Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
Why It Is Done
A test for Reference thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) Opens New Window is done to:
- Find out whether the thyroid gland is working
- An underactive thyroid gland (Reference hypothyroidism Opens New Window) can cause symptoms such as weight gain, tiredness, dry skin, constipation, a feeling of being too cold, or frequent menstrual periods.
- An overactive thyroid (Reference hyperthyroidism Opens New Window) can cause symptoms such as weight loss, rapid heart rate, nervousness, diarrhea, a feeling of being too hot, or irregular menstrual periods.
- Find the cause of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). TSH levels can help determine whether hypothyroidism is due to a damaged thyroid gland or some other cause (such as a problem with the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus).
- Keep track of treatment with thyroid replacement medicine for people who have hypothyroidism.
- Keep track of thyroid gland function in people who are being treated for hyperthyroidism. This treatment may include antithyroid medicine, surgery, or radiation therapy.
- Double-check the diagnosis of an underactive thyroid gland in a newborn (congenital hypothyroidism).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 5, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Matthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology