TSH, or thyroid-stimulating hormone, is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain that helps regulate the function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces hormones that play a vital role in regulating metabolism, growth, and development in the body.
Getting tested for TSH can be important for several reasons:
To diagnose thyroid disorders: An abnormal TSH level may indicate an underactive or overactive thyroid gland, which can cause a range of symptoms and health problems.
To monitor thyroid treatment: If you have a thyroid disorder, your healthcare provider may use TSH testing to monitor the effectiveness of your treatment.
To assess fertility: TSH levels can affect fertility in both men and women. Women with hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland) may have difficulty conceiving, and men with hypothyroidism may have reduced fertility.
To assess the risk of developing thyroid cancer: Abnormal TSH levels may increase the risk of developing thyroid cancer.
Overall, TSH testing can provide important information about your thyroid function and overall health. If you have concerns about your thyroid function or have symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain or loss, hair loss, or changes in your menstrual cycle, it may be a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider about getting a TSH test.