It is a well documented fact that a variety of health disorders and diseases are a result of an imbalance of the hormones. There are two hormones, triiodothyronine (also called T3) and thyroxine (also called T4) that are released by the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the neck. When the pituitary gland releases its hormone, it acts as a stimulant that causes the release of these thyroid hormones. This is what is known as a thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH. The blood test known as a TSH blood test is performed when an individual notices symptoms of an abnormally functioning thyroid. The test is used to measure the levels of TSH in the individuals blood.
Thyroid Hormone Levels and TSH
The condition known as hypothyroidism occurs when one’s thyroid gland is not releasing the necessary levels of hormones. The triggering of TSH is needed to get the thyroid gland stimulated. So, when the thyroid gland is not able to release the appropriate amount of hormones the pituitary gland will release even more TSH into our system in an attempt to stimulate the thyroid gland. When we find an indication of elevated levels of TSH, it shows that there are decreased amounts of thyroid hormones or a dysfunction in the thyroid. When there is an elevated amount of the thyroid hormone it is known as hyperthyroidism. A characteristic of having an overactive thyroid gland is the releasing of extremely high levels of the hormone. When this occurs the pituitary gland will try to lessen the flow of TSH into the system. This results in a larger flow of thyroid hormones and the TSH levels will drop. The following is a chart showing details regarding normal levels of thyroid hormones being released. Levels of ‘Free T4’ are calculated along with ‘total T4’. The normal range for ‘Free T4’ is considered to be 0.7 to 2.0. ‘Free T3’ levels are calculated as well, with the normal range of ‘free T3’ being 2.3 to 4.2.
Low Thyroid Levels
It is not uncommon for a child to show TSH levels (low thyroid levels) that are a bit higher than that of an adult. Our metabolism rate is measured by the level of thyroid hormones in our system. When these hormones are at a low level it could cause a basal metabolic rate that is lower than normal. This can result in symptoms such as weakness, increased fatigue, and a loss of appetite. An individual could suffer by frequently feeling cold and notice an increase in feeling faint quite often. Other symptoms of low thyroid levels would be joint pain, dry skin, swelling in the neck, hair loss, and a hoarseness of the voice. They may also find that regardless of making attempts to diet, their levels of cholesterol will remain uncontrollable.
High Thyroid Levels
Some of the symptoms experienced by having an overactive thyroid are an irregular heartbeat, hot flashes, weight loss, and nervousness that leads to depression. When a woman’s thyroid levels are in excess they may experience symptoms such as joint pain and an irregular menstrual cycle. Other noticeable symptoms that may occur are difficulty concentrating and confusion. For men with hyperthyroidism the symptoms may appear as a rapid heart rate, impotence, an intolerance to heat, palpitations, and an increase in bowel movements. Other symptoms such as arrhythmia, profuse sweating, increased irritability, weight loss, tremors, insomnia, depression, and a decrease in concentration are also amongst the main occurrences.
A TSH test on its own is not sufficient enough to give the information needed to assess one’s thyroid function. Likewise, measuring T3 and T4 levels are not useful in diagnosing a thyroid issue without assessing the TSH levels. In order to detect the reason behind any abnormal thyroid activities, the T3, T4, and TSH levels need to be measured together.
To cope with the symptoms of an abnormal thyroid function, a custom thyroid diet and prescription medications are needed. Maintaining a healthy thyroid requires the element known as ‘iodine’. Normal thyroid levels usually varies from one person to the next. It is my hope that the information found in this article, along with the above chart, has been of some help to you. Bear in mind that thyroid levels are known to constantly fluctuate. It’s important to consult with your doctor in order to be given the most accurate interpretation of your thyroid test results.