Can you tell me anything about the relation between TSH levels and hypothyroidism?
Your thyroid gland produces two main hormones, thyroxine (T-4) and triiodothyronine (T-3), that influence every cell in your body.
The hypothalamus signals your pituitary gland to make a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Your pituitary gland then releases TSH — the amount depends on how much T-4 and T-3 are in your blood. If you don’t have enough T-4 and T-3 in your blood, your TSH will rise; if you have too much, your TSH level will fall.
Finally, your thyroid gland regulates its production of hormones based on the amount of TSH it receives. If the diseased thyroid gland cannot make enough thyroid hormone, the TSH blood level will remain high.
Diagnosis of hypothyroidism is based on your symptoms and the results of blood tests that measure the level of TSH and sometimes the level of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. A low level of thyroxine and high level of TSH indicate an underactive thyroid.
In addition, TSH tests are used to help diagnose a condition called subclinical hypothyroidism, which usually causes no outward signs or symptoms. In this condition, you have normal blood levels of triiodothyronine and thyroxine, but higher than normal levels of TSH.
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