TSH tests measure whether a patient has hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. A dangerously high or low level of TSH can cause mental retardation in newborns, and can cause heart failure in adults.
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What is a TSH Test?
A TSH test is a blood test that checks your levels of thyroid stimulating hormone. This checks whether your thyroid is functioning normally or not.
When is a TSH Test Ordered?
A TSH test is ordered when a patient shows signs of hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or has an enlarged thyroid. Also, testing hypothyroidism for newborns is a standard procedure.
What is the Normal Level of TSH?
Normal TSH levels for adults are 0.4--4.5 mIU/L, and normal TSH levels for babies are 3--18 mIU/L.
What is a Dangerous Level of TSH?
The farther away the TSH level is from normal levels, the more dangerous it is. One study by Rodondi shows that there are more cardiac events for patients with TSH levels of 7.0 mIU/L or greater (35.0 vs 16.5 per 1000), but not for patients with TSH levels between 4.5 and 6.9 mIU/L. For newborns, thyroid hormone levels are important for brain development, so any abnormalities should be treated immediately.
When Should Abnormal TSH Levels be Treated?
If the TSH level is outside of the normal range, it should be treated, depending on the advice of a physician.
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