What Is It?

STSH screening, also known as TSH, Sensitive, S is a simple blood test that measures thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The thyroid gland produces energy-regulating hormones. It also contributes to regulating mood, body temperature, muscle strength, and weight. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland and levels that are too low or too high can indicate a dysfunction of the thyroid. This test can determine how well your thyroid is functioning and is also used to monitor patients on thyroid replacement therapy and thyroxine suppression therapy.

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Who Is It For?

Your physician may recommend TSH screening if you exhibit symptoms of overactive thyroid such as:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Tremors in your hands
  • Puffiness
  • Bulging eyes
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Anxiety and difficulty sleeping

This is also known as hyperthyroidism.

Your physician may recommend TSH screening if you exhibit symptoms of underactive thyroid such as:

  • Hair loss
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Constipation
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to cold temperatures

This is also known as hypothyroidism.

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Why Is It Important?

The TSH test is effective in measuring thyroid hormone levels, but cannot determine the cause of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Your doctor will recommend further testing to determine the cause if your levels are abnormal. Your doctor may also use TSH screening to monitor the effectiveness of treatment once hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism is detected. Untreated thyroid conditions can lead to serious health concerns such as compromised cardiovascular health, impaired kidney function, disorders of the nervous system, and infertility. Thyroid conditions can be managed with medication, and identifying atypical levels of thyroid hormone is the first step in seeking treatment and returning to a symptom-free life.

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