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Readers Respond: The 0.3 to 3.0 Range or Outdated .5 to 5.0 Range: What's Your Doctor/Lab Using?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

Is your doctor, health care practitioner and/or testing laboratory using the older, outdated reference range of 0.5 to 5.0 for the thyroid stimulating hormone -- TSH -- test?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?

TSH in France

Recent experience (June 2012) indicates labs use 0.15 - 4.5 as normal range for TSH testing.
—Guest graham

When TSH is High Then Back to Normal

My TSH was over 5 and doctor said I was slightly hypo, but the medications caused me to go hyper. Labs now say I'm in normal range. I wonder what's next.
—Guest TaraL.

Our Range

I work in Seattle and our hospital range for TSH is 0.5-4.5. This range is for people 5mo to adult. Newborns can be higher.
—Guest Victor

TSH recommended reference values

My lab uses 0.27 - 4.20 very different by most, guess it's in the range of the new 0.3-3.0.
—Guest Honolulu-Cate

TSH Reference Range

My T4 is .81. My thyroid test is 2.58. I've been treated before and it made a WORLD of difference. This doctor and his lab are stuck in time at levels from 9 years ago [.5 to 5.0]. So they call my levels "normal"and refuse to medicate me though I am not normal. I feel like hammered dog poo, have no energy, zero. I wear out at about 30 feet of walking. I am losing hair by the handfuls when washing it or brushing it, especially. I try to keep it in a braid so I don't notice it so much. I experinece dry skin, horrible sleep patterns that swing from one end to the other constantly. I'm mellow but still this is overcoming that and making me short tempered. I hate this, I have almost no quality of life at all. I can't imagine how bad it is for people who are worse.
—Guest jude


TSH W/REFL FREE T4 TSH out of range 0.11 T4, Free range 1.2 Am I now hyper instead of hypo. I take 60-65 mcg of Armour.
—Guest Beatrice Exelberth

Can't Control the Panic/Anxiety

About 3 weeks ago had a bad panic attack. My TSH came back 1.08, "normal". All the 'anti-anxiety' and anti depression meds in the world aren't helping. I think the anxiety is a side effect. I think my thyroid is making my 'fight or flight' mechanism go bonkers. I have always been happy go lucky and easy going - I have never felt the way I do now, can't eat, sleep, always cold. Starting to lose weight. Uncle has Grave's Disease. I told my doctor about this, but she says it's just "stress". I don't think so.
—Guest Hans

My lab is using .3-5

Guess they are covering all the bases! The lab is Centura Laboratory Services in Colorado.
—Guest Kate Camp


My TSH is 46 and I was just put on 25 mcg of Synthoid to start. I'm hoping it helps symptoms.
—Guest Melissa

I Just Don't Understand

I just don't understand how my thyroid level went from 3.8 to 1.8 in 2 weeks without medicine. The doctor just said they don't know well how could they not know?
—Guest Kristina

Hypothyroid or Hyperthyroid

My recent thyroid results are: TSH 1.56 T4 10.4, Free T4 2.5, T4 free 1.0, T3 free 2.8 T3 total 155, T3 uptake 24. My weight has gotten up to 185 - the highest ever - and I can't get it off no matter how hard I run/walk/jog/diet. I feel like I'm not getting oxygen because I can't say more than 2 sentences without yawning. I experience daily, anxiety, fatigue/exhausted, constipation, difficulty sleeping, dry skin dry brittle hair, weight gain, racing heart/palpitations, mood swings, lack of focus/concentration and my memory is significantly low. I can't remember anything. I sweat a lot - hot flashes. My voice has deepened and is sometimes hoarse. I now have carpal tunnel AGAIN. I had surgery for right ulnar nerve decompression in 2003. My menstruation got so heavy for a few years that I ended up in the ER for hemorrhaging and was put on birth control pills. The doctor I have said I was depressed and gave me sertraline which I don't need!
—Guest Mildred

Recenty/currently diagnosed

For years, about 3-4, I thought I was depressed and highly stressed. I took every anti-depressant to no avail. I had dry skin, hair falling out, no energy, irregular but not heavy periods. I feel allover weakness, especially in my knees and other joints. I experienced sleep disturbances, brittle nails etc. My TSH Level was 7.9. I am so hoping this is the cause of depression and severe lack of motivation and energy. I am awaiting a visit to my doctor, who no doubtly, will have the lab draw 12 vials of blood and run every pertinent test possible to cover all the bases and leave no stone unturned. He is very very thorough. Out of all the known symptoms, what, I wonder, is the most prominent symptom. I wonder how long after beginning medication I will experience any improvement and the highest TSH. I know I have a long road ahead if me to get thyroid under control. I wonder if it is possible through diet, exercise and vitamins to keep the TSH levels at bay without medications.
—Guest Lynne


I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism having felt rough for around 18 months. I ached, had hot flashes, didn't sleep well and had 'palpitations'. My level was 136 until I started on treatment and now my level is dropping. After a steady increase, I am down to around 40. I still feel bad towards the end of the day.
—Guest Kes

High TSH

My tsh just measured at 34. Started meds and having ultrasound next week.
—Guest Mandy

TSH Sky High

I've just gotten my test results back and my TSH is 150. I was told normal is between 0.5 - 5 so I have been put on medication just gotta wait to see what happens now.
—Guest chris g
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  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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