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What Is A Good Range For Thyroid Levels

Ready To Learn More About Your Thyroid

TSH levels – Healthy vs Normal vs Optimal levels (on thyroid medication and off)

Your thyroid is so important. It controls powerful hormones which dictate so much of what goes on in your body.

Do you know everything that there is to know about the thyroid?

If you are concerned that you dont, you need to take my thyroid quiz today.

It will give you the information you need to benefit your body, and to live your best life. Its always a good idea to keep your health in mind.

Can I Take The Test At Home

Several test kits are commercially available that allow you to provide a sample for TSH testing at home. Some kits test only TSH, and others test TSH in combination with other thyroid hormones or additional hormones, such as cortisol and free testosterone.

These kits may be purchased online and include the materials you need to take a finger prick sample of blood and return it to the company for testing. Your test results will be reported to you via a secure online platform.

At-home testing is convenient and can help you participate in your health care. But at-home tests cannot replace working with a health care provider. If you have symptoms or are concerned that your thyroid is not functioning properly, be sure to share your concerns with your doctor. If an at-home test detects an abnormal TSH level, your doctor is likely to retest the TSH and follow-up with additional testing if the second TSH test is also abnormal.

What Does The Test Measure

The TSH test measures thyroid-stimulating hormone, which is a hormone that prompts the thyroid to produce other hormones. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that makes the hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine . T3 and T4 control your metabolism, or how your body uses and stores energy.

Although TSH acts upon the thyroid gland by binding to the TSH receptor, it is made in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is sometimes called the master gland, because it produces many hormones that control the functions of other glands in the body. The pituitary gland is able to sense when your T3 and T4 hormone levels are too low or too high. In response, it will produce more or less TSH to stimulate your thyroid gland to produce the right amount of hormones.

If your thyroid is underactive, you may have high levels of TSH as your pituitary gland tries to stimulate the thyroid to produce more T3 and T4. If your thyroid is overactive, your TSH may be abnormally low because your pituitary gland stops making TSH when your thyroid hormone levels are too high.

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What More Should I Know About Thyroid Blood Tests

Ranges noted here are approximate your providers may differ slightly. Its important that you remember abnormal readings do not necessarily mean a thyroid disorder is present, as each test can be affected by a variety of factors.

No preparation is required for these tests. They can be taken any time of day without fasting.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/27/2019.

References

Normal Range For Thyroid Level

Thyroid Level Chart

Fact Checked

Thyroid.org describes the thyroid gland as a butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower front of the neck. It makes hormones that help each cell in the body to work right. Thyroid function tests are used to tell how well the thyroid is working 1. They are used to help diagnose hypothyroid, or underactive function hyperthyroid, or overactive function and to monitor response to thyroid medications 1.

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When Tsh Alone Is Not Enough

During diagnosis, most doctors use the TSH test to evaluate thyroid function and determine the optimal course of treatment. There are times, however, when knowing one’s TSH may be insufficient.

For instance, free T4 in addition to TSH is usually tested if a doctor suspects thyroid dysfunction due to disease of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus.

Likewise, if the TSH is normal, but a person still has symptoms of being hyperthyroid or hypothyroid, free T4 may be checked.

TSH is also not necessarily sufficient to monitor hypothyroidism during pregnancy T4 and free T4 are often recommended.

Depending on the clinical situation, other thyroid tests that may be done include triiodothyronine , free T3, reverse T3, and thyroid antibody tests.

Testing Your Thyroid Levels

According to the American Thyroid Association, there isnt one test for every situation in fact, there are several kinds of thyroid tests. But if you are concerned about thyroid issues, or if your hormones are imbalanced, your doctor may provide an initial TSH level blood test. This is because the TSH level can serve as a tip-off to other, more specific issues.Whats a normal TSH level? Most lab companies have a wide reference as it relates to TSH levels , Dr. Rice says. So, if your results are somewhere between 0.4-4.0, youd be in the normal range. However, there is research that suggests that the reference range for TSH should be narrowed to 0.4 to 2.5, says Dr. Rice, which means that the normal range could be even smaller than some healthcare providers might think.Generally, healthy TSH levels are an indicator the whole system is working well, but thats an oversimplification at best. A normal T3 level might be somewhere between 100 to 200 nanograms per deciliter , while a normal T4 level falls between 5.0 to 12.0 micrograms per deciliter . Free T4, which tests for the amount of T4 that is available in the body, should range between 0.8 to 1.8 nanograms per deciliter .

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What Abnormal Results Mean

To fully understand results of the free T4 test, results of other thyroid blood tests, such as TSH or T3, may be needed.

Test results may also be affected by pregnancy, estrogen level, liver problems, more severe body-wide illnesses, and inherited changes in a protein that binds T4.

A higher than normal level of T4 may be due to conditions that involve an overactive thyroid, including:

  • Graves disease
  • Taking too much thyroid hormone medicine
  • Thyroiditis
  • Toxic goiter or toxic thyroid nodules
  • Some tumors of the testes or ovaries
  • Getting medical imaging tests with contrast dye that contains iodine
  • Eating a lot of foods that contain iodine

A lower than normal level of T4 may be due to:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Severe acute illness
  • Use of certain medicines

Possible Causes Of Abnormal Thyroid Levels

What are the Best Thyroid Levels for You?

The abnormal thyroid levels may be determined by a wide range of medical conditions. If the thyroid levels are below the normal range established by the vet, the dog is affected by hypothyroidism.

A dog with higher thyroid levels will be diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.

The abnormal thyroid levels may be caused by:

  • An abnormal growth affecting the thyroid glands
  • A tumor affecting the pituitary gland, which will affect the production of TSH and disturb the normal production of T4 and T3 hormones
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Medication for hyperthyroidism, which can result in a production of thyroid hormones that is lower than normal
  • A birth defect that affects the thyroid glands or the pituitary gland
  • Treatment with radiotherapy, which can reduce the production of thyroid hormones.

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What Is A T3 Test

T3 TestsT3 tests measure triiodothyronine levels in the blood. A Total T3 test measures the bound and free fractions of triiodothyronine. Hyperthyroid patients typically have an elevated Total T3 level. T3 tests can be used to support a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and can determine the severity hyperthyroidism.

In some thyroid diseases, the proportions of T3 and T4 in the blood change and can provide diagnostic information. A pattern of increased T3 vs T4 is characteristic of Graves disease. On the other hand, medications like steroids and amiodarone, and severe illness can decrease the amount of thyroid hormone the body converts from T4 to T3 resulting in a lower proportion of T3.

T3 levels fall late in the course of hypothyroidism and therefore are not routinely used to evaluate patients with underactive or surgically absent thyroid glands.

Measurement of Free T3 is possible, but is often not reliable and therefore may not be helpful.

Too Much Synthetic T4 Hormones

Thyrotoxicosis factitia is a condition caused by taking too much synthetic T4 hormones . It mimics an extremely overactive thyroid. Thyroglobulin levels are very low or undetectable in people with this condition .

Thyroglobulin can help doctors determine if an overactive thyroid is due to TF or other causes .

Make sure to use levothyroxine only if your doctor prescribed it, and strictly follow their dosage instructions.

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How Do I Prepare For A Thyroid

The TSH test doesnt require any special preparation. However, its important to tell your doctor if youre taking medications that might interfere with the accuracy of the TSH measurement. Some medications that could interfere with a TSH test are:

  • amiodarone
  • potassium iodide
  • biotin

You may need to avoid using these drugs before the test. However, dont stop taking your medications unless your doctor tells you to do so.

A TSH test involves taking a sample of blood. The blood is typically drawn from a vein thats inside the inner elbow.

A healthcare provider will perform the following procedure:

  • First, theyll clean the area with an antiseptic or other sterilizing solution.
  • Theyll then tie an elastic band around your arm to make the veins swell with blood.
  • Once they find a vein, theyll insert a needle into the vein to draw blood. The blood will be collected in a small tube or vial attached to the needle.
  • After they draw enough blood, theyll remove the needle and cover the puncture site with a bandage to stop any bleeding.
  • The entire procedure should only take a few minutes to complete. The blood sample will be sent to a lab for analysis.

    Once your doctor receives the test results, theyll schedule an appointment with you to discuss the results and explain what they may mean.

    Why The Test Is Performed

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    Your provider may recommend this test if you have signs of a thyroid disorder, including:

    • Abnormal findings of other thyroid blood tests, such as TSH
    • Hypopituitarism
    • Lump or nodule
    • Enlarged or irregular thyroid gland
    • Problems becoming pregnant

    This test is also used to monitor people who are being treated for thyroid problems.

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    What Level Of Tsh Indicates Hypothyroidism

    Normal and Abnormal TSH RangesTSH> 4.0/mU/L with a low T4 level indicates hypothyroidism. If your TSH is > 4.0 mU/L and your T4 level is normal, this may prompt your physician to test your serum anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies.

    What is normal t3 range? Typically, normal results range from 100 to 200 nanograms per deciliter . A normal T3 test result doesn’t necessarily mean that your thyroid is functioning perfectly. Measuring your T4 and TSH can help your doctor figure out if you have a thyroid problem despite a normal T3 result.

    Patterns Of Thyroid Tests Associated With Thyroid Disease

    Primary Hypothyroidism A high TSH and low thyroid hormone level can indicate primary hypothyroidism. Primary hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland makes too little thyroid hormone. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include feeling cold, constipation, weight gain, slowed thinking, and decreased energy. Causes of primary hypothyroidism include:

    • Autoimmune thyroid disease, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
    • Thyroid gland dysfunction due to a medication
    • Removal of all or part of the thyroid gland
    • Radiation injury to the thyroid
    • Excess treatment with anti-thyroid medications

    Early or mild hypothyroidism may present as a persistently elevated TSH and a normal FT4 hormone level. This pattern is called subclinical hypothyroidism and your doctor may recommend treatment. Over time, untreated subclinical hypothyroidism can contribute to heart disease.

    It is important to remember that normal TSH levels in older individuals are higher than the normal ranges for younger individuals.

    Primary Hyperthyroidism A low TSH and a high thyroid hormone level can indicate primary hyperthyroidism. Primary hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland makes or releases too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include tremors, palpitations, restlessness, feeling too warm, frequent bowel movements, disrupted sleep, and unintentional weight loss. Causes of primary hyperthyroidism include:

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    What Are Thyroid Hormones

    Thyroid hormones are secreted by the thyroid gland using iodine, a mineral that is present in many foods and is abundant in seafood. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located at the base of the front of the neck. Endocrine glands are a network of organs that produce and release various hormones necessary for the normal functioning of the body.

    Thyroid hormones regulate the metabolic rate of the body and thus play a major role in the proper functioning of every organ in the body. Thyroid hormones are essential for normal brain and physical development in infants. Thyroid hormones regulate body temperature and help maintain the normal function of all organs including the brain, heart, and muscles.

    Thyroid hormones are found in two forms in the body:

    • Thyroxine : Thyroxine constitutes approximately 95% of thyroid hormone circulating in the blood.
    • Triiodothyronine : T3 accounts for the balance of 5% of thyroid hormone and is formed by the removal of one atom of iodine from T4, which is mostly done in the liver or kidney.

    Only a minuscule percentage of thyroid hormones are in a free form that can enter cells and activate metabolism. More than 99.95% of T4 and 99.5% of T3 are bound to proteins in the blood. The binding proteins act as a storage system for the thyroid hormones, regulating the availability of free T4 and T3 for metabolic function.

    Supporting A Healthy Thyroid

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    Now that you have a basic overview of thyroid function, you may be wondering if there are ways to support your thyroid health in addition to medication. This is important because sometimes it can take a while before medication can correct hormone imbalance. In this case, the next best thing you can do is adjust your lifestyle habits.Managing stress: Because there is a relationship between your adrenal health and your thyroid health, its wise to get a hold on your stress levels. When you are chronically stressed, adrenal fatigue an overtaxing of the adrenal system may kick in, triggering your body to release hormones as a way of coping. This chronic stress can worsen thyroid issues, leading to imbalanced hormone levels. Chronically stressed? You might notice slowed metabolism and weight gain and stress may even further lower your levels of T3 and T4. It can also affect the conversion of T4 into T3.For this reason, its key to find a regular stress management ritual. This might be a daily yoga, meditation, or journaling break in which you disconnect from all distractions and stressors and simply focus on your breath and your emotional well-being. Regular nature walks also referred to as earthing or forest bathing have been proven to provide stress reduction on a physiological level as well.

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    How To Interpret A Tsh Test Result

    Interpreting the results of a TSH test can be confusing, because high readings indicate a lowperforming thyroid. When the thyroid gland is not producing adequate amounts of T3 and T4 hormones, the pituitary gland repeatedly releases TSH into the bloodstream to stimulate the thyroid gland. Thus, high levels of TSH indicate that the pituitary gland is frequently stimulating an underactive thyroid.

    The reference range for normal TSH can vary by age and overall health status. In older adults, for example, a higher-than-normal TSH reading may, in fact, be normal. If your TSH lab result is flagged as abnormal, talk with your doctor about it, because the reading may not be abnormal for you.

    Causes Of T4 Level Changes

    Although the normal T4 range is wide, levels usually remain stable for each person. A T4 value at the low or high end of normal for one person may be typical for another.

    Sometimes a persons T4 levels may change and fall outside the normal range. Depending on the direction of change, this can result in hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

    Hypothyroidism is the medical term for an underactive thyroid gland that does not produce enough hormone. Conversely, hyperthyroidism is when an overactive thyroid gland produces too much hormone.

    Several factors can cause a change in T4 levels.

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    What Is A Tsh Test And What Do Your Results Mean

    The thyroid-stimulating hormone test evaluates thyroid function and thyroid hormone levels. Its produced by the pituitary gland, which tells your thyroid, located in the lower front of your neck, to make and release hormones that control our body temperature, metabolism, and keep our brains, hearts, and other organs working properly.

    The American Thyroid Association recommends that adults begin TSH testing at the age of 35 and repeat tests every five years if results are in the normal range. Your doctor may also order a TSH test if youre experiencing symptoms of an underactive or overactive thyroid. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include fatigue, brain fog, extremely dry skin, hair loss, and feeling cold. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include sweating, a fast heart rate, muscle weakness, anxiety, and irritability. In either case, youor your healthcare providermight find that your thyroid is enlarged, which is called a goiter, or thyroid nodules, which are small lumps on the thyroid gland.

    What Tsh Level Requires Treatment

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    The American Thyroid Association recommends that patients older than 65, should be treated for hyperthyroidism if TSH levels are below 0.1 mIU/L. Patients younger than 65 are treated if they are post-menopausal women, have coexisting conditions such as heart disease or osteoporosis, or symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

    Subclinical hyperthyroidism with TSH levels between 0.1 to 0.4 mIU/L with normal T3 and T4 levels may be just monitored if the patient is below 65 and has no symptoms. Patients above 65 or those below 65 with comorbidities or symptoms of hyperthyroidism may be treated depending on their condition.

    Doctors usually start treatment for hypothyroidism if the TSH level remains persistently elevated above 10.0 mIU/L even if T4 is normal and the patient has no symptoms. Thyroid levels are usually periodically monitored and maintained optimally with appropriate dosage changes.

    Subclinical hypothyroidism, which means TSH levels of 5.0 to 10.0 mIU/L and normal T4, may require treatment if the individual has a positive thyroid antibodies test, experiences symptoms, or is at high risk for developing hypothyroidism.

    If you have questions about TSH levels, ask your doctor to explain what your TSH level means.

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