Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Lab Test

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Clinical Definition of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

TSH test evaluates the quantity of thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH) in the blood for diagnosing thyroid disorders and identify treatment of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland and regulates the release of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) hormones.

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower-front part of the neck. It is an endocrine gland that synthesizes hormones. Thyroid hormones help regulate metabolism and control the rate of many metabolic activities in the body.

Thyroid profile tests check the functioning of the thyroid, and are also used to diagnose thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Thyroid profile tests include a blood test which involves drawing blood from the body to be analyzed in a pathology lab.

The Thyroid blood test includes -

A TSH test to measure the level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone in your blood. It is used to measure the thyroid activity in the body.

The T4 test is a thyroxin test. A high level of T4 hormone indicates an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

The T3 test checks for levels of triiodothyronine hormone. This test is done if the T4 and TSH tests suggest hyperthyroidism. The T3 test may also be done if there are signs of an overactive thyroid gland.


When do you expect results?

24 to 36 Hours

Why Get Tested?

The TSH test is conducted to check the thyroid function and/or symptoms of hyper- or hypothyroidism. TSH testing is aimed to:

Diagnose a thyroid disorder in a person with indicative symptoms

Screen adults for any thyroid disorders 

Screen newborns for any underactive thyroid

Check thyroid replacement therapy in people with hypothyroidism

Identify and screen female infertility problems

Monitor the functioning of pituitary gland as and when required                             

If you have any of the following conditions, you should get tested for thyroid disorders -

You have a family history of thyroid problems

You have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, or pituitary or endocrine disorders

You are a woman in or near menopause, or are pregnant, or have just had a baby

Besides the above conditions, here are the common symptoms of thyroid disorders -

Unusual weight gain or weight loss

Too much fatigue

Dry skin

Cold hands or feet


Increased heart rate

Recurring warm or sweaty feeling

Mood issues such as mood swings, anxiety, or depression 

What does the test detect?

The Thyroid Profile Test helps determine if your thyroid is working correctly or not. Thyroid disorders are usually of two types: -

Hyperthyroidism - An over-working thyroid. High thyroid hormones can cause diseases such as Graves' disease, thyroiditis, and goiter.

Hypothyroidism - Poor thyroid function. Low thyroid hormones can cause diseases such as pituitary gland disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, etc.

Reason to take Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Test




Dry Skin 

Frequent menstrual periods for females 

Unexplained weight changes 

Rapid heart rate 



A feeling of too much body heat 

A feeling of too much cold for the body 

Sweaty or warm, red itchy skin

Preparations Needed for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Test

It is recommended to get the tests done in the morning, as the TSH levels can fluctuate throughout the day. No preparation is needed for the test. But, you should tell your doctor if you are taking any medication, as certain medicines can affect the test results.

Sample Required?

Specimen type: Serum (Blood Sample) , Specimen collection procedure : Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

How do you understand this result?

Reference RangeInterpretation
0.0-9.0 IU/mLNormal

* ‘A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’.