What It Is
A thyroid stimulating hormonal agent (TSH) test is a common blood test used to assess how well the thyroid gland is working. The thyroid gland is located at the lower front of the neck. TSH is produced by the pituitary, a pea-sized gland situated at the base of the brain.
When the thyroid gland isn’t producing enough thyroid hormonal agent (a condition called hypothyroidism), the pituitary gland produces more TSH in an attempt to stimulate the thyroid and increase its video production of thyroid hormones. If the pituitary gland isn’t really functioning appropriately, it might produce insufficient TSH, and this can result in hypothyroidism as well.
If the thyroid gland is producing excessive thyroid hormone (a condition called hyperthyroidism), the pituitary gland produces less TSH in an effort to decrease the thyroid’s video production of thyroid hormones.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism in children include fatigue or fatigue, dry skin, constipation, slow growth, and delayed pubertal advancement. Hyperthyroidism can cause unforeseen weight-loss, a fast or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nervousness, and irritability.
In both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, the child may establish a goiter– a swelling in the neck due to enlargement of the thyroid gland. Both conditions are treatable.
Why It’s Done
TSH screening is used to:
- identify and keep track of the treatment of a thyroid disorder
- aid evaluate pituitary gland function
Your doctor might order a TSH test if your child has symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, or reveals signs of an enlarged thyroid gland. The TSH test likewise may be bought at regular periods to monitor the effectiveness of treatment if your child is being dealt with for a thyroid disorder.
TSH tests are regularly bought for babies in numerous states as part of the screening program to allow the timely medical diagnosis and treatment of babies with congenital (present at birth) hypothyroidism.
Your child doesn’t have to quick or limit activity before the test. Nevertheless, some medications may impact test results. Check with your doctor to see if you must discontinue any medications until after the test. Extreme stress and severe or chronic illness also can affect TSH test results.
On the day of the test, it might help to have your child wear a Tee shirts or short-sleeved shirt to allow much easier access for the specialist who will be drawing the blood.
A health professional will typically draw the blood from a vein. For a baby, the blood may be gotten by puncturing the heel with a little needle (lancet). If the blood is being drawn from a vein, the skin surface area is cleaned up with antibacterial and an elastic band (tourniquet) is placed around the upper arm to apply pressure and cause the veins to swell with blood. A needle is placed into a vein (usually in the arm within the elbow or on the back of the hand) and blood is withdrawn and collected in a vial or syringe.
After the procedure, the elastic band is gotten rid of. When the blood has actually been collected, the needle is removed and the area is covered with cotton or a plaster to stop the bleeding. Gathering the blood for the test will just take a couple of minutes.
What to Expect
Gathering a blood sample is only momentarily uneasy and feels like a quick pinprick. Later, there might be some mild bruising, which ought to go away in a day or so.
Getting the Results
The blood sample will be processed by a machine. The results are commonly readily available within a day or two.
Whether your child’s outcomes are high or low, an unusual TSH normally suggests an excess or deficiency in the amount of thyroid hormone offered to his or her body. It does not, nevertheless, indicate what the specific issue is. To identify the cause, your doctor will normally do extra testing, such as measurement of the blood levels of the hormonal agents produced by the thyroid gland itself.
The TSH test is thought about a safe procedure. However, similar to many medical tests, some issues can occur with having actually blood drawn. These consist of:
- passing out or feeling lightheaded
- hematoma (blood collecting under the skin causing a swelling or swelling).
- pain associated with several punctures to find a vein.
Helping Your Child.
Having a blood test is fairly painless. Still, many children hesitate of needles. Discussing the test in terms your child can understand might assist alleviate a few of the fear.
Enable your child to ask the technician any questions he or she may have. Inform your child to attempt to unwind and remain still during the procedure, as tensing muscles and moving can make it harder and more painful to draw blood. It also might assist if your child averts when the needle is being inserted into the skin.
If You Have Questions.
If you have questions about the TSH test procedure, speak with your doctor. You can also speak to the professional prior to the procedure.