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Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone

TSH

What is Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone?

Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH) is produced and released in the bloodstream by the pituitary gland. It’s one of the three glycoprotein hormones; the other two are luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. Also known as thyrotropin, TSH controls the production of thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Both hormones are essential for the body’s metabolic rate, heart rate, brain development, maintenance of bones, and digestive system.

How TSH is produced

TSH is secreted from cells in the anterior pituitary called ‘thyrotrophs,’ and bind themselves to the receptor cells in the thyroid gland. Here, TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce its hormones. These hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, have a negative effect on the pituitary gland and urge it to stop production of thyroid stimulating hormone. 

Thyroid hormones

What does TSH do?

TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce its very important hormones called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). 

High thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels

If a person has too much thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in their blood, this may indicate that the  thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones. They have an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism are feeling of tiredness, feeling cold, or experiencing rapid weight gain. 

Hypothyroidism symptoms

Low thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels

Hyperthyroidism symptoms

A low level of TSH in the blood may indicate that the thyroid gland is producing too much thyroid hormone. This is called hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid. People with low thyroid stimulating hormone may experience feeling too hot, palpitations, anxiety, and weight loss. They may have a slightly enlarged thyroid gland.

TSH levels in the blood can be measured with a simple blood test. A low or high TSH level indicates that the thyroid gland is not working properly. Treatment of an underactive thyroid usually involves taking synthetic thyroid hormone pills daily. For an overactive thyroid, your health care provider may recommend treatment with radioactive iodine to slow down your thyroid, or anti-thyroid medications for preventing it from overproducing hormones. It is important that pregnant women have the right amount of thyroid stimulating hormone to ensure the safety and correct development of their babies. 

Hormone Testing Available

At Coast to Coast Compounding we can provide you with an at-home testing kit which can allow you to test your own hormone levels. Speak with one of our knowledgeable pharmacists or your healthcare provider for more information on using one of these testing kits. Click here for more information on how to get your hormones tested.

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