TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)

The thyroid stimulating hormone regulates the production of thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, by the thyroid gland. The gland is present in the neck and resembles the shape of a butterfly. It binds to the receptors present on the cells in the thyroid gland and regulates the hormone production. These hormones are released into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland.

Regulation of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)

The thyroid stimulating hormones are responsible for maintaining the body’s metabolic activities. They create a negative effect on the pituitary gland. The production of thyroid stimulating hormone is stopped if the levels of the hormones produced are very high. The production of the thyrotropin-releasing hormone is also ceased. Thyrotropin stimulates the pituitary gland to produce TSH.

See Also: Symptoms of Thyroid

High Levels Of TSH – Hypothyroidism

If a person has TSH levels more than normal, it means that he has an underactive thyroid gland. This condition is known as hypothyroidism in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. In this condition, the thyroid gland enlarges leading to goitre. The person may feel lethargic, cold and puts on weight. Patients suffering from this condition, show symptoms that are linked to slow metabolic rate. The condition may not be prominent in the initial stages, but over time, if left untreated, it can lead to several related health issues such as joints pain, fertility, obesity and even heart diseases.

Causes

There are various causes of hypothyroidism, but they can be narrowed down to two common causes. One is the inflammation of the thyroid gland that leads to the damage of a large number of thyroid cells and hence their incapability to produce enough hormones. Thyroid gland failure is usually attributed to a condition referred to as autoimmune thyroiditis caused by the immune system of the patient. The second cause is attributed to medical treatments that are associated with the surgical removal of a part or the entire thyroid gland that disturbs the cells that secrete thyroid hence leading to the condition.

Symptoms

  • Sensitive to cold
  • Fatigued easily
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Muscle weakness
  • Puffy face
  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • Stiffness, tenderness, muscle aches
  • Thinning of hair
  • Heart rate slows down
  • Thyroid gland enlarges

Low Levels Of TSH – Hyperthyroidism

This indicates that the thyroid gland is hyperactive and is producing high levels of hormones. The condition is known as hyperthyroidism. People suffering from hyperthyroidism tend to lose weight, experience anxiety or palpitations, and feel very hot. The patients have a slightly enlarged thyroid gland. Medications are provided to control the increased and decreased levels of TSH. If not treated it might even turn serious. The symptoms of this disease become more apparent when the level of hyperthyroidism in the body increases and is associated with the increase in the metabolic rate of the body. However, there are a few causes which can lead to the condition as listed below:

Causes

A few causes of hyperthyroidism are:

  • Increased intake of thyroid hormones
  • Grave’s disease
  • Toxic multinodular goitre and working adenoma
  • Excess secretion of TSH
  • Increased iodine intake
  • Thyroiditis

Symptoms

Symptoms vary as signs are not apparent if the condition is mild in patients. However, most of the symptoms are associated with an increase in the activity of metabolism. Few symptoms are,

  • The thyroid gland enlarges causing the neck to swell
  • Irritability, Nervousness, fluctuation in mood
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy, fatigue, difficulty in sleeping
  • The weakness of the muscles
  • Feels hungry often
  • Excessive sweating, oversensitive to heat, skin tends to get damp and warm
  • Frequent urination and increased bowel movements
  • Menstrual issues in women
  • Alopecia
  • Sudden increase or decrease in weight
  • Heartbeat accelerates

Also read: Hypothyroidism
Thyroid Diet

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