Hormones regulate many processes in the body, which is why problems with them can greatly poison life. Especially bad for women are changes in their level due to the fact that the reasons for this can cause weakness, problems with weight loss and much more, up to improper heart function.
Thyroid stimulating hormone, also known as thyrotropin, is produced by the pituitary gland, more precisely, its anterior lobe. The pituitary gland is, roughly speaking, a gland that regulates the work of other glands, namely the thyroid gland. It must be remembered that TSH is produced by the pituitary gland, and not by the thyroid gland, such an error is not uncommon.
As already mentioned, thyrotropin regulates the functioning of the thyroid gland, namely the production of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones, in turn, affect the functioning of the heart, central nervous system, intestinal motor function, protein and vitamin A synthesis, and regulate the menstrual cycle. In addition, they are responsible for the condition of the organs of hearing and vision. As you can see, their value is great. At the same time, the concentration of thyroid hormones often rises when the amount of TSH falls, and vice versa. But this is not the rule. It may also happen that the concentration of both hormones. In this case, you should also consult a doctor, because the connection between the thyroid gland and the pituitary gland may be broken.
In addition to regulation, TSH allows the transport of iodine ions into thyroid cells, improves the synthesis of phospholipids, proteins and nucleic acids, and allows fatty acids to separate from fat cells.
Thus, the results of a blood test for thyrotropin levels can show a lot to the attending physician. Most often, a doctor can give a referral for its delivery to people with the following complaints:
- cardiac arrhythmia;
- Muscle dysfunction;
- Delayed sexual and mental development in children;
- Excessive excess weight;
- memory impairment;
- Change in blood pressure and body temperature;
- Poor tolerance to low and high temperatures.
It is worth adding that it is recommended to check the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone during pregnancy. During pregnancy, its level is greatly reduced, as the body increases blood flow to the thyroid.
What happens with elevated TSH?
In this situation, the patient may complain of irritability, blurred vision, insomnia, tremors, anxiety, and fatigue. It is possible that there will be anemia, constipation, loss of appetite, as well as bradycardia and a decrease or increase in pressure. If, after these complaints, a person passes an analysis, and the result is higher than normal, this may indicate several diseases.
Thyroid disorders associated with low T3 or T4 levels. Of these, the most well-known and common is hypothyroidism. But you need to know that T3, T4 and TSH are checked immediately, the main indicator will not be TSH. The thing is that usually the lower the level of one, the higher the level of the other, but it is not so rare that with low thyroxine, for example, thyrotropin was normal or even slightly below the norm. An adequate specialist will send you to take an analysis for two or three hormones at once.
Hypothyroidism can start for a variety of reasons. It can be caused by surgery, thyroiditis, iodine deficiency, and an increase in the production of another hormone by the pituitary gland – prolactin, and radioactive iodine treatment, and adrenal insufficiency, and even physical or psycho-emotional stress. Women are more susceptible to hypothyroidism than men.
Problems with the pituitary or hypothalamus can also affect thyrotropin production. In this case, it could be a tumor, and almost all sites will repeat this, but there is a second option: if the brain is not sufficiently supplied with blood, then we must not forget that the hypothalamus and pituitary gland are located in the brain. Therefore, they, too, may not have enough blood. In this case, if possible, it is necessary to solve the reason why the blood circulation in the brain is disturbed.
Other conditions that may result from an increase in the level of thyrotropin are affected in this way a little less often. These include:
- Adrenal dysfunction (to detect it, the level of the hormone cortisol is checked);
- Violation of the nervous system;
- Arterial hypertension in pregnant women;
- Thyroid hormone resistance syndrome.
It is important to check with your doctor about taking certain medications before taking the test. Cerucal, eglonil, amiodarone or estrogens may affect the result.
Why is it decreasing?
More often, doctors are faced with an increased value of thyroid-stimulating hormone, and not with a reduced one. Often this result can be worse than the increased value.
Thyrotoxicosis may be the main cause. The reasons for it can be completely different. It is possible that the patient abused taking levothyroxine for weight loss, more serious problems are possible, namely thyroid cancer, cancer metastases or ovarian tumors. Damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus is also possible, this category includes injuries and hematomas of the brain, insufficient or abnormal blood circulation in it, brain tumors or infections that affect it. The same effect can be after irradiation of the head. Mental illnesses may also occur.
A decrease in the concentration of both thyrotropin and thyroxine is possible. In this case, it turns out that the pituitary gland stops stimulating the thyroid gland to produce hormones, and thus it ceases to produce them in the amount necessary for the body.
If, with low TSH, thyroid hormones are normal, then this may be a signal that the patient is just starting hyperthyroidism. That is, the thyroid gland is already producing thyroxine and triiodothyronine more intensively, but their level has not had time to become above the norm. But it should be noted that during pregnancy or in the presence of a syndrome of euthyroid pathology, this is considered the norm.
What to do if thyrotropin is not normal?
First of all, you need to see a doctor. Problems in terms of endocrinology have never been and never will be a trifle. After all, our glands regulate the entire body.
Otherwise, if the patient is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, it is necessary either to take iodine, or, if prescribed by a doctor, levothyroxine (usually called L-thyroxine, Bagothyrox, Euthyrox or otherwise, in any case, the active substance is levothyroxine sodium), their combination is possible . If the deviation is not large, it may be worth taking iodine as a preventive measure and consuming foods with a good iodine content. These include baked potatoes, cranberries, prunes, seafood, milk, natural yogurt, boiled eggs, cheddar cheese, strawberries,…