Medical Q&As

Thyroid gland - TSH level?

My TSH was found to be 5.9, which I understand is high. Do I need treatment?

TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is also known as thyrotropin. TSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that stimulates the thyroid gland to secrete thyroxine or thyroid hormone. If the level of thyroxine in the general circulation is low the hypothalamus releases a hormone known as TRH (thyrotropin releasing hormone), which in turn stimulates the pituitary gland to release TSH. The mechanism I have just described is a form of biofeedback loop where the level of TSH, TRH and thyroxine is inter-related. Therefore if one figure is abnormal the other indices can also be abnormal. It is not possible to answer your question fully without reference to other figures, especially the thyroxine level. Picking one figure out from a battery of test results is like taking a quotation out of context. The significance of an individual test result has to be interpreted with reference to other test results and the overall clinical context.