What Are Optimal Thyroid Levels?

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It’s a term I, and so many other sources for thyroid information, use a lot. What Are Optimal Thyroid Levels?  

A lot of conventional medicine doctors and endocrinologists refuse to acknowledge that it’s not just about falling ‘in range’, but it’s where in range you fall that matters. It matters entirely. Functional doctors support these levels.

Put simply, when your doctor runs a test and you get the results, optimal levels are the results that a lot of thyroid patients state they feel best at. This is a place within a given ‘range’. 

You’ll find that many thyroid advocacies (such as Hypothyroid Mom, Stop The Thyroid Madness, Mary Shomon, Izabella Wentz etc.) and functional medicine practitioners agree that a TSH less than 2 or 2.5, and a Free T3 in the top quarter of the range, with a Free T4 mid-range or a little higher is considered optimal. I do personally feel best at these.  This means that a lot of thyroid patients say they feel most well when their TSH is 2.5 or below, for example. Or a Free T3 at 17.5 or above on a scale of 10-20. For you, you may feel best somewhere else within range, but you should try to find out and maintain it at what you feel best at. Since a lot of us didn’t have our thyroid levels tested before we developed a thyroid condition and began to feel unwell, we often don’t know what our levels were when we felt well. So you must work with your doctor to find where your own individual optimal levels are.

It is important to understand that different labs/doctors use different ranges, so you must interpret your results individually; don’t compare them to anyone else’s. A Free T4 at 14, with a range of 9-19, is mid-range for example, but a Free T4 at 11 is mid-range for a range of 7.5-14.5. So both are considered optimal readings.

It’s important to be aware that a suppressed TSH alone doesn’t mean you’re hyperthyroid/over medicated. If your free t3 and free t4 are still within range then they show you are not hyper/over medicated.

You must look at your result in comparison to the given range, usually stated in brackets, beside it. Where does it fall?

I always tell people to get their thyroid test results printed off, for ease of reference and comparison as you try things to correct your thyroid levels and reach good health.

Always work with a doctor on evaluating and reevaluating your thyroid hormone levels, keeping in mind your symptoms and overall health as well. We’re all individuals and there is no one size fits all, but there are obviously health risks if your thyroid hormone levels are both too low or too high for an extended period of time.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

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Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism

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Rachel Hill, Thyroid Patient Advocate, blogger and author, has Six 2018 WEGO Health Award Nominations. She is a highly ranked writer appearing in the Top Hypothyroidism Websites and Top Thyroid Websites and has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Yahoo, MSN and ThyroidChange, to name just a few. She is well-recognised as a useful contributor to the thyroid community and also contributed the foreword to Emily Kyle’s The 30-Minute Thyroid Cookbook.

6 thoughts on “What Are Optimal Thyroid Levels?

  1. Had private blood test cause not getting anywhere with GP ..been diagnosed 2002 hypothyroidism however I can never stay stable ..either over or under…Currently taking levo…..results tsh 9.11 t4 total 124.0 free t4 20.70 free t3 3.31 b12 18.1 please could you explain what’s going on I’m a bit of a novice….

    1. Hi, as indicated in the post, aiming for a tsh below 2 and using your individual ranges, a midrange or higher ft4 and ft3 in the top quarter, often helps to resolve many symptoms.

      If you’re condition doesn’t stay stable, I’d consider testing to see whether it’s autoimmune. Hashimoto’s is the autoimmune condition that causes 90% of Hypothyroidism cases and can make results move up and down.

  2. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the way you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Especially about thyroid problems!

  3. Hi Rachel I’ve been on levothyroxine for over a 4 years 125mcg to 150mcg iam it feels like it’s getting worse with anxiety and fatigue I do a 9 hour a day as a security guard but it’s getting so difficult to stay in employment,but iam going to see an endocryolist in October what would be the main thing I should I ask him many thanks fazil in north Yorkshire x

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