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normal tsh level?
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normal tsh level?

I have been having thyroid problems for about 7 months now, and at first my thyroid was overactive and now it's underactive. my tsh levels went from 305 to 800 to 710 and now it's in the 1500's! my t4 level is at 8. how long is it going to take for me to feel better again? i am always sleepy, weak, moody, have gained 15 pounds, and just want to feel better. i'm 19 years old and this condition is ruining my life. Does anyone know what's the best meds? i'm on levothyroxine 0.075 mcg. Thanks! Please respond.


This discussion is related to Extremely high TSH level-117.
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Avatar_m_tn
Do you have all your lab results ie: Free T3 and Free T4 with reference ranges, post them and members can advise and comment, however if you have been like this for seven months, it might be time to find another MD. Regards FTB4
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231441_tn?1333896366
If your TSH is that high, it means you are extremely hypothyroid.  You would need a large increase in meds. 0. 075 mcg is not a very high dose (if you need full replacement).

However, your doctor should also test FT3 and FT4 to see where levels are.  Meds should be adjusted based on FT3 and 4, with levels needing to be at least upper 1/2 of the range and you should be feeling good.

if your doctor is not properly medicating you then you need a new doctor.

If your FT3 is very low, they may need to give you a T3 medication (cytomel) as well as the T4 medication (levothyroxine) - or you may want to try a natural thryoid meds.

However, in any case you need to have your meds adjusted.  This does take time.

maybe it would help if you can tell us what meds you were given along the way and how they've been increased.
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Avatar_f_tn
I would suggest seeing an endocrinologist if you haven't already, or changing doctors..I can't even imagine what you must feel like, my highest TSH level was 13.7 and I was MISERABLE.

My grandmother was just diagnosed two days ago and her TSH is 69.5 and we thought that was bad..

My mom's on .88mcg of the same medication and her tsh has never been over 7..

I'm sure each person responds differently to these things but I would imagine, especially since your levels are not getting any better, that you would be on a higher dose.

Also, I've heard Armour Thyroid works better for some people who have issues with Synthroid, it might be worth mentioning. :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been hypo for over 15 years now. My initial TSH was 526 and it took about 6 months to get me on the right dose and to the point that I actually felt "semi-normal". I am currently on .200mcg. I think the best thing to do is see an endo and have the tests mentioned above. Good luck to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
So strange. My TSH level has stayed between 5-8 for the last 10 years with or without synthorid. When I was at 7 they started me at 0.025 and it went down to 5, then back to 6. Upped to to 0.050 and it went back to 5 then up again to 7.2. The doc prescribed 0.075 but I had recently read The China Study so I decided to experiment and went vegan, cutting my dose to 0.035. Guess what, it went to 7.5. So I went back to 0.075 and my TSH is still at 5.

My question is, is it worth upping the dose to get to the 3-4 range? I feel great, have even lost weight, have tons of energy. Is is possible that I simply have slower metabolism? Or should I keep increasing the dose until I get it under 4?
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Avatar_m_tn
TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many variables that it is totally inadequate as a diagnostic for thyroid.  At best it is an indicator, to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms, and also levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4.  FT3 is the most important because it largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions.  Scientific studies have also shown that FT3 correlated best with hypo symptoms, while FT4 and TSH correlated very poorly.

A good thyroid doctor will treat a hypo patient clinically by testing and adjusting FT3 and FT4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels.  symptom relief should be all important, not just test results.  Test results are valuable mainly as indicators during diagnosis and then afterward to track levels of FT3 and FT4 as meds are revised to relieve symptoms.

So basically when you get to a dosage at which you are euthyroid (neither hyper nor hypo) then that is what really matters, not your test results, and especially not TSH.  TSH causes no symptoms, it is only an indicator of the levels of FT3 and FT4.  And it is a very poor indicator at that.

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Avatar_f_tn
if yours is that high, you should be on a much higher dosage. mine was 240.09 and this was only the work of maybe 1 year and i gained 100 lbs in that  one  year and i was practically passing out even while driving...he started me off low but now 4 years later, im on .175 mcg of synthroid and it works marvelously. i actually just got some results back for a check-up and my level is currently @ 1.09  :)

good luck!
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Avatar_m_tn
I am assuming that is a TSH test.  TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many variables that it is not a reliable indication of your actual thyroid hormone levels.  It is a good idea to always test for Free T3 and Free T4 (not Total T3 and Total T4), whenever you go in for testing.  Free T3 is the most important thyroid hormone, since it largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions.  Scientific studies have also shown that it correlated best with hypo symptoms, while Free T4 and TSH did not correlate.
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Avatar_f_tn
well, i just do what my endocrinologist tells me to.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, if it is working great for you, fine.  However, TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by many other variables, and it is a very poor diagnostic for thyroid status, especially when already taking thyroid meds.   Lots of hypo patients taking large doses of T4 find that they are not adequately converting the T4 to T3, and they continue to have lingering hypo symptoms because their Free T3 is too low in the range.

I was like that for over 25 years because I just did what my doctors told me.  Unfortunately it was wrong.  You can only tell if the meds are right and your levels are right by whether or not you have lingering hypo symptoms,such as those listed in this link,  and also by testing the levels of Free T3 and Free T4 to confirm.    

http://endocrine-system.emedtv.com/hypothyroidism/hypothyroidism-symptoms-and-signs.html
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Avatar_f_tn
my doctor has never even suggested i get a t3 or t4 test. but he is the most amazing doctor.
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Avatar_m_tn
Knowing your Free T3 and Free T4 levels are (not Total T3 and Total T4) is very useful.   For example it will reveal if you are adequately converting all that T4 dosage.  If you have any lingering hypo symptoms such as low metabolism, or any of the others listed in the above link, then knowing your Free T3 and Free T4 levels becomes even more important in making the right medication and dosage decisions.  If your doctor is truly an amazing thyroid doctor then he will have no problem testing you for Free T3 and Free T4.  


I think you might get some good insight from this letter written by a good thyroid doctor for patients that he sometimes consults with from a distance.  The letter is sent to the PCP of the patient to help guide treatment.

http://hormonerestoration.com/files/ThyroidPMD.pdf

In this letter, among many interesting bits of info, please note this.  "The diagnosis of thyroid insufficiency, and the determination of replacement dosing, must be based upon the patient’s symptoms first, and on the free T4 and free T3 levels second. The TSH test helps only to determine the cause."
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