A healthy thyroid is crucial to your overall health. Blood work is necessary to check your level, and it should be done annually. Keeping your TSH level at a normal range helps your body to function at its peak.
Your thyroid gland produces and stores hormones. These help regulate your blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate and how quickly food transforms into energy in your body.
Blood work will determine your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level. The pituitary gland makes the TSH and monitors production of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) by the thyroid gland and when it releases it into the bloodstream.
A normal range for thyroid level is 0.4 to 4.0 mlU/L. A normal range for someone suffering from a thyroid disorder is 0.5 to 3.0 mlU/L.
A higher than normal range on your TSH may mean you have cretinism, are thyroid hormone resistant, have TSH-dependent hyperthyroidism, have primary hypothyroidism or have been exposed to mice such as in lab assistants or veterinarians.
A lower than normal range of TSH may mean you have a TSH deficiency, hyperthyroidism or are taking certain medications that can lower it such as dopamine agonists or bexarotene.
A proper TSH level is necessary for your body to function at its peak; therefore, you should have your level tested at your annual physical or more often if you have thyroid problems or if they are present in your family history.