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Readers Respond: The 0.3 to 3.0 Range or Outdated .5 to 5.0 Range: What's Your Doctor/Lab Using?

Responses: 498


Updated March 04, 2011

Still Searching For A Doctor

My doctor upped my Armour from 90 mg to 120 mg. My TSH was 4.58 at the time. In 30 days, it dropped to 0.127 and he wanted to increase my Armour because my TSH is too low! I convinced him I felt fine so he gave me a year's prescription and said to come back when it was time to renew my Armour next year. I will continue to look for a doctor who knows what he is doing.
—Guest Suz

Swollen Lumps in the Neck and the Throat

I've had a very sore throat and lumps on the left side of my trachea and base of neck for 1.5 years now. I have had every test done you can think of and always suspected I had hypo. My TSH rose from 6.1 to 6.8 to 9.2, but my previous endocrinologist I visited dismissed me totally. My local general practioner just put my on 0.25 mg of thyroxine and I feel only slightly better. I have the same symptoms too as many of you: always cold, can't lose weight, lack of concentration. I have another appointment with an endocrinologist in a month's time and I hope he increases my dose.

Hypothyroidism Is Life Changing - Sucks!

I have had hypothyroidism since May 2002. My mom, maternal grandmother and sister all have thyroid problems. My last TSH was .092 with a lab range of 0.360 - 3.740. My test before that my TSH was .069. Because of the .069, my doctor wanted to change my medicine (even though I was feeling great and not having any symptoms either hypo or hyper). When I switched from .137 to .125 the effects were almost immediate! Within 1 week, I started losing hair and had body aches so bad I thought I had influenza (but didn't). I had a bloody nose, fatigue and an ocular migraine. I called the clinic and said I NEED to go back to .137 dose. So they prescribed it again and I had the .125's also. So I have been alternating them for the last 2-3 months. I am more tired, my hair has/is fallen/falling out dramatically and my toes are SO COLD all the time that I have to wear boots inside my house just to keep my toes from being so cold they are so numb. They hurt and tingle. My doctor did not ask me how I was feeling.
—Guest Cara Curry


I was told my test came in at 5, but that it wasn't that high so we'd wait and test again in 6 months. I'm fine. Just lost some weight without trying to hard at age 40. So why am I considered hypo? I think my general practitioner is right to wait and see.
—Guest InOnt

Watch TSH Over Time

My TSH fell within 'normal' for local lab (.4-4.5), but I noticed that over a three year window that my TSH was progressing down (4.1, 3.2, 1.8). So I agreed with my general practioner that what is 'normal' for the population, may not be 'normal' for me. Most certainly my falling TSH levels indicated progressive 'failure' of the thyroid and explained symptoms that had earlier been attributed to stress and depression. Only after seeing the downward progression of TSH over time did we get the diagnosis of hypothyroidism correct. Now, I am taking Levothyroxine and feel loads better! My current TSH is .07 and i feel quite well, but my general practioner wants to reduce my dose. Reading these posts, I think I'll ask about status of my T4.
—Guest indy

It Took Years

I asked my General Practioner to test me for hypothyroidism five years ago. He obliged, but told me nothing was wrong (he did not tell me what my TSH levels were and I didn't know enough to ask). This past year, my symptoms got much worse. I am a runner and was training for a half marathon. Despite this, I gained 15 pounds in two months. My hair started falling out. My periods starting coming randomly - spotting despite birth control (which I have been on for 10 years). I would run in the morning, then need to sleep for two, sometimes three or four hours. It was insane. I mentioned it to my General Practioner during my physical and while my doctor said it was "probably just stress", tested me again. However, this time he told me I did have a "mild" case of hypothyroidism, with a TSH nearly of 6. My medication is a bare bottom dose and while some of my symptoms have eased, I am definitely not back to normal. Learning now that he'd definitely using the outdated scale is frustrating.

2 Different Labs, Neither Up-to-Date

Lab 2008 TSH "normal" says 0.35-5.50 Lab 2009 TSH "normal" says 0.40-5.50 Lab 2011 TSH "normal" says 0.45-4.50 My TSH was 3.25 in 2008, 1.23 in 2009. Now 4.14 in 2011. I have gained 75 pounds in last 2 years. Now I am in menopause. My doctor says thyroid is "normal". I was previously diagnosed with hypothyroid and took Armour for over 15 years. I have fibromyalgia, HepC and HSVI and HSVII. I also experience difficulty swallowing, which I thought was because of a plate/fusion, but now I am thinking it is thyroid related.
—Guest Cat


I have been diagnosed with this thyroid disease for the last 2 years. I came to know about this a year ago when I saw the enlargement of my neck in the thyroid area, but I didn't take it seriously. Then I wasted a lot of time while my doc asked for TSH, T3,T4 tests. TSH test range at his office was 0.3 to 5.0 my result was 0.2 the first time and last time was 0.1. Obviously, I was experiencing hyperthyroidism. I am taking medication, but there is no improvement. I don't think my doc is going to give me the right medicine because he is giving me the thyroid deficiency tablets which will increase my thyroid hormone level. I am already having higher levels and then this medicine will also increase the level of thyroid hormone. SO confused!

Hypothyroidism Often Ignored

I've had classic underactive symptoms constantly for several years. I went to three doctors in two years, one an endocrinologist. I was very disappointed in all three doctors and would not return to them unless they were the only surviving doctors on Earth. My TSH was checked three times in those two years (several years ago) and was between 3.78 and 4.21. All 3 doctors said it was "normal" and that was the end of that. Two of those doctors insinuated I was lying about my symptoms! As soon as you tell a doctor you're tired all the time and can't lose weight, they slap lazy and depression labels all over you. Only one lab result, which I saw, had typed by lab under result that "TSH over 2.5 is progression to thyroid failure, held specimen for a week and requested doctor to fax over diagnosis and provided fax number." That doctor did nothing!
—Guest Buffy


I am feeling symptoms of hypothyroidism and I'm at 3.53 I really do believe the range should be lowered because I feel really bad almost everyday and I used to feel so much better a few years ago. I almost feel like a piece of me is missing and if I can be treated I will be able to feel like my old self again. My mom and 3 of my aunts have hypo so even if I'm technically still normal range I will most likely exceed the normal range when I get older so yes the range should cap at 3.0
—Guest missy


I have no thyroid either, since 1980 I have been on 125's and get along great util I have to change doctors due to relocating. My TSH has always been low, but low works for me it's now .06 (yes low). My doctor did a free T4 and it was 1.7 (still in normal range) she says I REFUSE TO TAKE A LOWER DOSE. However I did try 112's and of course the same song and dance, hair gets dry and brittle breaks off and falls out, I gain weight, get constipated and I mean CONSTIPATED, SKIN DRYS UP AND FLAKES OFF AND REALLY FEEL TERRIBLY SLUGGISH. So I say, "Doc, this isn't working please put me back on 125's please!" We do that and it takes me 9 months to get things back in shape just for trying the lower dose. I wish they would just leave me alone. I go by how my body relates to the 125's I say if the T4 is within range (it may be a little on the high side), but I don't think it warrants dropping the dose again and going through all the physical changes that are NOT for the good. My labs are .40-4.50 TSH, Free T4 .08-1.8

Hypo or Hyper???

my dr. uses .40-4.50 have had thyroid cancer thyroid totally removed just had tests run because i was having hyper thyroid symptoms tests came back 5.54-hypo, then why do i have hyper symptoms?? very confused....
—Guest David Gresham


My TSH is 5.22. It went from 3.39 to 5.22 in 4 months. I now have to go and get a test for antibodies in a month. My doctor is doing the "wait and see" approach. I also have problems with my parathyroid gland.
—Guest Jennifer

It's Worse Than We Think!

In Houston, Texas I attended a monthly meeting for people with thyroid problems and you would not believe how many people attended. We all come to a point where we think we are the ONLY crazy ones! People would walk up to introduce themselves with questions like "how many doctors have you seen", etc. I met several people that lost their voice during their thyroid surgery. So, trust me when I say I was scared, but suddenly knew I was not alone nor was I going crazy. I was convinced by a doctor that I needed the radiation treatment to "kill the thyroid". I agreed, he did two treatments and my life turned upside down! I went from making a great salary to losing my job because I had no energy and could not keep a good thought process. To top this off, I became a mean person. Yes, from getting along with everyone and being a star employee, I turned into someone nobody could be around. It has been 10 years now. I am on 100 synthyroid and can not get a doctor to increase. I would give both arms to be able to go back to the life I had before.
—Guest B Davis

Erfa Natural

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease 20 years ago. I started out on .025 of Synthroid, but ended up on .240 of Synthroid. I had neurological pain, exhaustion and rheumatoid arthritis for many years. My hair fell out by the fist full. My neurologist recently switched me to Erfa Natural. The disabling neurological pain and arthritis pain is gone AND my hair is growing back! I can stay awake all day. My T3 and T4 are completely normal. My TSH, unfortunately, is 0.07 and my doctors don't like it at all. I feel fabulous, but this one blood test seems to matter. TSH tells my thyroid gland to make more hormones; my thyroid doesn't need to make more hormones. Why would I need to have any TSH? If you have everything that you need you don't send a FAX with an urgent message saying 'quick make more!'
  1. About.com
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  3. Thyroid Disease
  4. Get Tested and Diagnosed
  5. The Thyroid TSH Reference Range Battle: Are Your Doctors, Labs and Practitioners Using the Old Outdated or New Recommended Normal TSH Thyroid Range

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