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Mary Shomon

What's the Best TSH Thyroid Reference Range? A Thyroid Patient Poll

By August 14, 2008

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Do you think the "normal" TSH reference range should be:
  • The .3 to 3.0 that AACE and the laboratory experts recommended back in 2002! What are they waiting for already? OR
  • Keep it at 0.5 to 5.0. They shouldn't accidentally treat anyone, even if that means they refuse to treat millions.
TAKE THE POLL NOW!

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Comments
August 15, 2008 at 7:33 am
(1) Patricia Livingston says:

Prior to receiving my Graves diagnosis and subsequent ablation, my LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterols were both in the 60′s to 70′s range. While on replacement thrapy and and since the ablation, while my TSH ranges around 3, , and without changes anything else, including exercise, diet, my LDL cholesterol rose to over 100, and my HDL cholesterol fell to the 30′s and 40′s. Hypothyroidism definitely increases the cardiovascular risk!!

August 15, 2008 at 10:09 am
(2) janette says:

you are nuts i have took your test on line and your trying to tell me i don’t have thyroid dis when i have already been told by 4 doctors i do and i am getting ready to have surgery.

August 15, 2008 at 11:41 am
(3) charlotte says:

if the endo who finally dx’d my thyroid problems hadn’t been of the “new school”….i would still be suffering.

my TSH never went above 2.0 even when i was at my worst with my thyroid symptoms.

now i am on armour thyroid and have my free T3 and free T4 tweaked to perfection and my TSH is .001.

so tell me why all these doctors rely solely on the TSH test to dx a person with hypothyroidism?

August 15, 2008 at 1:35 pm
(4) Sara says:

Thank God I found not one but two wonderful doctors – who glanced at my TSH but really LOOKED at ME. I had a “great” TSH – but all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
I started out taking T3 – after “testing” for Wilsons Temperature syndrome. One year later -I am now taking naturthroid – my TSH is .03, I have a normal body temperature, I wake up rested and refreshed and I am FINALLY starting to lose the weight that came on overnight.
My “normal” isn’t on the scale….and I feel great! Let’s all understand that TSH levels in the lab are just guidelines – not absolutes.

May 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm
(5) Donna says:

OMG sounds just like me, gained weight overnite, been seeing same Endo DR. who says my levels are “great” yet I am severely depressed, constipated, can’t sleep, all the signs of hypo can you possible give me the names of your DRs. I am desperate for a good one! I am a Flight Attendant and can fly anywhere for free so it is no problem wherever they are located………..thanks, Fat in FL!

September 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm
(6) Linda says:

Please send me the name of your doctor!! I was finally starting to feel good, my hair grew back in, my cholesterol was normal range finally!!! Then my doctor panicked when she saw my TSH at .001 and has cut my Armour back. Now my hair has all fallen out and I can barely function!! HELP!!! I live in Florida if anyone has a great doc to recommend that can think out of the box.

August 15, 2008 at 4:16 pm
(7) Moira Jewell says:

I saw an article last week on Yahoo News that according to a study, women with a TSH level below 1.0 and above 2.0 run a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s so I think that is what the normal range should be.

August 15, 2008 at 6:04 pm
(8) Nora says:

I have followed these discussions on the german forum, and many labs already lowered the range to 2,5 because of the NACB recommendations (a document to be used by laboratories), a debate entry is for example http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/90/9/5483 and
And some labs even lowered the normal range more, down to 2,12 (Völzke)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15785248 where they used ultrasound to exclude subjects in the reference population with thyroidtis visible on ultrasound.
Another thing is the therapeutic range, the goal for TSH when treated. This is not the same as the normal range. The therapeutic range is something like 0,3-1,2 (Germany) or 0,5-1,5 (Scandinavia)
Also, check out Spencer http://www.aacc.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/Events/Expert%20Access/2006/TSHrange/Spencer08152006.pdf

August 15, 2008 at 6:07 pm
(9) Nora says:

I got very hypo , non-functioning, just as my TSH went to 2,5 back then.
I have followed these discussions on the german forum, and many labs already lowered the range to 2,5 because of the NACB recommendations (a document to be used by laboratories), a debate entry is for example http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/90/9/5483 and
And some labs even lowered the normal range more, down to 2,12 (Völzke)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15785248 where they used ultrasound to exclude subjects in the reference population with thyroidtis visible on ultrasound.
Another thing is the therapeutic range, the goal for TSH when treated. This is not the same as the normal range. The therapeutic range is something like 0,3-1,2 (Germany) or 0,5-1,5 (Scandinavia)
Also, check out Spencer http://www.aacc.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/Events/Expert%20Access/2006/TSHrange/Spencer08152006.pdf

August 15, 2008 at 7:34 pm
(10) andy says:

THERE NEEDS TO BE TWO RANGES!!! One for “with symptoms(.3 – 3.0)” and one “with no symptoms (.5 – 5.0)”. This solves the problem entirely, and is obvious once you think about it!

August 15, 2008 at 9:49 pm
(11) Domay says:

TSH depends on how you feel and your vital signs. My last TSH was 11.1 and I was taking 50MCG of Levoxyl for quite a while. If I increase the dosage my BP goes up, my skin burns, I sweat profusley and my heart and body feels stressed.
Incidently, I took 1/2 grain of Armour from May ’07 through Oct. ’07 and ended up in the hospital. Late Oct., I sweat so at night that I drenched all the bedding, even my socks and I smelled, and the bedding, like an over ripe pig pen on a hot summer’s day. Bath towels smelled after drying with them. For a couple days, I passed a scant cup of very dark orange urine. When able, I washed even the pillows on the. In Dec., my hair began falling out and my skin flaked off – felt like I was sleeping in a sand pile.
Prior to Armour I was taking generic Synthroid. I’ve taken thyroid medication since 1957. And this “episode” started in 2006.

August 16, 2008 at 8:36 am
(12) Kanawah1 says:

The pole was somewhat lacking.
There is a group, mostly in Europe that uses .2 to 2. Also, a Norwegian group recently completed a study that indicates it should be .1 to 1.

August 16, 2008 at 11:54 am
(13) Doug says:

The bottom line is that the TSH is only an indicator. We don’t have a test that really gets down to what is happening at a cellular level, so we are using a blood test as an indicator of how well the patient is doing. Thank heavens I have a doctor who treats me, not my numbers.

August 17, 2008 at 8:52 am
(14) Tera says:

I had over 30 symptoms and a strong family history before I was diagnosed. I was 2.0 and no one understood that I was very sick. I had a mild heart attack before I received medication!! So, yes I do think there needs to be more research on this health problem and yes, we need to change our testing ranges.

August 17, 2008 at 11:58 am
(15) Mary Smith says:

I opted for the .3 to 3.0 option, since those were the only two available to choose, but, the truth is that, once the thyroid has failed, that intimate relationship between a healthy thyroid and the pituitary no longer exists, especially in Hashimoto’s Disease and for a thyroid that has been removed surgically. Thyroid put to sleep, slightly suppressed, if well-tolerated, anf forget that pituitary, as it has no place in diseased-thyroid treatment.

August 21, 2008 at 11:51 pm
(16) Denise says:

It is systematic medical malpractice to refuse medical care to patients who obviously have traditional symptoms of hypothyroidism(i.e., weight gain, fatigue, depression, miscarriage, delayed reflexes, low body temperature, and high cholesterol)when a good treatment, Armour thyroid, has been available since 1891, and to rely solely on the TSH test, when so many millions of us have “normal” TSH levels. There is a Danish study which established that a normal TSH is 1. My own TSH was 2.055 when I was so sick I feared a myxedema coma, and a radioiodine uptake scan confirmed my thyroid gland was full of nodules and very inactive. I believe Dr. Mark Starr is correct that the TSH is not a measure of this epidemic unrecognized by most doctors. One would think that doctors would learn, after having a patient like me with nodules, very sick, and now on six grains of Armour daily, who never had a TSH out of even the narrower normal range. But, I am not very impressed with most doctors’ ability to learn.

August 22, 2008 at 8:11 am
(17) Jeannie says:

Your poll should have had one more answer; “How the heck should I know! I can’t find a doctor who’ll listen!”
I’m one of those waiting 3 months for an endo appointment. I’m only praying she listens when I get there in september. If I waited this long for another ineffectual doctor I’m going to cry.

November 8, 2008 at 9:39 pm
(18) Joleen says:

I don’t know what to say about the best TSH Thyroid Reference Range. My TSH Thyroid Blood Test result was 94.33 mIU/L.
Why don’t they have the TSH Thyroid Reference Range from 0.40-4.50 mIU/L? That’s my Laboratory TSH Thyroid Reference Range.

December 17, 2008 at 10:56 pm
(19) Joleen says:

My TSH, 3rd Generation, was 94.33 mIU/L. As I mentioned before on November 8, 2008 at 9:39 pm my Laboratory TSH Reference Range is 0.40-4.50 mIU/L. My TSH, 3rd Generation, was Way Too High! My Total T4 was 3.5 mcg/dL, my Laboratory Total T4 Thyroid Reference Range is 4.5-12.5 mcg/dL. My Total T4 was Too Low. My TSH, 3rd Generation, and Total T4 Blood Specimens were taken on 07/30/2008. Then I got my Blood tested 2 months and 10 days later on 10/09/2008 and my TSH, 3rd Generation, was 0.29 mcg/dL. My Free T4 was 1.6*. *I don’t know if the measurement is mcg/dL or mg/dL. My Laboratory Free T4 Reference Range is 0.8-1.8*. My Free T4 is in the High Normal Range. Now I can’t understand how my TSH, 3rd Generation, Bood Test Results could have dropped that much in just 2 months and 10 days! Or it was a Laboratory mistake! I had started taking my Doctor Prescribed one tablet daily 100 mcg. Generic Levothyroxine on 08/01/2008! Any ideas as to what might have happened? The previous Comments are Very Informing! Thankyou!

April 15, 2009 at 8:18 pm
(20) Jennifer says:

My TSH is .02, my free T4 is .80 and my T3 is 141. Free T4 & T3 are in normal range but I am tired all the time and have occasional heart palps. Doc thinks I will eventually go on thyroid meds but does not feel it is warranted now. Also, I am borderline low iron – does thyroid affect that? Any input would be appreciated. I’m at a loss

June 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm
(21) Jean says:

I had hyperthyroid 6 years ago, used the medicine and never refilled prescription. Now am having severe symptoms. Had blood work done and my TSH, 3rd generation is 1.64. Doctor says thyroid normal and it must be stress. I think he is wrong. Is there any other test I can take?

August 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm
(22) hunter10039 says:

Mary et al;

the tsh has been the :gold standard” BECAUSE IT PUTS GOLD IN THE POCKETS OF THE DRUG COMPANIES, AND THEIR ENABLERS, THE ENDOCRINE DOCTOR MEMBERS OF THE ENDOCRINE SOCIETY.

aND THE FEW BRAVE ENDOCRINOLOGISTS WHO dare TO DISAGREE WITH THEIR MEAN gANG ……GET OSTRACIZED OR WORSE,……. THEY TRY TO TAKE AWAY THE LICENSE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE….LIKE THEY DID TO SEVERAL SUCESSFUL DOCS THERE.IN ENGLAND!!!

August 13, 2010 at 8:40 pm
(23) Donna says:

would like to hear more from people whose gen3 TSH is REALLY high–mine was 9.9 in Jan 2009, 69 in June 2009, Synthroid increased from 2.0 to 2.5, 2 months later gen3 TSH is 79.5! Have taken Synthroid for over 20 years, no problems! What on earth is going on? Doctor’s only thought is to change brands and increase dose again!

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