Thyroid Reference

The Board of Endocrinology changed the range of appropriate TSH levels in January of 2003. The appropriate range was .035-5.00 but is now .035-3.00. Anyone having a TSH over 3.00 is considered to have hypothyroidism and should be treated. Anyone between 2.00 and 3.00 with symptoms should be suspect and considered for treatment.

If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism such as the following, please inquire with your physician(s) and/or surgeon about your TSH level. Symptoms of hypothyroidism usually develop slowly over months or years. Symptoms and signs may include:

*Coarse and thinning hair.
*Dry skin.
*Brittle nails.
*A yellowish tint to the skin.*
*Slow body movements.*
*Cold skin. *Inability to tolerate cold.
*Feeling tired, sluggish, or weak.
*Memory problems, depression, or difficulty concentrating.
*Heavy or irregular menstrual periods that may last longer than 5 to 7 days.
*Infertility (primary or secondary)

Other, less common symptoms may include:

*An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter).
*Modest weight gain, often 10 lb(4.5 kg) or less.
*Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, and feet, and facial puffiness, particularly around the eyes.
*Muscle aches and cramps.
*Imbalance / *clutzy*

According to AACE Medical Guidelines for Clinical Practice for Evaluation and Treatment of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism, the sensitive TSH test has become the single best screening for thyroid dysfunction. To further evaluate the appropriateness of a patient’s TSH level, AACE recommends that a Free T4 test be conducted along with a TSH test. “It is very important for patients with thyroid hormone imbalance to know their TSH and Free T4 numbers. The optimal goal TSH level for patients on treatment ranges between 0.3 to 3.0 mIU/L. Patients should talk to their doctors about their Free T4 numbers, since reference ranges can vary somewhat between different laboratories,” stated Dr. Law."

"Until November 2002, doctors had relied on a normal TSH level ranging from 0.5 to 5.0 to diagnose and treat patients with a thyroid disorder who tested outside the boundaries of that range5 . Now AACE encourages doctors to consider treatment for patients who test outside the boundaries of a narrower margin based on a target TSH level of 0.3 to 3.04. AACE believes the new range will result in proper diagnosis for millions of Americans who suffer from a mild thyroid disorder, but have gone untreated until now."


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