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Reasons for Low TSH Levels

Updated February 21, 2017

Low levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) indicate hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid is overactive. Symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, insomnia, increased heart rate, heat sensitivity and anxiety. There are an array of reasons for low TSH levels.

Hormone Secretion

The pituitary gland produces TSH based on the amount of thyroxine (t4) and triiodothyronine (t3) in the bloodstream. Excessive t3 and t4 secretion stimulates low TSH production.

Goitre/Plummer's Disease

Reasons for low TSH levels include conditions such as goitre and Plummer's disease, which are identified by symptomatic adenomas. Adenomas are non-cancerous tumours causing thyroid enlargement, resulting in high thyroxine production, lowering TSH.

Graves' Disease

Graves' disease, an autoimmune condition, is a common reason for low TSH levels. Antibodies attack the thyroid, resulting in elevated thyroxine levels that decrease the amount of TSH secreted.

Thyroiditis

An inflamed thyroid defines an abnormality known as thyroiditis, which causes increased hormone secretion into the blood plasma, escalating thyroxine levels and decreasing TSH.

Diagnosis

Hyperthyroidism occurring due to low TSH is diagnosed through blood tests that measure thyroxine and TSH levels in the bloodstream. Various therapies are available based on patient needs.

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About the Author

Taylor DiVico is a professional songwriter, content writer, fiction novelist and poet with more than 15 years of experience. DiVico holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Rhode Island and an M.S. from Syracuse University.