The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland and its purpose is to control the function of the thyroid gland. A high TSH means your pituitary senses that your thyroid is under active.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) demonstrated that the mean TSH in apparently normal, healthy participants is 1.4 uIU/mL.
Based upon the results of NHANES III, The National Academy for Clinical Biochemistry has recommended since 2002 that a serum TSH level between 0.5-2.0 uIU/mL to be considered the optimal therapeutic target for replacement treatment of hypothyroidism.
Several studies showed that levels of TSH above 2.5 and is associated with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, elevated fasting triglycerides, elevated blood pressure, and higher body mass index. Here is one representative study:
Most noteworthy, this study found that subjects with a TSH in the upper “normal” range (2.5-4.5) had a significantly higher BMI, higher fasting triglycerides, and their likelihood for fulfilling the ATP III criteria of the metabolic syndrome had a 1.7 increase. Therefore, the study concludes that a TSH above 2.5 is associated with an unfavorable metabolic profile.
Above 2.0 is unusual
In the event your TSH is above 2.0 it is my opinion you should first NOT accept this as normal and second you should seek a health professional knowledgeable in the identification and treatment of thyroid disorders.
Most physicians will ignore a TSH of 2.0 and insist that this is normal.
Suggest to your doctor
In actuality, I beg to differ and would suggest that you demand that your doctor order a total T4 and T3 and a free T4 and T3. Hence, with the utmost recommendation, it is imperative that you ask your doctor to order an Anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO), Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb).
Most noteworthy, I have been very fortunate to work with many patients who were able to receive information that their TSH was perfectly normal. However, they were able to discover that they had full blown Hashimoto’s Disease. Soon after running the above labs. An auto-immune disease of the thyroid.
Don’t be a victim to what some doctors consider a normal TSH. Fight for your right to achieve optimal health.
Ruhla S, Weickert MO, Arafat AM, Osterhoff M, Isken F, Spranger J, Schöfl C, Pfeiffer AF, Möhlig M. A high normal TSH is associated with the metabolic syndrome. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2010 May;72(5):696-701
Sharing of knowledge
The information on this website does not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Also, it is incorrect to consider this as a medical advise. Rather, it intends to share knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com to find practitioners thoroughly trained in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University’s Certification Program (CFMP).