Yes, by any standards, 5.4 indicates hypothyroidism and requires further testing. Ask your doctor to order free T3 and free T4. Those two tests will reveal your true thyroid status. You most likely should be on thyroid hormone replacement therapy. TSH of 0.3-3.0 is considered "normal".
thanks so much for answering my question. I have some hypo such as fatigue, extreme muscle cramping, joint pain. On the other hand have some hyper as well such as fast pulse, rapid heart rate etc. I'm so tired this morning could stay in bed all day. My symptoms seem to flip flop and around my period the symptoms seem to intesify..
What would be my level if I had a hyper thyroid?
I'm very frustrated since it seems like I have to jump up and down for my primary to listen to me. I've been back and forth to many drs. in the practice with no luck. IT wasn't until my rheumoltolgist noticed my fluxuation in my tsh level that she told me to get a referral to an endo which I did.
TSH < 0.3 is considered hyper. However, TSH is such a poor indicator of thyroid status that it's use in diagnosis and treatment is increasingly questioned.
Ask for FT3 and FT4. They'll tell you a lot more about what's going on.
You might also want to have thyroid antibodies tested (TPOab and TGab) to see if you have Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Often people with Hashi's experience hyper to hypo swings, especially in the initial stages of the disease.
My sister just found out she has a thyroid problem. What I don't understand is why her doctor has not jet giving her any medication knowing that her problem is really bad. My sister was telling me today that her doctor said, that she needs to be careful on what she drinks like nature medicine because she could die. Her thyroid goes up and down she's very confused and scare. I don't know what to tell her maybe some advise from people that has being true this.
Has your sister been diagnosed with a thyroid disease?
Do you have the results of thyroid labwork that you can post? If not, you can call her doctor and request results. If you do that, also ask for reference ranges for each test since those vary from lab to lab and have to come from her own lab report.
What are her symptoms? Has the doctor explained why he has chosen to wait, and not start treatment immediately?
why are there different "normal" ranges in different labs? Outside .3-3 is either considered a normal range or it is not. It seems so unethical to simply pass it off as a "controversial issue". Our holistic health physically and psychologically is in the hands of whom ever and what ever lab levels are going at the time. We lose our fundamental right to control our own health because "they" are flexible on this level or that level.. doesn't matter, as long as they don't have the issue and they can maintain control over their own bodies. My levels are now 3.74 from 2.13 and I feel fatigued and depressed. It is affecting my studies/degree, and being a mature age student, I don't have the time to do it over. Why don't we get the choice to have our system working optimally, within the optimal level range?
The ranges for Free T3 and Free T4, the biologically active thyroid hormones, vary because they are based on test results from that lab. Test results always will vary from lab to lab, to some degree, thus, the difference in ranges.
The different ranges for TSH are due to whether the lab uses the old or new ranges recommended by the AACE/ATA guidelines. That doesn't really matter much if the doctor knows what he is doing. I say that because TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many things that, at best, it is only an indicator to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms, and also levels of Free T3 and Free T4.
You can get some good insight into this issue from this link written by a good thyroid doctor. Also, I expect that it will push you to find a doctor that doesn't diagnose based on TSH only.
Did I try to pass this off as a "controversial issue"? I certainly didn't mean to.
The fact of the matter is, as gimel pointed out, that different labs will always have different ranges. Furthermore, population reference ranges ignore individual differences. We always say, "Just being in range is not good enough to feel well." All of us have our individual reference range.
I may feel perfectly well with a TSH of 3.0, and you might feel hypo as hell.
As gimel also pointed out and I suggested to the original poster above, FT3 and FT4 are much more reliable indicators of thyroid status than TSH is. However, no lab test is totally reliable taken out of the context of the whole person, including those terribly subjective symptoms. We're trying to quantify what can't be quantified. Lab results are subject to interpretation, and that's where the art of medicine, that part of medicine that's all but disappeared, comes in.
Organizations such as ATA and AACE don't exist for patients. They exist to keep doctors out of court. They define a "standard of care", which is a legal term, not a medical term, and doctors operating within that standard can be fairly confident no one can sue them. This is obviously sad.
Our medical system is horribly broken. Patients are virtually powerless to change it. Change has to come from within. In the end, the doctor is more concerned about his license than about you or me. In fact, one or two of the more honest ones have admitted that to me.
In the meantime, those of us on this forum, try to help interpret the finer points of lab results.
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