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What does it mean when lab results show your TSH level is elevated?

TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone, is produced by the pituitary gland and signals the thyroid to make and released thyroid hormone. TSH levels drop when there are sufficient levels or elevated levels of thyroid hormone in the body. TSH levels rise when there is too little thyroid hormone in the body. Therefore, if a patient hypothyroid (has too little thyroid hormone), TSH levels should be high because the brain is signaling the thyroid to make and secrete more thyroid hormone. 

Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), also known as thyrotropin, is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain and causes the thyroid to make thyroid hormone. When there is not enough thyroid hormone in the body, the pituitary makes more TSH, which tells the thyroid to make and release more thyroid hormone. Therefore, when patients have elevated TSH levels, it means they are hypothyroid and have an underactive thyroid.

For more information go the endocrinediseases.org:

Thyroid gland: background, thyroid tests

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