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How To Interpret Your Thyroid Test Results

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Updated May 16, 2014

How To Interpret Your Thyroid Test Results
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If you want to have a better idea of what your thyroid tests mean, here is some information that can help.
Time Required: 5

Here's How:

  1. Find out your thyroid test results from your doctor's office.
  2. If you can, get a hard copy printout for your own review and home medical files.
  3. If 'normal' or 'reference' ranges are not indicated on the lab results, ask your doctor's office to tell you what these ranges are.
  4. Note the level of your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). At most labs in the U.S., the normal range is from around 0.5 to 5.5. However, as of spring 2003, some experts are recommending that labs revise the range from .3 to 3.0.
  5. If the TSH level is below normal, your doctor may determine that you are hyperthyroid (overactive thyroid.)
  6. If the TSH level is above normal, your doctor may determine that you are hypothyroid (underactive thyroid.)
  7. If your doctor ran a test called Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 4.5 to 12.5. If you had a low reading, and a high TSH, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
  8. If your doctor ran a test called Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 4.5 to 12.5. If you had a low reading, and a low TSH, your doctor might look into a pituitary problem.
  9. If your doctor ran a test called Free T4, or Free Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 0.7 to 2.0. If your result was less than 0.7, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
  10. If your doctor ran a test called Total T3, normal range is approximately 80 to 220. If your result was less than 80, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
  11. If your doctor ran a test called Free T3, normal range is approximately 2.3 to 4.2. If your result was less than 2.3, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
  12. If your test results are 'normal' but you have many symptoms or risk factors for thyroid disease, ask for an antibodies test. Some doctors treatg thyroid symptoms in the presence of elevated antibodies and normal TSH levels.
  13. If your test results come back 'normal' but you have many of the symptoms or risk factors for thyroid disease, consider going to a reputable holistic M.D. or alternative physician for further interpretation and diagnosis.

Tips:

  1. Laboratory reference ranges and normal ranges can differ from lab to lab. Always go by your lab's reference range and your doctor's diagnosis.

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