Thyroid-stimulating hormone, TSH test is a blood test ordered by your physician to measure the level of TSH in your body. A TSH test is also done to know if the thyroid gland is hyperactive or underactive. According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), an estimated 20 million people have some form of thyroid disease in the U.S. Thyroid disorders, if left untreated, can lead to severe complications. So we highly recommend everyone to get tested for TSH levels at the earliest when they experience any of the thyroid disorder symptoms.
The article below covers all the significant topics related to the TSH blood test like TSH test cost, symptoms of thyroid disorders, normal TSH levels, causes of abnormal levels of TSH, preparation, risks, and how to get tested for the TSH blood test.
- Cost of TSH test.
- What is TSH?
- Why is a TSH test done?
- Normal TSH levels.
- How is the TSH test done?
- Is there any preparation required before the test?
- Are there any risks in the test?
- What does the test result mean?
- What are the causes of abnormal TSH levels?
- How to manage the high and low levels of TSH?
- Providers Locations.
For our readers, who are very much interested in knowing the TSH test cost beforehand, we would like to begin with that section.
How much does the TSH test cost?
TSH test cost ranges between $39 and $59 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. No prior appointment is required. Compare the price, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days. Doctor consultation is also available for further treatment or any kind of medical advice.
The following table shows the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, TSH test cost at 3 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
TSH test cost with insurance
Most of the health insurance policies in the U.S. cover the cost of thyroid tests including the TSH blood test, if medically necessary. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid varies widely. So we recommend you to check the coverage of your health insurance plan before getting tested.
Our TSH testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance plan. But, if the insurance company accepts to reimburse the cost, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code which is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is TSH?
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is the full form of TSH. It is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland which is located in the brain. The TSH hormone is responsible for regulating the hormones released by the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland located in front of the neck controls the growth and metabolism of the body by secreting the primary hormones in the right quantity. The three primary hormones are triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and calcitonin.
Why is a TSH test done?
The TSH test is done to measure the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone in the body and to determine the cause of abnormal TSH levels that may lead to serious health issues. It also helps the physician to know whether the thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism). Your physician might recommend you take the TSH test in case you experience the following hyperthyroidism symptoms and signs, or hypothyroidism symptoms.
Hyperthyroidism symptoms in women
- Weight loss
- Change in appetite
- Increased sweating
- Muscle weakness
- Fertility problems
- Problems in the vision
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Sudden paralysis
- Increase in blood sugar
Hyperthyroidism symptoms in men
Most of the hyperthyroidism symptoms in women like c hange in appetite, difficulty in sleeping, increased blood sugar, fertility problems are also seen in men, but there are few hyperthyroidism symptoms in men that are specific. Overactive thyroid hormone can result in low testosterone levels, which can cause many complications. The state of ‘gynecomastia’ (male breast enlargement) and loss of muscle mass can also be hyperthyroidism symptoms in men.
Hypothyroidism symptoms in women
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Irregularity in the menstrual cycle
- Intolerance to cold
- Puffy skin
- Goiter (abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland)
- Pain or swelling in the joints
Hypothyroidism symptoms in men
Many of the hypothyroidism symptoms in men are common as in women like feeling cold, fatigue, depression, unexplained weight gain, goiter, and constipation. Certain symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism in men are
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Loss of interest in sex
- Trouble concentrating
- Sore muscles
Generally, cases in men with over-active thyroid are lesser than in women.
The TSH test is also done to monitor the treatment of a thyroid disorder as a routine checkup. In some cases, your concerned physician may ask you to take total or free T3 & T4 tests along with the TSH test to determine the causes of thyroid disorder.
Normal TSH levels
The normal levels of TSH range from 0.4 to 4.0 milli-international units per liter. If you are undergoing treatment for any thyroid disorder, then the normal TSH levels range from 0.5 to 3.0 milli-international units per liter.
How is the TSH test done?
The TSH test is a simple blood test. During this test, a phlebotomist will wrap a tight elastic band around your upper arm to make the veins visible and swell with blood. The area to be injected will be cleansed with a disinfectant liquid. Then, a needle will be injected into your vein to draw the blood. After the blood is drawn, he/she will cover the injected area with a bandage to stop bleeding. The blood sample collected in a test tube is sent to the lab for analysis.
It takes less than 10 minutes to perform the TSH blood test.
Is there any preparation required before the test?
No special preparation is required before the TSH test. But it is important to inform your physician if you are taking some medications like amiodarone, dopamine, lithium, prednisone, and potassium iodide as these medications can interfere with the TSH levels and can result in an inaccurate diagnosis.
Are there any risks in the test?
There are no possible risks or complications in the TSH blood test. Sometimes, after the blood sample is drawn, you might feel dizziness, slight pain, bruise, or redness in the injected area for a very little period. Inform your physician immediately if there is any abnormal bleeding in the injected area.
What does the TSH test results mean?
The TSH test result shows if there is any abnormality in the TSH level. If the TSH level is higher than normal, then it indicates that the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones and this condition is called hypothyroidism. Whereas the low TSH levels indicate that the thyroid gland is releasing hormones more than the required amount and this condition is called hyperthyroidism.
The test shows whether the level of TSH is elevated or low TSH levels. But it does not explain the reason for the abnormalities in the TSH level. So your physician might ask you to take the following tests to determine the cause of thyroid disorders.
- T3 thyroid hormone test
- T4 thyroid hormone test
- TSH receptor antibody
- Anti TPO test
What are the causes of abnormal TSH levels?
The TSH test is primarily done to measure the level of TSH in the body. But various factors can affect the TSH level. They are
- Medications such as steroids, dopamine, etc.
- High level of iodine in the body
- Intake of supplements that contain thyroid hormone
These factors can have an impact on the TSH level in the body either by increasing or decreasing the hormone level.
How to manage the high and low levels of TSH?
There are much effective hypothyroidism (low TSH levels) home remedies that are more efficient with no possible side effects. Hypothyroidism can also be treated with the help of synthetic thyroid hormone pills or as a last resort, surgery can be done to cure hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism (high TSH levels) can be treated with the help of
- Radioactive iodine
- Antithyroid medicines
- Beta-blockers – to reduce rapid heart rate
- In rare cases, surgery may be done to remove the thyroid.
TSH blood tests can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. by visiting the nearest lab. To know the cost of the TSH test, refer to the first section of the article.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultations who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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