Why Test Total TSH?
The TSH test measures the levels of TSH, a hormone that is made and released by your pituitary gland. Your pituitary can sense whether there is enough thyroid hormone in the bloodstream, and it releases TSH when it detects insufficient thyroid hormone.
The TSH is essentially telling your thyroid to "release more hormone." This is why your TSH rises when your thyroid is underactive. A high TSH means that the pituitary gland is releasing its hormone to try to get the thyroid to respond and produce more thyroid hormone. Conversely, when the pituitary senses that there is too much thyroid hormone circulating, then it slows down or even stops releasing TSH. The lowering of TSH means that the thyroid is no longer getting the message to release hormone, and thyroid hormone production will slow down.
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The lab will email you within 3-5 business days after they receive the samples for on-line access to your results.
Once you have your results, read our Interpreting Results article and consider consulting with a practitioner for next steps.