Is a TSH level of 2.5 too high?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 27, 2011 at 1:22 AM

Hi, I friendly Paleohacker (Bill) pointed out to me that a TSH level of 2.5 was on the high side. I dont have the T3 or T4 numbers. My testosterone also was low at the time of the thyroid test. I have since raised my testosterone up to normal levels but I still feel tired often, get cold when I sleep and in general dont feel as great as I should. What really makes me curious is that I feel MUCH better on autoimmune Paleo but not so great when I go to regular Paleo let alone SAD. Ive never been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder but I know that hashimotos is an autoimmune disease.

I work for a startup so I dont have full insurance at this point so I cant just go out and get a battery of tests. Is a TSH level of 2.5 something I should worry about or should I just stick to autoimmune Paleo, some selenium and call it a day? How about iodine/or sea kelp?

A doc who looked at my nasal passages and back of throat told me that I might have a light case of sleep apnea so that could also be a cause of my lethargy.

Any help/insight is greatly appreciated.

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2 Answers


on August 27, 2011
at 04:15 AM

Hi Geoff

TSH is not a good indicator for thyroid function simply because it is a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone - it is an indication of the pituitary stimulating the thyroid in to action. TSH = Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.

The tests you need to get are the TSH, FT3, FT4 (these are the free, or available thryoid hormone levels), Reverse T3 and the thyroid antibodies - all of them (I think there are 5 in total).

Keep in mind that many people have subclinical hypothyroidism which means that it won't show up on tests but the patient shows a lot of signs and symptoms. Reverse T3 is a good one to get because you can look at it in ratio to FT3. More here: http://forums.realthyroidhelp.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3596

I have the symptoms of Hashimoto's but I never test positive to the thyroid antibodies, that is also not a 100% reliable indicator - a biopsy is, but it's not likely you'll get a doc to do that. I tested positive 3 times to ANA which is a general autoimmune marker.

Other useful indicators are an ultrasound, daily temperature (read up on this to get the correct method as it's important), reflexes (there's a device called Thyroflex which can do this), the thyroid should be felt manually by a doctor to check for abnormalities.

I highly recommend two sites for you: stopthethyroidmadness.com and also forum.realthyroidhelp.com - the latter has a great community including Phil, the men's section moderator who is incredibly knowledgeable. You can also get names of good doctors from the moderator. They will test the right things for you.

Be careful with iodine - some are actually quite sensitive to it, it can stir up symptoms in those people. I do tolerate it though. I take average of 2 drops Lugols.

You may do well with a supplemental intervention - iodine, zinc, selenium - all of these are good for the thyroid, but remember some are sensitive to iodine. Zinc and selenium are also toxic if one overdoes the dosage.

Good luck!


on August 27, 2011
at 03:40 AM

I began with those symptons about Christmas time plus I lost the outer 1/3 of my eyebrows and gained about 2 pounds a month-went from 207 to 224. With the body temp going up now I'm back down to 221. My TSH was 2.78 and my doctor refuse to consider hypothyroidism. I did a lot of googling. One site I found of interest was Dr Rinds.
I ordered both liquid iodine (Lugols) and pill form (Iodoral) (for travel) from Amazon. The iodine has been helpful. My temperatures went from 96/97 to the low 98's this week. Anyway, dig around in Dr Rind's site and maybe do some googling.

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