High thyroid-stimulating hormone levels are usually an indication of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism may cause symptoms such as dry skin, weight gain, loss of hair, puffy skin and cold intolerance. The normal TSH value ranges from 0.4 to 4.0 milli-international units per liter, according to MedlinePlus.
When the body produces high levels of TSH, it normally indicates a problem within the thyroid gland. Low levels of TSH indicate an overactive thyroid gland. TSH tests may be affected in one way or another if the patient is pregnant, has liver disease, suffers from a systematic illness or uses certain drugs, notes Lab Tests Online.
Some causes of hypothyroidism include radiation therapy, autoimmune diseases, thyroid surgery, certain medications, pregnancy, iodine deficiency, pituitary disorders and congenital diseases. Individuals with hypothyroidism tend to feel weak most of the time and may experience constipation, depression, irritability and memory loss. Other symptoms associated with hypothyroidism include muscle cramps, abnormal menstrual cycles, decreased libido, cold intolerance, dry, rough pale skin, weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.
After diagnosis, doctors will recommend the use of synthetic thyroid hormone called levothyroxine. This oral medication is aimed at reversing the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism. Individuals may start observing improvement within 2 weeks of taking the medication.