Experts consider the Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone test to be one of the most accurate tests designed to facilitate the discovery of endocrine problems. The test can actively determine whether hormone function is too low or too high, and can also provide added information regarding the underlying cause of the problem.
About the Hormone
According to WebMD, TSH (the thyroid-stimulating hormone) is a special hormone released by the pituitary gland, that has the role of stimulating the thyroid to produce triiodothyronine (also known as T3) and thyroxine (T4) – two essential hormones required in order to regulate the body’s metabolism.
The thyroid-stimulating hormone is produced when the hypothalamus releases TRH (the thyrotropin-releasing hormone), which has the role of triggering the pituitary gland into action. This entire process is essential for normal endocrine function, and can lead to disastrous effects in the case of children under the age of 3, when TSH levels are too low.
According to Diet vs. Disease, however, recent research points to the thyroid-stimulating hormone as being somewhat insufficient in accurately pinpointing hypothyroidism-related cases, so newer tests have undergone a significant transformation in recent years.
What Are Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Tests?
Thyroid-stimulating hormone tests focus on finding out whether or not the gland is working properly, determining the cause of any problematic symptoms and keeping track of required treatments designed to improve balance and hormonal function.
When preparing for the test it is essential to give your doctor all the necessary information about whether or not you’ve been exposed to X-rays or radioactive materials in the past 4-6 weeks, or whether or not you had excessive amounts of iodine.
The actual test isperformed by a licensed medical practitioner who will take a blood sample and have it analyzed to determine what the thyroid-stimulating hormone levels are. Once the test is completed, your results will determine whether or not any treatments, drugs, diet changes or essential supplementation will be required.