I got my thyroid stim hormone test and it was 1.94. It said low is .34 and high is 5.60. So mine is in the middle on the low end. I'd be curious to know if it's a good value though. Have you gotten yours tested?
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Prairie Prof is correct. The Am Ac of Clinical Endocrinologists in the latest guideline advise < 3.0 TSH if on medications. They are hemming-hawing regarding 'sublinical' hypothyroidism when > 3.0 and 'asymptomatic'. The problem with low thyroid is that everyone is uniquely different in their thyroid function and presentation, depending on various factors (soya and goitrogen toxicity, pollutants, heavy metal burden, auto-antibodies, apo E status w/E4 naturally lower which are Northern Europeans, hormone and vitamin D status, etc).
The Cleveland Clinic is way more advanced and advises TSH < 2.0 and the free T4 at the upper 1/3 of normal range ~1.5 to 1.8.
Thyroid like other glands (adrenals, ovaries, testicles) requires a lot of nutrients and minerals for optimal functioning and a stress-free environment.
--low mental/physical stress, low cortisol (but not depleted cortisol)
--optimal estrogen, T, progesterone, vitamin D, omega-3, low low omega-6 (omega-6 SHUTS THYROID OFF -- read Stephan Whole Health Source)
--zinc iodine mag chromium trace (manganese molyb etc)
--tyrosine (precursor to T3) found in red meat
--vitamin K2 and fermented food products
--gluten free, low insulin, etc to improve and eradicate auto-antibodies
Chris Kresser at Healthy Skeptic has an awesome series! [THANKS JAE -- Kresser is stellar]
It seems that in 2012 the AACE taskforce took a step backwards and is now saying that overt hypothyroidism is anything with a TSH level above 10 and below 10 (upper range I am assuming) could be possibly subclinical hypothyroidism if symptoms are present. So instead of moving the range down, they are now moving it up, citing that too many patient's are drug-seeking a hypothyroidism diagnosis for an obesity fix. Personally this is very frustrating to me. I am an HMO patient who has had hypothyroidism for over 10 years. Over the last year I have gone from a size 6 to a size 14, gaining 50 pounds. I am an avid exercising and healthy eater. My TSH was 0.96 at my normal size 6 self. I felt well and had been on the same dose of Levothyroxine for years. On my yearly recheck (after gaining the weight), it was then 3.9. My doc said it was normal and didn't change med. Three months later I asked him to retest, as I had now tried both Nutrisystem and Seattle Sutton with no weight loss success. This time my level came back at 9.8. He increased my med dose, and on retesting now, it is 4.9. He is happy with that and doesn't want to change my med dose any further, and doesn't even want to give me a referral to an endocrinologist. All I can say is that my personal experience is that I felt terrific when my TSH level was below 1, energetic, mentally clear, with a healthy physically fit body, and now I feel terrible and it makes me wonder if primary care physicians really know much about thyroid health at all.
Ray Peat, a thyroid specialist, mentioned that he never saw a comfortably healthy person with TSH above 2, and recommends having it below 0.4. One way to improve thyroid function is eliminating all significant sources of polyunsaturated fats from the diet.
I have been a thyroid patient for the past 11 years. When originally diagnosed and put on meds I lost a good amount of weight (along with diet and exercise). Now after 2 kids I can not lose weight at all. I had my TSH tested last week - came back at 1.8. Doc bumped my synthroid just a tad to see if that would help me. Its so frustrating - I eat clean and exercise and the scale doesn't budge.
My TSH level is 2.5. I have the symptoms of low energy and need a lot of sleep but have super strong nails,hair and good tone to my skin. Should I still suspect hypothyroidism/hashimotos? I do MUCH better on autoimmune paleo vs reg paleo. I just chalked the difference up to less inflammation. (eggs & nightshades cause me to have stiff joints. Dairy is lrg amounts = sinus issues)
Dr. Datis Kharrazian uses a functional, i.e. healthy, range of 1.8 to 3.0 for TSH. He wrote an excellent book called Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms. Although he doesn't recommend a Paleo diet, he recommends low-carb and is very critical of the high-carb SAD. I don't agree that lower TSH is always better; a TSH level that's too low indicates the pituitary is not communicating with the thyroid, and for obvious reasons that's not a good thing.
I have been seeing a naturopath, and she tells me that, in her experience, the healthiest people have TSH levels <2. I have been diagnosed as hypothyroid with levels varying between 2.6 and 3.5.
My thyroid test usually comes in just under 2 somewhere and I feel reasonably good at that level. At under 1 the doctor gets in a flap and wants to cut my meds back so I guess he is using the old range. I read an article that stated keeping the level under 2 is best to avoid alzheimers, which is in my family history.
I also believe that eating soy is bad for me, as is using toothpaste containing flouride. It is up to the thyroid patient to be aware of things like that because most doctors either aren't aware of the facts or don't share them with their patients.
Despite having classic hypothyroid symptoms I went undiagnosed for years, and was tested for everything else first.
Mine is usually around 2. I don't get additional labwork, because I don't have any symptoms suggesting hypothyroidism. Some bloggers, such as Nikoley at FTA, suggest that it's better if your TSH is at the lower end of normal. TSH is a screening test for healthy, asymptomatic people. If you're having symptoms of hypothyroidism ( http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroidism/DS00353/DSECTION=symptoms ), then further labwork such as free T4 and free T3 are indicated.