Home Endocrine systemThyroid diseases What does it mean to have a low TSH hormone?

What does it mean to have a low TSH hormone?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The hormonal system comprises complex regulatory mechanisms that allow the body to function correctly in humans. In the case of the thyroid gland, it secretes two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which affect metabolism. Among other processes, thyroid hormones affect the heart rate and body temperature.

These hormones exert negative feedback on TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone levels. So when thyroid hormones are low in the blood, TSH rises and vice versa. Usually, the concentration of these hormones is measured through a blood test. If you are interested in knowing what it means to have a low TSH hormone, keep reading that at FastlyHealwe will answer some questions.

Low TSH: causes

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, thyrotropin, or TSH (for its acronym in English), is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, which is found at the base of the brain. The function of this hormone is to control the production of thyroid hormones: T3 and T4. The regulation of this system is through a mechanism of negative feedback or feedback inhibition. When TSH is low, it is because thyroid hormones are high.

When the concentration of T3 and T4 is high, the person suffers from hyperthyroidism. This disease affects 1% of the population and is around ten times more frequent in women than men. The most affected are usually women between 30 and 40 years old.

The leading cause of low TSH is hyperthyroidism, meaning that the thyroid gland is working more than necessary. There are other cases in which the pituitary gland does not produce enough TSH due to some problem in this gland or the hypothalamus. It may even be due to a brain tumor that alters the function of the pituitary.

At the root of hyperthyroidism may be Graves’ disease or an inflammation of the thyroid gland itself. Graves’ disease, named after the Irish doctor who described it, is a malfunction of the immune system that will attack the thyroid gland and thus affect its functioning. The reason for this disease, also called diffuse toxic goiter, is unknown.

Anyone can suffer from hyperthyroidism, but it tends to appear more likely in people with:

  • Genetic history of thyroid disease.
  • People with pernicious anemia, type 1 diabetes, or adrenal gland failure.
  • Individuals are overexposed to iodine for medical or environmental reasons.
  • Women over 60 years of age or after pregnancy.

Low TSH: symptoms

TSH, or thyroid-stimulating hormone, activates the thyroid gland and regulates the release of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. When the thyroid is overactive, the TSH lowers, seeking that the levels of T3 and T4 are also reduced.

This hyperthyroidism AND low TSH state produce a series of symptoms that affect the individual. These include:

  • Hypersensitivity to heat and intense sweating.
  • Acceleration of metabolism and consequently increased bowel movements, appetite also increases, but weight is lost.
  • The heart rate accelerates, and the individual is agitated and nervous.
  • Increased irritability, decreased concentration, increased fatigue, and difficulty sleeping.
  • In men, it can cause impotence, and in women, joint pain, hot flashes, and short periods.

Consequences of having low TSH

Having low TSH due to hyperthyroidism produces, as mentioned before, a long series of symptoms that affect the health and quality of life of individuals who suffer from it. Thyroid overactivity increases metabolism, leading to problems affecting the heart, bones, muscles, eyes, and the balance of sex hormones, among others.

It is a disease that requires medical treatment. If it is not received, the deterioration of health can become more and more severe. It was affecting the different organs of the body. Excess thyroid hormones alter the heart rate and lead to cardiomyopathy by affecting the heart muscle. This can lead to heart failure, which is reflected in a permanent state of fatigue and breathlessness.

In the case of the digestive system, it can be affected so that the individual becomes malnourished and suffers from anemia. Bowel movements are accelerated so that the intestine does not absorb nutrients adequately. On the other hand, the enlargement of the thyroid gland, called goiter, can be so exaggerated that it makes it difficult for food to pass through.

In addition, hyperthyroidism produces psychological effects, ranging from poor mental clarity to depression and loss of connection with reality. If the initial symptoms are not treated, they can worsen to affect the individual, leading to dissociation episodes seriously.

It is estimated that 30% of those who suffer from hyperthyroidism due to severe disease also suffer from eye problems, as the muscles and tissues of the eyes become inflamed. This causes bulging eyes, pain, swelling, redness, sensitivity to light, and even loss of vision.

Low TSH: treatment

The role of thyroid hormones is significant in metabolism. Therefore an adequate functioning of the thyroid is vital for individuals. An overactive thyroid produces several effects in different body tissues, as already mentioned. To treat this disease, it is necessary to evaluate the patient thoroughly, identify the cause, and how advanced the symptoms are.

Some changes in daily habits can help improve thyroid function if the situation is not so serious. A healthy diet that is low in sugar and includes iodine and selenium can improve the gland’s health. Likewise, maintaining a regular regimen of exercises and relaxation and meditation practices to reduce daily stress levels contributes to maintaining the health of the endocrine system. This strategy also helps control the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

In general, if the situation is more serious, in addition to changes in habits, the doctor will prescribe some antithyroid medications to decrease the activity of the thyroid and counteract the effect of its hormones. In a later stage of the disease, the gland can be treated with radioactive iodine orally. In many cases, the solution to the problem is surgical. The entire gland or part of it is removed. This option is also used when it is necessary to rule out the presence of cancer.

It is a simple operation, but you must consider that the parathyroid glands are there and should not be removed if not necessary, as they fulfill several other vital functions for the body. Once the thyroid is removed, the patient must be medicated for life with a thyroid hormone substitute, as they will remain in a hypothyroid condition.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to What it means to have low TSH hormone, we recommend that you enter our Endocrine System category.

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