Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone
(TSH)

Alternate Names

  • Thyrotropin
  • TRH Stimulation Test

TSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland when stimulated by low blood levels of T3 and T4. This test is used to diagnose thyroid disease (primary) that results in low blood levels of TSH, such as thyroid removal or chemotherapy, an under-active thyroid gland, inherited thyroid conditions, or infection. Secondary under-active thyroid is caused by other glands (pituitary or hypothalamus), which results in low production of TSH, and is the result of trauma, injury, or cancer. Decreased levels are seen in people with an over-active thyroid gland or an under-active pituitary gland. TSH levels are also used to monitor the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy and to diagnose an under-active thyroid gland in newborn babies. Normal levels depend upon the lab that is doing the testing.

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