What is the normal level for a healthy thyroid?

71-year-old woman5 years ago
My last 2 lab results are 3.8 and 3.6 for the TSH test (mIU/L). Is this normal? My doctor says I have a lazy thyroid. Should I take a medication like Synthroid? Thank you.
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71-year-old woman · 5 years ago
I consider myself obese. I am 5 ft. tall and weigh 173 lbs. I exercise 3 times a week in a moderate way because I get more and more out of breath if I do more effort. I had a heart attack during a treadmill and then had a coronary angiogram which was negative. Despite the fact that I keep moving and eating well, I am not losing weight and my cholesterol level remains high. Following my treadmill, I take Lipitor (Apo-Atorvastatin 40mg), 1 tablet per day.
Anne-Émilie Dionne · 5 years ago
First of all, to evaluate the function of the thyroid gland and to adjust the medication accordingly, we rely mainly on the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. In adults the target values are between 0.3 and 5.0 mU/L, but these values may differ somewhat from one laboratory to another
A TSH of 3.6-3.8 is therefore relatively normal (perhaps a little high, which is why your doctor calls it a "lazy thyroid"). This value does not justify initiating thyroid hormone therapy such as Synthroid. However, it will be important to monitor this value (blood test) at least once a year or if you report significant symptoms of hypothyroidism, to ensure that it does not increase and become abnormal
Since thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating your metabolism, a deficiency can cause typical "slow metabolism" symptoms such as fatigue, constipation, weight gain, muscle weakness, dry skin, dry/broken hair, cold intolerance and others..
I encourage you to continue to exercise and take your medication regularly to aim for a healthy weight. Remember that the goal is 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (shortness of breath making normal conversation difficult) 5 times a week. Adopting a healthy diet inspired by the Mediterranean diet (see the website: https://www.icm-mhi.org/fr/prevention/adopter-saines-habitudes-vie/alimentation-mediteraneenne) is also part of the necessary steps to reach a healthy weight. The thyroid gland is not the only "culprit" for excess weight!
I invite you to contact me again if you have any other questions about this.
Have a nice day!
Anne-Émilie Dionne, pharmacist

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