causes heart problems have been conflicting. However, the condition has been associated with heart and blood vessel abnormalities, and some studies suggest that treating mild hypothyroidism can improve various markers of heart structure and function.

However, there are potential downsides to treating subclinical hypothyroidism. There is the risk of overtreatment, which might cause symptoms, such as feeling jittery and insomnia. Also, long-term overtreatment can lead to loss of bone density.

If your TSH level is higher than 10 mIU/L, you should start treatment, because you will develop symptoms of an underactive thyroid, even if you don’t have them now.

Also Check: How Is Thyroid Eye Disease Treated

Questions For Your Doctor About Test Results

When you review the results of your TSH test with your doctor, it could be helpful to ask specific questions, such as the following:

  • Is my level of TSH within the normal range?
  • Do my test results suggest that my thyroid is overactive or underactive?
  • What additional tests will you be ordering, if any?

How Much Does The Test Cost

How to Have Normal Thyroid Levels and End the Frustration

The cost of a TSH test will vary depending upon factors such as where it is performed and whether or not you have insurance coverage. Insurance will usually cover the cost of TSH testing if your doctor orders it to diagnose or treat a medical condition. You can check with your doctor, the lab, or your insurance company to learn more about the cost and what, if any, out-of-pocket costs you may be responsible for.

Also Check: Can Your Thyroid Mess With Your Period

Tsh Levels: Normal High Or Low

Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health

TSH is a hormone secreted by the brains pituitary gland to control the activity of your thyroid gland. TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone and as its name suggests, it stimulates the thyroid to produce thyroid hormones. Levels of TSH affect the production the hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine . Doctors usually test TSH level to see if its within the normal range if you show symptoms of an overactive or underactive thyroid.

You may also have to regularly go for a TSH blood test or T4 blood test if you are receiving hormone treatment for a thyroid condition.

Optimal TSH levels are critical for your bodys function, including your general health and wellbeing. Thyroid hormones help control your metabolic rate, heart function, nervous system, and digestion. Although TSH isnt classed as a thyroid hormone, high or low TSH levels can disrupt levels of T3 and T4. This can result in symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

In this article, you will find out all you need to know about TSH and how it affects your thyroid hormone levels. You will also learn about thyroid-related symptoms if TSH levels are higher or lower than the normal range.

Understanding Your Thyroid Test Results

With Cory Rice DO

Healthy TSH levels are usually an indicator that the whole system is working as it should.

Thyroid disorders are complicated, fickle, and highly individual meaning thyroid issues are going to look very different for each person. In any case, its important to have a basic understanding of how the thyroid gland works and the hormones it produces. This understanding can help you advocate for yourself and ask the right questions when you visit your healthcare provider. It can also clue you into some of those mysterious symptoms you may be experiencing.;

An introduction to the thyroid gland

First things first: The thyroid gland is part and parcel of the endocrine system, which is a collection of glands that produce all-important hormones responsible for metabolism, growth, sexual function, sleep, and your mood.;

The gland, which is tiny and butterfly-shaped, is found at the bottom front of your neck. It makes the two main thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine both of which have a major hand in your energy levels, internal temperature, hair, skin, weight, and more. For this reason, T3 and T4 are definitely not to be taken for granted and you probably know this already if youve experienced any of the frustrating symptoms of a thyroid disorder.;

Read Also: How To Tell If You Have Thyroid Disease

What Are The Normal Tsh Levels

Here are the normal TSH levels according to age and gender:Normal TSH Levels in Men

  • 18 to 30 Years Old: 0.5 to 4.15 mU/L
  • 31 to 50 Years Old: 0.5 to 4.15 mU/L
  • 51 to 70 Years Old: 0.5 to 4.59 mU/L
  • 71 to 90 Years Old: 0.4 to 5.49 mU/L

Men with an abnormal TSH level have a smaller sperm count. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism affect male fertility.Normal TSH Levels in Women

  • 18 to 29 Years Old: 0.4 to 2.34 mU/L
  • 30 to 49 Years Old: 0.4 to 4.0 mU/L
  • 50 to 79 Years Old: 0.46 to 4.68 mU/L

Women are generally more prone to develop abnormal levels of TSH during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.


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