Did you know thyroid disease affects nearly 20 million people in the United States? Even more surprising, many of those with thyroid disease don’t even know they have it. Your thyroid has a profound effect on regulating everything from your body’s temperature, heart rate, to your metabolism, so getting tested for thyroid disease is very important.
There are several different types of thyroid dysfunction, but the two most common ones are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. In this article, we’ll cover the differences between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, common symptoms, and where you can get a TSH blood test to check for both.
Before we jump into these two conditions, it’s important to understand the hormone that stimulates the thyroid - the Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Also known as thyrotropin, TSH is a substance produced in the pituitary gland. It regulates the hormones made by your thyroid gland. And these thyroid hormones affect just about every gland in your body.
Not only can thyroid hormones slow down or speed up your heart rate, but they also control the rate at which you burn calories. When your thyroid is not functioning properly, it can have a serious impact on your body, health, and overall well-being.
Your doctor will order a TSH test to check your thyrotropin levels if you are experiencing symptoms of a hormone imbalance. A TSH test will be able to identify if you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
If your thyroid gland produces too little thyroxine, this can cause hypothyroidism. This condition slows down your metabolism causing unwanted weight gain, fatigue, and sensitivity to cold temperatures.
Hypothyroidism is common, and affects about 4.6% of the U.S. population. Like any medical condition, there are several causes and symptoms to look for to determine if you have hypothyroidism.
One of the most common causes of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This condition causes your body to attack its own immune system. Over time, this attack causes the thyroid to stop producing hormones which leads to hypothyroidism. Typical of many autoimmune diseases, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis occurs more frequently in women than men.
There are several treatment options available for hypothyroidism. One of the most frequently used treatments is daily hormone replacement tablets called levothyroxine.
Levothyroxine helps treat hypothyroidism by replacing the thyroxine hormone, the hormone that your thyroid does not produce enough of.
It’s important when starting levothyroxine that you receive regular blood tests until the correct dose is reached. Your doctor will work with you to ensure this happens.
If you have elevated TSH or a low TSH value, your thyroid gland may be producing too much of the hormone thyroxine. This can cause hyperthyroidism. This condition speeds up your metabolism and causes unwanted weight loss and irregular heart rhythms.
There are several treatments available for hyperthyroidism. The main treatments are:
Surgery, or thyroidectomy, involves removing most of the thyroid gland. However, there are risks, including damage to the vocal cords and parathyroid glands. Additionally, you’ll also require lifelong treatment with levothyroxine to supply your body with the normal amount of thyroid hormone.
One of the most common ways to identify hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism is with a TSH blood test. This test measures the amount of TSH hormone in your bloodstream and can identify whether your levels are too high or too low.
If your doctor recommends you take a TSH blood test, you can receive one at the doctor’s office, any lab testing facilities near you, or by scheduling an appointment with Getlabs and having a phlebotomist visit you in the comfort of your home.
If your doctor has recommended you take a TSH test because you may have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, Getlabs can help you make it happen.
All you need to do is call to book a home visit and one of our local specialists will make a visit to your home. Your sample will be collected professionally and efficiently while you relax, and we will make sure it gets to the lab for testing. You can save time and rest assured that your samples will arrive at the right place on time.
All you do next is wait for your results.
This page is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute the provision of medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice regarding any of the tests and conditions referenced above are advised to consult with a licensed clinician. Always seek the advice of your qualified health provider regarding a medical condition and do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information on this page. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or go to the nearest urgent care center or hospital.
Getlabs sends a nearby medical specialist to you to collect your labs for Labcorp and Quest. Available same-day, nationwide.