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Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) tests monitor thyroid function. At-home TSH tests provide a reliable, cost-effective way for people to test their thyroid at home.

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A TSH, or thyrotropin, test is a blood test that looks at levels of thyroid-stimulating hormones in the blood. Doctors use the results to see how effectively a person’s thyroid is functioning.

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, in front of the windpipe. Its primary function is to produce two hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).

These hormones help regulate the body’s metabolism, which is how it provides energy from food a person consumes. It can also help regulate:

TSH can vary throughout:

  • life, depending on a person’s age, sex, and weight
  • pregnancy
  • a 24-hour period

Different laboratories may use slightly different average TSH levels. Laboratories will look at a range of TSH levels in the healthy adult population to decide what is optimal.

In general, however, optimal TSH level ranges for healthy adults are 0.4–4.0 milliunits per liter (mU/I).

High TSH levels may suggest a person has an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism. By contrast, low TSH levels may indicate a person has an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism.

People should discuss their test results with a healthcare professional.

Learn more about TSH levels here.

Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may benefit from a TSH test.

Hypothyroidism

According to the American Thyroid Association, there are no specific symptoms of hypothyroidism. Many underactive thyroid symptoms can occur in people with other health conditions.

The length of time a person experiences symptoms may indicate whether they have this condition. The longer they have had the symptoms, the less likely they are to have hypothyroidism.

People with an underactive thyroid may experience the following:

Learn more about thyroid and depression here.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism has clearer symptoms than hypothyroidism, although some may have associations with other health conditions.

People with an overactive thyroid may experience the following:

Graves’ disease is the most common condition that experts associate with an overactive thyroid gland. About 3 in 4 people with an overactive thyroid have the condition.

Graves’ disease is more common in young or middle-aged females and in people who smoke.

Learn more about Graves’ disease here.

According to a 2016 review, TSH tests are the most reliable way to check a person’s thyroid levels. Tests that only screen T3 and T4 levels are less likely to help a doctor identify whether a person has a thyroid condition.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that at-home test kits are cost-effective and fast, making them useful in detecting conditions with few apparent symptoms. They can also be a reliable way of monitoring conditions to allow for changes in treatment.

However, individuals should not use any at-home test as a substitute for consulting a doctor. Healthcare professionals can help people interpret the test results and offer treatment if necessary.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Laboratories: Where possible, MNT selects companies that process test samples in CLIA-certified laboratories. This means they follow state and federal regulations.
  • Privacy: MNT includes companies that offer robust, transparent privacy measures, such as data protection and discreet packaging.
  • Test result time and delivery: MNT selects companies that inform customers when they will receive their test results and whether they will receive them via email, app, or phone.
  • Further support: MNT will indicate whether a company offers further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.

There are several at-home TSH tests available to purchase online. All the following products use finger prick testing to obtain a blood sample.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

For subscription TSH tests: LetsGetChecked Thyroid Test

Price: $99

This test checks TSH, T3, and T4 levels and is available as a one-off purchase or a subscription.

LetsGetChecked recommends that people take this test if they:

  • have symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
  • have a family history of thyroid conditions
  • have an autoimmune condition, such as type 1 diabetes or celiac disease

A person needs to activate the kit and take their sample by 9.00 a.m. and send the test off the same day. They will receive their test results within 2–5 days.

The company offers a free follow-up phone consultation to discuss the results.

LetsGetChecked states that people usually do not need to fast when taking this test.

The company does not accept health insurance.

Learn more about LetsGetChecked here.

For prepaid shipping: Everlywell Thyroid Test

Price: $99

This test checks TSH, T3, and T4 levels and screens for thyroid antibodies.

Everlywell offers prepaid shipping both ways, digital and printable results, and a follow-up consultation.

The company recommends the test for:

  • people over the age of 50 years
  • females
  • people who have been pregnant in the last 6 months
  • people who have had lithium treatment for 6 or more months
  • people who have had iodine exposure or deficiency
  • people who smoke
  • people who have had radiation exposure, especially around the neck

Individuals will receive their test results within 5–7 working days of the laboratory processing their sample.

The company accepts flexible spending account (FSA) and health savings account (HSA) payments.

Learn more about Everlywell here.

For testing reverse T3 and vitamin D: Paloma Health Complete Thyroid Test Kit

Price: $99

This test checks TSH, T3, and T4 levels and screens for thyroid antibodies.

Paloma Health states this test is suitable for people who have received a diagnosis of a thyroid condition or believe they may have one.

The company offers additional testing for reverse T3 and vitamin D levels. Individuals can add this to their purchase when choosing their test.

A licensed doctor reviews each test in the United States. Individuals will receive their test results within 5 business days of the sample reaching the laboratory.

Paloma Health notes that this test is only available for those who are over 18 years of age. The test is currently not available to those outside the U.S., nor is it available to those who live in New Jersey, New York, or Rhode Island.

It may not be possible to get insurance coverage when buying Paloma Health at-home tests. However, a person can contact their insurance provider to check whether they can cover some of the costs of the thyroid test. They can also pay using their FSA and HSA.

For consultations: myLAB Box At Home Thyroid Health Screening Test

Price: $99

myLAB Box offers an at-home thyroid test that is designed for men and women. A person can purchase a subscription if they wish to take the test regularly.

This test checks TSH, T3, and T4 levels and screens for thyroid antibodies.

The order includes the test kit and a prepaid envelope. The company requires its customers to mail the sample to its laboratory.

Shipping is free, and results are available within 2–5 days.

A person can schedule a free consultation with a myLAB Box physician if they get a positive result.

myLAB Box accepts payments from FSA and HSA.

Learn more about myLAB Box here.

The table below compares the products in the previous section.

LetsGetCheckedEverlywellPaloma HealthmyLAB Box
Tests forTSH, T3, and T4 levels• TSH, T3, and T4 levels
• presence of thyroid antibodies
• TSH, T3, and T4 levels
• presence of thyroid antibodies
• TSH, T3, and T4 levels
• presence of thyroid antibodies
Resultswithin 5 dayswithin 5–7 working days of the laboratory processing the samplewithin 5 business days of the sample reaching the laboratorywithin 2–5 days
Result delivery methodonline portalonline portalemailemail
Insurance coveragenot availableFSA and HSA payments acceptedIt is not available, but it may be best to check with the insurance provider. The company accepts FSA and HSA payments.FSA and HSA payments accepted
Payment options• one-time purchase
• subscription
• one-time purchase
• subscription
one-time purchase• one-time purchase
• subscription
Price$99$99$99$99

The FDA advises that people taking any at-home tests should also contact a doctor to discuss any symptoms or test results. At-home testing should not replace regular checkups with a healthcare professional.

People experiencing signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism should seek medical attention for diagnosis and treatment.

If a person does not receive treatment for thyroid-related conditions, they can experience complications.

Complications of hyperthyroidism include:

If a person does not receive treatment for hypothyroidism, they may experience:

Myxedema coma is potentially life threatening and causes confusion, hypothermia, and drowsiness. This condition requires emergency medical treatment.

Learn about the different hyperthyroidism symptoms in males and females here.

Below, we answer some of the most common questions about at-home TSH tests.

What is the best time of day for a TSH test?

Most companies recommend testing in the morning. However, a doctor may perform the test at any time of day.

What are the different types of thyroid tests?

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases outlines four types of blood tests that a person may need for their thyroid:

  • TSH test: This measures TSH levels in the blood. When the levels are high, this may mean that a person has hypothyroidism, but low TSH levels may indicate the presence of hyperthyroidism.
  • T4 test: This test checks the amount of T4 in the blood. High levels may indicate an individual has hyperthyroidism, while low T4 levels may mean that they have hypothyroidism. However, some people may have high thyroid hormone levels if they are pregnant or taking birth control pills. Also, T4 levels may be lower in those who take medications for asthma, arthritis, or some skin conditions.
  • T3 test: Measuring T3 levels can help doctors reach a final diagnosis if a person’s T4 levels are within a healthy range but they believe the person has high thyroid hormone levels.
  • Thyroid antibody test: Doctors may perform a thyroid antibody test to check whether a person has an autoimmune thyroid disorder, such as Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s disease.

Which thyroid test is the most accurate?

There are four different types of thyroid test. Each test measures the levels of different hormones or antibodies in the blood. Therefore, the test types are not comparable.

However, the FDA states that at-home thyroid tests should not replace a consultation with a doctor. A test that a healthcare professional performs is more likely to be accurate than an at-home test.

People experiencing symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism may benefit from a TSH test to check how effectively their thyroid is working.

At-home TSH tests can be a reliable and accurate way to measure TSH levels. A person should consider discussing their laboratory results with a healthcare professional.

People should not use an at-home test as an alternative to contacting a doctor. Thyroid conditions can cause serious complications if a person does not receive treatment.