Hypothyroidism TSH: Why your TSH level is so important: You may never have even heard of TSH, but it is essential to your health and the way your body functions. TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone, and simply put, is the hormone that keeps your thyroid working properly and effectively. Your thyroid is a small gland located at the front of the neck. It is butterfly shaped, and when it is stimulated by TSH, it produces more hormones such as T3 and T4, also known as triiodothyronine and thyroxine. These hormones have a direct impact on everything from heat production, growth, the body’s use of oxygen and energy, fertility, the use of proteins, vitamins, fats, water, electrolytes and carbohydrates, all the way to the way your intestine regulates immunity. When any of these levels are thrown off, it can cause upset in the system that can be dangerous to your health.
Hypothyroidism TSH: High levels can spell trouble for your health: When these levels become high or thrown off, many different problems can arise. One such problem is hypothyroidism. This occurs when t4 levels initially drop. This causes TSH levels to increase, and is how the problem itself is diagnosed. This initial drop in t4 levels causes many of the body’s processes to slow down considerably. It is separated into either subclinical or overt hypothyroidism. Subclinical is when patients thyroid’s are mildly underactive, with TSH levels around 4.5. Overt is for patients with a TSH level greater than 10, and signals a severely underactive thyroid. Subclinical hypothyroidism does not usually progress to full blown overt hypothyroidism in most people, although it can develop, and does in around 2-5% of people with a mildly underactive thyroid. With subclinical hypothyroidism, a patient may experience no symptoms at all, or slight fatigue. With overt hypothyroidism many symptoms can show, including difficulty in concentrating, chronic fatigue, headaches, sensitivity to cold temperatures, weight gain even though appetite is diminished, joint and muscle aches, dry skin, constipation, milky discharge from the breasts, early puberty, and even menstrual irregularities such as lighter than normal or heavier than normal bleeding. If you are having any of these symptoms, it would be best to speak with your doctor, because if hypothyroidism is left undiagnosed and untreated, it could cause serious health complications. It may take a while for hypothyroidism to straighten out, but when the right medication is administered in the right dose, it can make a world of difference.
Hypothyroidism TSH: What happens when your level is at 150?: When patients show a TSH level of 150, they are in a danger zone. This zone covers levels higher and lower that 150, but is a good midpoint. If you have just been tested and diagnosed with hypothyroidism, then you must begin treatment immediately to bring the numbers down to an acceptable level. If you have already been diagnosed and are on medication, but your level is still 150 or has gone back up to that level, then it is a sign that your medication dosage is not correct and needs to be adjusted.