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    pink loader
    wellness

    Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: TSH Test and Effects on Pregnancy

    • 11035 views
    • 4.5   (1 Votes)
    Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MS, MBBS on 16 Jul 2019 - Written by Dr. Jennifer Marie B. Jose - ART Procedure, Aesthetic Gynecology, Training - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MS, MBBS

    Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH is a pituitary hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce triiodothyronine and thyroxine hormones. A thyroid function test is done to measure whether the thyroid gland is affected from hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, i.e. producing less or more hormones.

    The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located near the throat. The thyroid produces hormones that balance the energy used by a body. Thyroid stimulating hormone also plays an important role in regulating muscle strength, weight, body temperature, and even mood. TSH is made in the brain by the pituitary gland. When thyroid levels in the body get low, the pituitary gland produces more TSH. When thyroid levels are high, the pituitary gland produces less TSH to balance the hormone. If TSH levels that are too high or too low, it indicates that thyroid is not functioning correctly.

    In this article, we will look at:

    1. What is thyroid-stimulating hormone?
    2. What happens when the thyroid-stimulating hormone is high?
    3. What is hypothyroidism?
    4. Why thyroid test is required?
    5. Can my thyroid affect my pregnancy?

    1. What Is Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone?

    Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is a pituitary hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4) hormones. These hormones control the rate of energy being used in almost every tissue in the body. (1) (2)

    2. What Happens When Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Is High?

    The pituitary gland is sometimes referred to as the "master gland" as it controls several other hormone-producing glands, including the thyroid gland. It is located behind the bridge of the nose at the base of the brain, near the optic nerves. This gland works together with the hypothalamus, a region in the brain which produces a thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). If pituitary gland senses that your thyroid hormone levels are low, it releases more TSH. If your thyroid hormone levels are high, it slows down the release of TSH. (3)

    Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Test

    Thyroid function test is done to measures the levels of total thyroxine (T-4), total triiodothyronine (T-3) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in blood.

    3. What Is Hypothyroidism?

    The test is performed to measure whether the thyroid gland is hyperactive (Hyperthyroidism) or underactive (Hypothyroidism). Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which thyroid gland produces excessive hormones, which may cause signs and symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, weight loss, sweating, and irritability. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones. This condition can cause dry skin, weight gain, constipation, and feeling cold and slow heart rate. The doctor may ask you to undergo this test if you exhibit any of the following signs or symptoms. (4) (5)

    Hyperthyroidism symptoms include:

    • Puffiness
    • Anxiety
    • Weight loss
    • Bulging of the eyes
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Tremors in the hands
    • Increased heart rate

    Hypothyroidism symptoms include:

    • Low tolerance for cold temperatures
    • Irregular menstrual periods
    • Weight gain
    • Tiredness
    • Hair loss
    • Constipation

    Thyroid-Stimulating-Ela

    4. Why Thyroid Test Is Required?

    A thyroid test is done if the patient is suffering from symptoms like, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, fatigue, weakness, difficulty in concentrating which are common symptoms of thyroid disorders. In children, it may cause an umbilical hernia, hoarse crying, protruding tongue and yellowing of the skin. In some cases, this test is performed to find out the effectiveness of the treatment. If a patient is under medication of artificial thyroid hormones then the doctor prefers this test to evaluate and check the level of thyroid hormones in the body. This helps the doctor to eliminate some of the symptoms caused by thyroid hormone imbalance. (6)

    T4 and T3 Hormones:

    Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3) are Hormones which are secreted directly into the blood. They usually bind reversibly to transport proteins. These proteins include Thyroxine Binding Prealbumin (TBPA), Thyroxine-Binding Globulin (TBG), and albumin. Remaining unbound Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3) circulates freely in the blood, which is used by the body. These freely circulating T4 and T3 hormones are known as Free Triiodothyronine [FT-3] and Free Thyroxine [FT-4]. (7)

    Precautions:

    Drugs like thiourea, lithium, amiodarone, sulfonamides, phenylbutazone and birth control pills may alter the level of Thyroxine [T4] in the blood. Drugs like methimazole, carbimazole, may affect the levels of TSH in the blood; therefore, all medications should be informed to the doctor before undergoing this test. During pregnancy, T3, T4 levels may be abnormal and but stabilizes after a period of time. During a blood test, you may have slight pain or bruise at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

    Pathology Test Parameters:

    The Thyroid Profile Total test determines the following components: - Total Thyroxine [T4], Total Triiodothyronine [T3], and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone [TSH]. The test is also known as Thyroid Function Tests, Total Blood, TFT Total Blood, TFT Total, and Thyroid Function Tests Total.

    Thyroid Test Preparation:

    Although, there are no specific preparations required for the Thyroid Profile Total test, make sure you report your doctor if you are under any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your T3, T4 and TSH tests are performed. The doctor gives specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for T3, T4 and TSH Hormone test. (8)

    thyroid-stimulating-ela

    Understanding TSH Test Results: 

    In the case of increased T3 and T4 levels in the blood, it may be due to the following:(9)

    • Transient hyperthyroidism
    • Hashimoto's thyroiditis, where the own immune system the body attacks the thyroid gland and decreases the production of hormones.
    • Grave’s disease is another immune system disorder, which causes overproduction of thyroid hormones. 
    • Subacute thyroiditis is acute inflammation of the thyroid gland
    • Toxic adenoma that causes increased hormone production from single large nodule/lump in the thyroid gland
    • Toxic multinodular goiter
    • Thyroid cancer and
    • Increased production of thyroid stimulating hormone

    If the levels of T4 and T3 are less than the normal range then it may be due to the following:

    • Hypothyroidism
    • Previous treatment of hyperthyroidism
    • Iodine deficiency or excessive iodine
    • Tissue resistance to thyroid hormone
    • Subacute thyroiditis which causes acute inflammation of the thyroid gland
    • Pituitary dysfunction
    • Idiopathic myxedema (severe hypothyroidism)
    • Starvation
    • Neck radiotherapy before the test
    • Long-term illness

    If only the TSH levels rise and T4, T3 levels are within the range then it may be due to mild hypothyroidism. If all the three hormone levels are low then it may be caused by pituitary hypothyroidism or nonthyroidal illness.

    The normal range of TSH may be different during:

    • Pregnancy 
    • Thyroid cancer
    • Pituitary disorder

    If all the test results are in normal range then the thyroid gland is functioning normally, there is no need for further medical intervention. 

    5. Can My Thyroid Affect My Pregnancy?

    Thyroid changes are usually not significant, but some women have chances to develop thyroid disease during pregnancy. Hyperthyroidism occurs in about one in every 500 pregnancies, while hypothyroidism occurs in approximately one in every 250 pregnancies. Hyperthyroidism, and sometimes hypothyroidism, may remain even after pregnancy. If you develop a thyroid condition during pregnancy, your health care provider will monitor your condition after the baby is born. If you have any history of thyroid disease, be sure to talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant. (10)

    Thyroid Affect Pregnancy

    You can also consult with Elawoman for more information on Thyroid. If you are suffering from thyroid functionality and are planning to get pregnant, we have a vast list of reliable infertility doctors and clinics that can help in your treatment. Along with it, Elawoman also provides loans at zero percent interest. Feel free to call Elawoman at +918929020600 and get guidance from our fertility experts. 

    Dr. Jennifer Marie B. Jose

    Written by

    ART Procedure, Aesthetic Gynecology, Training, Gynec Laparoscopy, Surgical Training, ART Course, MD
    Gynecologist, Gynecologic Surgeon
    Makati
    Dr. Jennifer Marie B. Jose is a Gynecologist and IVF Expert, who is currently working in association with Makati Medical Center situated at Amorsolo Street in Makati, Philippines. She gained experience of about a decade in the field of Fertility management. Services provided by her include Diagnosis and Treatment through Assisted Reproductive Technology(ART), Robotic Assisted Hysterectomy, Minimally Invasive Surgery such as Laparoscopy/Hysteroscopy, Managing High-risk pregnancy etc. She has completed Doctor of Medicine from University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center in 1996. After that, she learned Gynecologic Laparoscopy from Joseph Nursing Home, Chennai. In 2011, she went to Florida for Training in Advanced Robotic and Assisted Gynecologic Laparoscopy. For more information about the doctor, visit elawoman.com

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    1 Comment

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    Japesh Vidvan

    Feb. 21, 2019, 3 p.m. 4.5

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