Blood Test: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth

What It Is

A thyroid stimulant hormone ( TSH ) test is a common blood examination used to evaluate how well the thyroid gland gland is working. The thyroid gland gland is located at the lower front of the neck. TSH is produced by the pituitary, a pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain .
When the thyroid gland is n’t producing enough thyroid gland hormone ( a condition called hypothyroidism ), the pituitary gland produces more TSH in an attack to stimulate the thyroid and increase its production of thyroid hormones. If the pituitary gland is n’t functioning by rights, it may produce besides little TSH, and this can result in hypothyroidism a well .
If the thyroid gland is producing besides much thyroid hormone ( a condition called hyperthyroidism ), the pituitary gland produces less TSH in an attempt to decrease the thyroid ‘s production of thyroid hormones .
Symptoms of hypothyroidism in children include fatigue or fatigue duty, dry peel, constipation, slow growth, and delayed pubertal development. hyperthyroidism can cause unexpected burden loss, a rapid or irregular pulse, sweating, jitteriness, and temper.

In both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, the child may develop a goiter — a ball in the neck ascribable to expansion of the thyroid gland gland. Both conditions are treatable .

Why It’s Done

TSH screen is used to :

  • diagnose and monitor the treatment of a thyroid disorder
  • help evaluate pituitary gland function

Your sophisticate may ordain a TSH test if your child has symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, or shows signs of an exaggerated thyroid gland. The TSH test besides may be ordered at regular intervals to monitor the effectiveness of treatment if your child is being treated for a thyroid disorder.

thyrotropin tests are routinely ordered for newborns in many states as part of the screening platform to enable the prompt diagnosis and treatment of infants with congenital ( present at give birth ) hypothyroidism .


Your child does n’t have to fast or limit activity before the test. however, some medications may affect test results. Check with your doctor to see if you should discontinue any medications until after the test. Extreme stress and acute or chronic illness besides can affect TSH test results.

On the day of the test, it may help to have your child wear a jersey or short-sleeved shirt to allow easier entree for the technician who will be drawing the lineage .

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A health professional will normally draw the blood from a vein. For an baby, the blood may be obtained by puncturing the heel with a little needle ( lancet arch ). If the lineage is being drawn from a vein, the bark surface is cleaned with antiseptic and an rubber band ring ( compression bandage ) is placed around the upper berth arm to apply press and cause the veins to swell with blood. A needle is inserted into a vein ( normally in the branch at heart of the elbow or on the back of the hand ) and blood is withdrawn and collected in a phial or syringe .
After the procedure, the elastic band is removed. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed and the area is covered with cotton or a bandage to stop the bleed. Collecting the blood for the test will only take a few minutes .

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