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Why is my TSH level lower than normal?

Q: I am 46 years old recently, I underwent a thyroid test and my results of TSH were 0.05. The reference range was 0.35-5.50, but mine seems to be much lower. What does this indicate? Is it hypothyroidism? What are the precautions and lifestyle I must now follow? During the past 3 weeks, I have lost 4 kgs and seem to look pale and weak.

A:Your TSH is suppressed - that means most likely your thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroidism). The thyroid function is controlled by the pituitary gland, which is part of the brain. The pituitary produces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which stimulates the thyroid to produce T3 and T4. The TSH levels come down if the thyroid gland becomes overactive and your thyroid hormone levels may be with normal limit or high. You must meet your doctor to seek advice as you will continue to loose weight and may have symptoms like anxiety and irritability, weakness, tremors (of the hands), perspiring more than normal, difficulty tolerating hot weather, rapid or irregular heartbeats, fatigue, weight loss in spite of a normal or increased appetite and frequent bowel movements. In addition, some women have irregular menstrual periods or stop having their periods altogether. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Grave’s disease and other like thyroid nodules (small growths or lumps in the thyroid gland) can sometimes produce too much thyroid hormone (the nodule is then called a hot nodule, toxic nodule, or toxic nodular goitre or thyroiditis). Hyperthyroidism can be treated. Several factors, such as age and the severity and type of hyperthyroidism, are important in determining, which treatment is best: 1. Medicine 2. Radiation 3. Surgery Anti-thyroid drugs (e.g. carbimazole or neomercazole) are usually used for short-term in Grave’s disease and toxic nodular goitre (prior to treatment with radioiodine or surgery), or long-term in patients with Grave’s disease. After that time, there is a 20 to 30 percent chance of having a remission (re-appearance of symptoms). Some patients can relapse years later, and most people will need to eventually consider radioactive iodine or surgical treatment.


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