03 Jan What Are Normal TSH Levels?
Few components in your body are more important than a properly functioning thyroid gland. Part of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland produces, stores, and circulates various hormones throughout the body via the bloodstream.
How the thyroid gland works and why it is important
The thyroid gland’s two main hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). It works with the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands to monitor and control these hormone levels. The pituitary gland delivers signals to the thyroid by releasing thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH) to regulate its activity.
Thyroid hormones T3 and T4 are active players within nearly every cell in the body. As a result, this makes the thyroid and its proper function responsible for regulating vital functions, including breathing, heart rate, metabolism, menstrual cycles, blood pressure, mood, and more.
Thyroid hormone imbalances
An imbalance in your hormone levels can result in a variety of negative symptoms, which we will discuss further below. If your doctor suspects your symptoms could be related to the thyroid, they may order a TSH blood test.
What does TSH testing involve?
A Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test is a blood test that measures the concentration of TSH in your system. During a test, blood samples are drawn and sent to the lab for analysis. Your samples will be examined to determine how much or how little TSH is present.
If the results are above or below the normal, acceptable range, it may indicate a thyroid problem.
There are several ways to get one of these tests done. A common method is purchasing an at-home DIY kit to perform this test. These results may provide some insight, but the accuracy of the results may be affected due to user application, the quality of the sample, and shipping conditions (such as extreme heat or cold) between when you take your test and when it gets to the lab for examination.
If you are looking for the most accurate TSH testing, your best option is to have a professional TSH test performed by a licensed medical practitioner. Not only does it reduce the risk of sample contamination, but it can also provide guidance in case you are taking medications that could affect the accuracy of the results.
The information from a TSH test is vital for a doctor to determine whether your thyroid is the root cause of your symptoms. Getting a test under professional guidance will ensure you receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
- Infants up to 5 days old: 0.7 – 15.2 micro-international units per milliliter (uIU/mL).
- Infants 6 to 90 days old: 0.72 – 11.0 uIU/mL.
- Babies 4 to 12 months old: 0.73 – 8.35 uIU/mL.
- Children 1 to 6 years old: 0.7 – 5.97 uIU/mL.
- Children 7 to 11 years old: 0.6 – 4.84 uIU/mL.
- People 12 to 20 years old: 0.51 – 4.3 uIU/mL.
- Adults 21 to 99 years old: 0.27 – 4.2 uIU/mL.
Keep in mind that these normal ranges may vary depending on the laboratories that are processing the test. For the most accurate interpretation, refer to your lab report’s reference range. The benefit of having testing performed by a medical professional is that you will not need to interpret these results independently.
What does it mean if my TSH levels are abnormal?
Abnormal TSH levels are when your results fall outside the normal range. They can either occur because there is too much or too little TSH.
If TSH is low, this may be a sign of hyperthyroidism,1 and symptoms may include:
- Feelings of anxiousness
- Diarrhea or frequent bowel movements
- Vision changes
- Swelling of the neck area
- Rapid heart palpitations
- Irregular menstrual periods
On the flip side, TSH levels may be elevated or high. If your TSH is high, it could be a sign of hypothyroidism due to an underactive thyroid that isn’t producing enough TH.2 Symptoms of this condition may include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Low cold tolerance
- Low sex drive
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Numbness or tingling in the hands
Abnormal levels can result from pregnancy, age, or underlying conditions. Getting your test done by a professional will help them determine if any of these factors could affect your results and make adjustments accordingly.
What treatment options are available for abnormal TSH levels?
There are several approaches to addressing the causes of abnormal TSH levels.
Effective hyperthyroidism treatment will slow down thyroid hormone production. Treatment of hypothyroidism will generally involve hormone replacement treatments (HRT) to fix the deficit. Treatments may also include drugs, surgery, diet supplements, herbal solutions, and exercise.
It’s best to consult your doctor before undertaking any action toward addressing your TSH levels. A doctor can determine the best course of treatment while considering factors such as age, health, and medical history.
When looking for the most effective path toward identifying issues with your thyroid, getting a TSH test performed by a healthcare professional is the best option. In addition to ensuring the process is performed correctly, they can order additional tests that help bring greater clarity as needed. Receiving a TSH test from a healthcare professional is an important first step in ensuring healthy thyroid function and helping you feel your best.
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Get your at Home Lab Test in with Concierge MD
If you need a lab test but want to avoid traveling to the doctor’s office, consider Concierge MD as an option. We are a licensed mobile healthcare provider with a wide range of services, including lab testing. You can make an appointment online or over the phone for one of our healthcare specialists to visit you in your home and collect samples for one of our many accessible lab tests:
- Wellness Panel
- Male Hormone
- Female Hormone
- STD Panel
- Thyroid Panel
- Anemia Panel
- Food Sensitivity
- Genetic Cancer Screening
- Gut Microbiome
- Inflammation Panel
- Heavy Metal Panel
- Sleep and Stress Panel
- Urinary Health Panel
- Vaginal Health Panel
- and more…
Our staff will assure the safe delivery of samples to our lab. When your results are ready, we can assist you in interpreting them and help you move forward toward a better self. Concierge MD is a private and professional healthcare service that focuses on you. Contact us immediately to order your lab testing!Learn More