hand with a bloody finger

What is a TSH Blood Test, and When Should You Take It?

hand with a bloody finger

For many, the thyroid gland can be the often overlooked cause of a host of health challenges. The good news is that a simple TSH blood test (Thyroid Stimulation Hormone Test) can provide the clarity you need to make major strides in your health journey.

What the thyroid does

Positioned at the front of the neck just below Adam’s apple, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland spread to both sides of the windpipe. As part of a complex system that regulates the hormones in the body, the thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism, heart rate, muscle, digestive operation, brain development, and bone health.

doctor, thyroid gland and a results chart

The goal of the thyroid gland is to keep your body in equilibrium. Unfortunately, there are certain things that can prevent it from functioning properly.

man having a headache

Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction

Worldwide, nearly 200 million people are impacted by varying degrees of thyroid disease.

Signs of thyroid malfunction can be:

  • weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • slower heart rate
  • Faster heart rate
  • fatigue
  • more frequent menstrual periods
  • forgetfulness
  • dry skin and hair
  • hoarse voice and intolerance of cold

TSH blood tests

The best way to check thyroid function is to check if TSH levels are normal in a blood sample. This can serve as a gauge of whether your thyroid hormones in the body are too high or too low. This means you can test for hypothyroidism as well as hyperthyroidism. High TSH levels indicate that the thyroid gland is not making enough thyroid hormone, and when TSH levels are low, it indicates that the thyroid is producing too much.

A nurse performing a blood draw on a patient.

A normal TSH blood work value means that the thyroid is functioning properly in most healthy individuals.

blood vial on a medical questionnaire

Causes of thyroid malfunction

While high or low readings from a TSH lab test can indicate more serious conditions such as Grave’s disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it could also be pointing to a nutritional deficiency that is easily fixed. If your thyroid function test results include low iron levels, there may be a solution to bring things back into equilibrium.

Oral supplements

Taking iron supplements is a common way to increase iron levels within the body. Keep in mind that these supplements can be hard on the digestive system and have been known to cause nausea or discomfort when taken. There is also the issue of absorption into the body. How much of the iron is actually assimilated into your system can vary.

four different kind of pills in four different spoons.
Iron pills spilled over a yellow background.

Iron deficiency

As it turns out, low iron can mimic some of the same symptoms as more serious thyroid diseases. Feelings of fatigue, among other symptoms, may indicate low iron. Reviewing your blood work with your medical professional will help you confirm whether this could be the case.

There are certain ways to increase iron levels in the body naturally.

Food intake

Consuming foods such as red meat and seafood with high iron concentrations is a common way to increase iron levels. The only difficulty with this path would be if the person were a vegetarian or ascribed to some of their diet that was low in iron. Eating the volume required to get your daily intake of iron may not be feasible.

fruits on a plate

Iron IV therapy

Many people who suffer from an iron deficiency have turned to iron IV therapy to get their levels back into a healthy range. Intravenous delivery still remains the most effective way to ensure 100% bioavailability so that your body gets what it needs.

It is possible to get clarity on what is happening with your thyroid gland using a TSH blood test. Consult your doctor to see if iron infusions may be a good step.

Schedule your at home Thyroid Test

An in-home test is the most convenient way to determine if your thyroid is functioning properly. One of our licensed nurses will bring your appointment to you. Once your results are in, we will help you understand them and recommend your next steps.

Make an appointment by clicking the button below or giving us a call!

Lab Testing - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to do lab tests occasionally?

It is important to do lab tests occasionally because they can provide valuable information about an individual's health and help to identify potential health issues early on. Lab tests can measure a wide range of factors, including blood count, cholesterol levels, liver and kidney function, and hormone levels, and can provide insight into an individual's overall health and wellness. Additionally, lab tests can help to diagnose and monitor the progression of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and can help to identify any potential health risks or concerns. By doing lab tests occasionally, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain their health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of potential health problems in the future.

What does a routine blood test cover?

A routine blood test is used to check for a range of things, including your blood count and the levels of certain chemicals and substances in your blood. Blood tests can also be used to check how well certain organs, such as your liver and kidneys, are functioning.

How is a blood sample collected for lab testing?

A blood sample for lab testing is typically collected through a process called venipuncture, which involves inserting a small needle into a vein to draw blood. This is usually done on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.

What is the cost of a lab test?

In general, the cost of a lab test can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. It is always best to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to get an accurate estimate of the cost of a lab test.

Read More: Lab Testing FAQ