TSH stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, also known as Thyrotropin. This is a hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is located in base of the Brain behind the sinus cavities. It is a small organ that produces the TSH hormone and is responsible for stimulating and regulating the production of Thyroid Hormone by the thyroid gland. In the body, almost all functions are regulated by thyroid hormones, which are dependant and controlled by the pituitary gland which produces the TSH. Two particular thyroid hormones that are important are known as T3 and T4. They are responsible important body regulating functions, such as cholesterol, heart rate, memory function, skin condition,energy levels and weight gain.
You have slightly elevated TSH. This may not cause any symptoms at this time. However, it is important to repeat this test every 6 months, to see if this is progressively increasing. When you have very high TSH in your blood, it indicates the lower levels of Thyroid Hormone in the body which may cause the following symptoms: Fatigue or sluggishness, constipation, pale and dry skin, hoarseness, puffiness in the face, muscle aches, muscle tenderness or stiffness, unexplained weight gain, pain or swelling in the joints, muscle weakness, increased sensitivity to cold temperatures and brittle fingernails and hair, elevated blood cholesterol levels and depression. The decision to treat the high TSH depends on the level of the TSH and the levels of the free T4. I will advise you when to start the treatment with Synthroid (Thyroid replacement medication in the form of tablets). Once we identify the increased level of TSH, we need to check the TSH and T4 periodically to monitor the levels of these hormones to determine the need for starting the treatment with Thyroid Hormone..
The high TSH and low T4 indicate the hypothyroidism. Once the diagnosis of hypothyroidism is established, one need to be on thyroid medication for lifetime.
*This information is intended for use by my patients as part of my lab test information and patient communication program. For other readers of this article, I inform that this information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. I hereby disclaim any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.