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Readers Respond: The 0.3 to 3.0 Range or Outdated .5 to 5.0 Range: What's Your Doctor/Lab Using?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

Is your doctor, health care practitioner and/or testing laboratory using the older, outdated reference range of 0.5 to 5.0 for the thyroid stimulating hormone -- TSH -- test? Or have they adopted the narrower range recommended since since 2003? For almost a decade, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has recommended that the so-called normal or reference range for the TSH test be narrowed to .3 to 3.0, and it's still not happening at most labs, and with many doctors across the nation. What is your experience? Has your doctor or lab "gotten it" yet? Or are you still waiting for them to get the news? Share Your Experiences

TSH/Free T4

3 months ago TSH was 5.8. It is now 13. Free T4 3 months ago was 1.0 it is now 1.3 Just upped my Synthroid to 2 mg from .175. I am constantly changing doses.
—Guest AnneR

No Answers

Hi! I am 19 years old and I had my thyroid completely removed 5 years ago. I had Grave's. Ever since then my levels are never normal (too high, too low) I just don't understand. I have gained 100 pounds in the last 5 years and I am extremely tired. But no one will help me or give me answers! What's wrong with me?? Any of you with the same problem?
—Guest Tricia


My recent test results are TSH - 22.98 and T3, Free - 2.2. I have a problem, but I think the thyroid medications make me very tired.
—Guest Jimmy Boyle

High TSH

My readings of T3 and T4 are in normal range. My TSH however is 200.8, yes 200.8. My doctor is leaving it alone and not adjusting my meds that I have been on for 40 years. I trust my doctor but this is boggling my mind, seems way too high to ignore. He says if T4 is good then that is all he is concerned about. Any ideas.

TSH too high?

My TSH is currently consistently reading 0.03 or 0.02 [not a typo] and I'm on 100mcg x 2 alternate days and x3 on other days and I feel the best I've been in years and yet my doctors are concerned. I'm at a loss to know whether I go with my gut feelings of sticking to my current meds or change just because the [new] doctors say my levels are too high. It's confusing and annoying.
—Guest Donny

TSH Reference Range 0.3-5.0mcIU/ml

TSH Reference Range 0.3-5.0mcIU/ml.I have 6.87-Hypothyroidism
—Guest shib

Refuse to Comply

I've been through 24 Endo's in last 23 years and I'm beyond frustrated. My last TSH was 10.7, I asked that my Synthroid be changed to Armour and my physician refused. She gave no explanation, other than, I don't prescribe Armour. I've regained 53lbs of the 100 I lost after gastric bypass, severe joint pain, migraines, cervical disc disease, anxiety, depression and sexual disorder. It infuriates me when physicians would rather write prescriptions for narcotic pain meds than address the root cause. Each time I read about or hear on TV the narcotic pain RX epidemic, I want to scream,"you damn idiots." If physicians treated and cured the diseases, hyper/hypothyroidism; perhaps, narcotic pain meds could be prescribed when all other conditions have been ruled out. I've had breast and thyroid cancer and I demand the highest level of care, because if my thyroid cancer had been properly diagnosed 33 years ago, I could've avoided both cancers. Physicians should be held accountable.

Which Range

Our lab still uses the older 0.5-5.0 range for "normal". My husband just had his bloodwork done this week (he is not hypo/hyper, just part of a company physical) and the TSH range is the older one.
—Guest Stella


Im taking 3 1gr armour thyroid pills daily. Lab work on 10-31-13 TSH 0.08, T4 is 6.2. Haven't seen my T3 result yet. What yall think? I feel fine.
—Guest CoffeeVal


Since early 2012 my TSH level has risen from 2.28 to 3.13 and now it is 5.9. Both my mother and maternal grandmother had hypothyroidism, so it likely is hereditary. My doctor is hesitant to treat me, but I think I've persuaded her to do so. The amount of pleading I have had to do is maddening! Doctors seem so willing to prescribe pills for anything and everything else, BUT hypothyroidism. A different doc a few years ago suggested bariatric surgery! I'm 60 pounds or so overweight, but he suggested SURGERY?!?!? Rather than consider hypothyroidism. Aarrrggghhhhh!!!!!!!
—Guest Karen


I had a TSH of 12. I was prescribed Synthroid but, did not fill my script. Instead, I stopped all soy products. I even make my own mayonnaise. Everything has Soy in it - even my Hellmans. TSH after 2 months is 3.40!!!
—Guest marsha arlen

TSH 2013

My TSH levels on my last blood test was 1.79 (6/17/2013) I am on 100mcg daily. The doctor says I am ok, but I am wondering why I don't feel good. Tired no energy and I could sleep 12 hours a day!

I have no idea!

I don't know if I'm reading my TSH level correctly or not. It reads: TSH [720] That's it. I wonder if I am living on borrowed time.
—Guest Wicked Confused


Kaiser in California is using outdated range in 2013. My TSH was 4.03 in 2008. Jumped up to 6.15 2013. I have been suffering the last 8 months with various symptoms.
—Guest Ev


I have "normal" test results (.8) but still don't feel good. I've been told to have my Parathyroid checked. Im interested in hearing others who have any advice/experience on this.
—Guest Guest Patient

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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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