TSH test and extended thyroid diagnostics
Updated: 1 day ago
If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, it is important to test your TSH level. With one and the same test, you can tell if you have either of these conditions.
The symptoms can be varied; they can manifest themselves less in the initial stages of development or they could be mistaken for another health issue. This is why it’s vital for people in high risk groups to get screened for possible thyroid-related problems. For women, and especially for those who are planning pregnancy or are already pregnant, getting their thyroid and TSH level checked is even more important.
Men, children, and teenagers can also develop hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism and should take the necessary measures if symptoms appear.
What is a TSH test?
The thyroid-stimulating hormone called TSH regulates the production and release of thyroid hormones. When thyroid hormone levels are too low, the TSH level rises. Conversely, when thyroid hormones are too high, the TSH level is usually below the norm.
As a first step, TSH concentration can be determined using the THYRO-Check® blood test. The result can indicate whether you should consult a doctor for additional tests of the thyroid gland.
When taking a blood sample from a healthy person, normal TSH values range between 0.45 µIU/mL and 4.5 µIU/mL. For pregnant women, these reference values would be different because the physiology of the thyroid gland changes during pregnancy.
Additional diagnostics of the thyroid gland
In addition to determining the TSH level, there are several other tests that can shed light on the function of the thyroid gland.
Thyroid hormones FT3 and FT4
Thyroid hormones include T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). Checking their levels in combination with testing the TSH level is extremely important for the diagnosis of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
In the blood, thyroid hormones circulate in two forms. In their bound form, T3 and T4 bind to plasma proteins. However, the free form (FT3 and FT4) is usually monitored in tests since it is the free form of T3 and T4 that is biologically active and can have an impact on the body.
In other words, determining the free form of these hormones (FT3 and FT4) is more informative about the real state of the organism.
Anti-Tg and anti-TPO antibodies
A medical professional may also recommend testing the levels of anti-thyroid antibodies in the blood that are known as anti-thyroglobulin antibodies (anti-Tg) and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies (anti-TPO). Thyroglobulin (Tg) is a protein made by the thyroid gland that is essential for producing thyroid hormones. Anti-Tg antibodies attack thyroglobulin, which is why testing the level of anti-TG antibodies can be indicative of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s disease or Graves’ disease.
Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is an enzyme in the thyroid gland that uses iodine to help produce thyroid hormones. Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies target TPO and stop it from producing iodine, which can result in hypothyroidism. Anti-TPO antibodies can be found in people with Hashimoto’s disease or Graves’ disease.
Early detection of problems related to the thyroid gland will enable you to start effective treatment, which includes taking synthetic thyroid hormones. This compensates for the lack of hormones (in the case of hypothyroidism) or reduces their excess (in the case of hyperthyroidism).