True meaning of TSH test

It’s a weird value to asses Thyroid status by. Still in some cases it can tell us something.

If your doctor sent you to check your thyroid in the past, most likely he sent you for a TSH test and not for the actual active hormones T4 and T3. For Hypothyroidism, TSH will tell us basically nothing because it is pituitary hormone and is quite different from the actual thyroid hormones in the blood. TSH – Thyroid stimulating hormone is a pituitary hormone which as it name suggests is produced by the pititary gland and it signals the thyroid how much thyroid hormones it has to produce.

To check what your thyroid is capable to produce at the same moment you will need to look at Free T3 and Free T4. Although they are not easy test to make and they should be handled in a good lab they are still the best values we got to asses the thyroid situation. ideally you will want to repeat them over a course of several minth. more important than that you will have to take a close look at any symptoms. Constipation, brain fog,….

When will TSH measurement can be useful?

  • When on Thyroid hormone replacement- very low can suggest that your thyroid is still functioning in the background and somewhat suppressed by the hormones replacement (Levoteroxyne, liothyronine or NDT).
  • To diagnose Hypopituitarism – “Hypopituitary is the pituitary gland functioning below where it needs to be, and one or more hormones can be involved. The pituitary is a pea sized gland located at the base of the brain and it runs the adrenals, thyroid, and sex hormones. It also produces growth hormone and stores oxytocin and vasopressin, both of which are made in the hypothalamus. If the pituitary doesn’t put out enough TSH, thyroid hormone production can decrease. It the pituitary doesn’t produce enough ACTH, cortisol (and DHEA) can decrease”

The best advice I can give is to go to a professional who treats thyroid holistic treatment and not just based on a TSH test. A full panel of the thyroid gland should be performed, including antibodies and no less important – to treat the symptoms. Symptoms of hypothyroidism: weakness, fatigue, constipation, dry skin, menstrual disorders, weight gain, cold intolerance, hair changes, depression and cognitive decline in the form of memory disorders and vague thinking. The symptoms can appear all together, and can appear only part. Blood test results should be cross-referenced with symptoms. It is recommended to repeat the blood tests at least twice and over a certain period, on different days.

Hormones in the blood are dynamic values ​​that rise and fall throughout the day according to the level of fatigue, seasons of the year, temperature, stress, changes in weight and diet and more. Some blood tests such as FREE T3 are very sensitive tests and often have deviations that vary from lab to lab. Therefore these tests should be repeated over a period of time and not rely on a single blood test result.

If you identify with the symptoms mentioned above or even with some of them and there is some doubt, consult a professional.

Back to Blog