The blood test used to check your thyroid levels is called a TSH test. TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone, and a TSH test measures this hormone. The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located near your throat. This small gland processes hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism.
We suggest booking a TSH test if you think your thyroid levels are either too low or too high. A TSH test is a commonly ordered blood test in most diagnostic labs.
In this article, we’ll explain common symptoms of hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone), common symptoms of hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone), and where you can get a thyroid blood test in Houston.
Low levels of thyroid stimulating hormone
If your blood test shows too few thyroid hormones, you may have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Hypothyroidism slows down your metabolism, which can cause:
- Menstrual irregularity
- Weight gain
- Dry and puffy skin
- Hair loss
High levels of thyroid stimulating hormone
If your blood test shows too many thyroid hormones in your blood, you may have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Hyperthyroidism is caused when you have an overactive thyroid that produces more thyroid hormones than your body needs. Hyperthyroidism speeds up your metabolism, which can cause:
- Weight loss
- Mood swings
- Brittle hair
- Fast or uneven heartbeat
- Fatigue or weakness
We recommend getting a blood test if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms. Routine blood work is an important part of preventative healthcare and it should be done annually.
What happens during a TSH test?
The TSH test is the same as most routine blood work tests — it simply involves drawing some blood from your body. A health care professional will take a blood sample from your arm using a small needle. Blood work is typically painless, but you may feel a small sting when the needle enters your body. The test usually takes less than five minutes and there is no preparation needed (such as overnight fasting). Your blood sample will then be analyzed in a lab.
Where to get a thyroid test in Houston
You can get a thyroid test at most diagnostic labs in Houston. The following Your Health Lab locations in Houston can measure TSH levels:
11507 S Texas 6, STE A, Sugar Land, TX
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm | Saturday, 9:00am – 2:00pm
Fannin Patient Service Center
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 8:30am – 4:30pm | Friday, 8:30pm – 2:30pm
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm | Closed for lunch 1:00pm – 1:30pm
Depending on where you live in Houston, there’s a lab near you. You don’t need an appointment to visit any Your Health Lab locations — walk-ins are recommended and encouraged.
Treatment varies depending on your test results. Treatment for an underactive thyroid usually involves taking a synthetic thyroid hormone pill daily. Taking this medication will get your thyroid levels back to normal.
You have more options if your thyroid is overactive. Some treatment options include:
- Radioactive iodine to slow down your thyroid
- Anti-thyroid medications to prevent it from overproducing hormones
- Beta blockers (to reduce rapid heart rate caused by your high thyroid levels)
Your blood test results will be sent to your health care practitioner and depending on your health history, your health care practitioner will determine the best course of action.
Reach out to our clinic if you have any questions regarding a thyroid blood test and how to best prepare for it. You can visit any of Your Health Lab’s locations in Houston to get a thyroid blood test.