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Readers Respond: The 0.3 to 3.0 Range or Outdated .5 to 5.0 Range: What's Your Doctor/Lab Using?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: 697


Updated March 04, 2011

.34 to 5.6

I had my thyroid destroyed 10 years ago with radioactive iodine because I had hyperthyroidism. My eyes seem to ache a lot, and I have a hard time with getting good sleep. I went from 190 to 240 lbs. My last test read 4.9 and my doctor told me that I should look out for fatique, and there is the possible fear of developing blood clots. I was tested and results were 4.95. Their range is 0.34 to 5.60. I exercise consistently, I don't know if I know what fatigue actually feels like. I have been dieting pretty strongly lately and have lost 15 lbs. since the beginning of summer.
—Guest TJ

Never Heard This One

My doctors in Germany have kept my TSH at 1.5-ish after a diagnosis of Hashimoto's. This time he upped my medicine from 100 to 125 mcg even though the TSH was 1.57. The doctor said if you are on thyroid therapy they want it between 0.3 - 0.5. Has anyone heard of this before? I go back for blood tests to confirm the dosage in 10 weeks.
—Guest Kim


I have had problems with TSH levels for 25 years. On 8-11-09, my TSH was 11.0 and on 9-11-09 it was 0.065. It's horrid. I was on 1.75 mcg, of Syntrhoid which has now been reduced. I am seeing a new endrocrinologist which is the third one in several years. Now they have diagnosed me with Celiac disease stating this is the autoimune problem connected to the thyroid problem. This is crazy and sad.
—Guest Jo Mooney

Enlightened Doctor

After completely failing thyroid treatment on Synthroid during which time I got sicker and my TSH continued to rise, I found a holistic doctor who knows how to look at the big picture. I'm doing so much better on Nature-throid. My doctor's "target" TSH for most of his thyroid patients (and he's treated thousands) is .1 to 1.0. This is the range at which he has found that almost all his patients feel their best.

Thyroid Levels

Here in Tennessee doctors are told not to treat till the TSH is 7 regardless of test results which must be manipulated anyway.
—Guest mari

Edward R. Arnold

In recent months, I've decided TSH is not very useful, especially the lower end of the range. Since going on T3-only medicine because I couldn't convert T4 properly, I've heard repeatedly from other patients on T3-only that endocrinologists tell them horrible stories about how T3 will hurt them when their TSH is suppressed (typically less than 0.1). When a patient feels well, and has no symptoms of thyrotoxicity such as fast heart, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, etc., the fact that endocrinologists tell ridiculous stories to their patients is an indication to me that this is just one more example of Tyranny of the TSH.

Very Proactive Doctor

My doctor has been using the .3-3.0 scale since 2001 when I first started seeing her. My lab uses the older scale of .5-5.0. However, my doctor is more concerned with how I feel than the number on the test. If I say that I don't feel well at 2.0, she increases my medicine to the point where I feel "normal." I feel blessed to have a doctor that not only follows the new laboratory standards, she puts a lot of weight into how I feel on a daily basis and gives me the power to direct my treatment as long as it isn't harmful to me.
—Guest Guest Cindy

Reference Range

The in-plan lab uses the old TSH reference range. Recently, my husband's TSH was .34 and his free t3 and t4 were slightly elevated. Now the endocrinologist wants blood work done in 3 months, and he wants my husband to lower his dose of Armour. His lipid profile as well as his triglyceride levels have never looked so good.
—Guest ginnyfrompv

We're All Different

Though our hospital and doctor have adopted the new TSH scale, with me the old scale is still the best, because just that little increase in medication sends me into heart palpitations!

Figuring it All Out

I have been extremely tired since I was 12 years old. It worried my mom, so she took me to the doctor and they ran some tests. They thought it was serious. 15 years later my mom was diagnosed with Hashimoto's and then thyroid cancer. She told me to keep an eye out and get checked. Unfortunately, I relied on the doctors. Every year tests came back normal. Then 5 years later I stumbled onto this site and a couple others. I was struggling with hypoglycemia and extreme fatigue. My other symptoms I didn't recognize as part of the problem. So I found out what it might be and what tests to run. I had to fight with my doctor to have them give me the antibody test. I was told my insurance wouldn't cover it. Then I was told no one would treat it even is that is what it was. I was told to come in and discuss the symptoms. I told them no, I would do it after I got my test results. Sure enough thyroid antibodies were there. However my TSH was 2.38 so she would not treat me. Then I changed doctors!
—Guest Allisyn

New to Hypothyroidism!

I am 23 and have recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. My TSH level in my first blood report was above 500. Yes, you read it right! The doctor was stunned at this and ordered another test and there my TSH was 106. I have been on medication for 2 weeks now. I suffered from body swelling, lethargy, and cold feet, but since i have always been very active I am not overweight. The swelling has reduced but other symptoms keep coming and going in phases.

.5 to 6.0 Range

The lab my doctor uses does use the old range, but my doctor treats me according to the new range. I told him I feel better when my TSH level is below 3.0 so he said we would try to keep it below that. If your doctor works with you to keep your TSH level down, does it matter if the lab uses the old range?

TSH in Children

My son is 13 and has a TSH of 4.1 yet our pediatrician says it's normal. He weighs 185 and is very active, but the doctor will not help me or recognize a possible thyroid condition.
—Guest Sue

Tired of the fight

After 10 years of fighting with the docs, I switched to an "alternative" doc in town. Wouldn't you know it, my TSH has ended up at 13! The bad part is, this guy wants you to buy the natural Armour and straight T3 from him - and titrate it yourself! I'm sooo tired of trying to get it right, and so tired of feeling like crap. They wouldn't treat it at 3, but had no problem with ANTIthyroid treatment at .07, when I got really fat and puffy, their response was "you're obese, go for a walk." When I was under 100 lbs, it was "eat, you're too skinny". Now, at 13, it's "triple your meds." Hopefully, I'll get skinny again before I stroke out. I think they should toss out the test and go "old school" and treat the SYMPTOMS!
—Guest BeenThere

Somewhere inbetween.

My doctor and lab consider anything between .27-4.2 uIU/mL to be normal.
—Guest guest1

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

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  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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