People that suspect they have low thyroid function often go to their doctor to get thyroid blood tests done.
However, is important to understand that the normal ranges for these tests have been made very wide, thus hypothyroid people often fall within the normal ranges, and are thus not treated for their low thyroid function.
What are Thyroid Blood tests?
Doctors determine thyroid function exclusively based on blood tests. A blood test for thyroid function usually involves measuring the Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) as well as the thyroid hormones T4 and T3.
Blood test For Free thyroid hormones:
Some doctors choose to measure the free thyroid hormones meaning free T4 and free T3. However, according to Dr. Ray Peat, measuring the free hormones is not a particularly good way of evaluating thyroid function, and the T4 and T3 blood tests are preferable.
Reverse T3 Blood test:
Some doctors use a blood test for reverse T3 in addition to the TSH, T4, and T3 blood tests. The reverse T3 blood test can provide very important information on your thyroid function. The reverse T3 is an inactive form of thyroid hormone, which increases in people with stress. You can learn more about reverse T3 in our blog post: “Anti-Thyroid Effect Of Reverse T3”.
Normal range of Thyroid Blood Tests:
Blood tests for TSH, T4, T3, and reverse T3, provide useful information on thyroid function!
However, it is important to understand that the normal ranges for these hormones have been made very wide, thus hypothyroid people often fall within the normal ranges on the blood tests.
Why is Dangerously high TSH Allowed?
The problem with wide the normal range for thyroid blood tests can be illustrated with the TSH test.
When your thyroid function is low your TSH increase. Thus a high TSH is an indicator of hypothyroidism.
In many countries, a TSH number up to 4 or even 5 is seen as normal. But according to Dr. Ray Peat, you will most likely experience symptoms of low thyroid function when your TSH is above 2. Thus, you might be normal on the TSH test, but suffer symptoms of hypothyroidism.
According to Dr. Ray Peat, it is best if your TSH is below one and he even advocates for it to be as low as 0.4. You can learn more about this subject in our Hypothyroid Treatment Program Module 16.
What does Thyroid blood test really tell you?
According to Dr. Ray Peat blood tests for thyroid function (including TSH, T4, T3, and reverse T3) do give valuable information on your thyroid function, but you need to remember that the normal ranges for these tests have been made too wide.
In addition, is important to understand that the levels of T4 and T3 in the blood are not necessarily a complete correct indicator of thyroid function on the cellular level.
The thyroid hormones will have variant effects on the cells depending on the presence of other factors such as stress, diet, and other hormones.
This means that the thyroid system is very complex and it is very difficult to predict the actual thyroid function on the cellular level from blood tests alone.
You can learn more about the function of the thyroid hormones and the thyroid system in our Hypothyroid Treatment Program.
How best to measure thyroid function?
According to Dr. Ray Peat, the best way to determine your thyroid functions is to combine blood tests for thyroid function with pulse and temperature measurements, as well as look for signs and symptoms of low thyroid function.
Temperature and pulse of low thyroid function:
By measuring your body temperature and pulse rate you will get a good impression of your thyroid function on the cellular level.
If your body temperature and pulse rate are consistently significantly below 98.6°F (37 °C) and 85 beats per minute, you might have a problem with your thyroid function. You can learn more about using pulse and temperature to test your thyroid function in our “Home Thyroid Test“.
We therefore always determine thyroid function based on both blood tests as well as symptoms and pulse and temperature measurements.
What are symptoms of low thyroid function:
In order to determine a person’s thyroid function, it is important to do an evaluation of the person’s symptoms, to better determine the actual thyroid function on the cellular level.
Since low thyroid function decreases the cellular energy production in every cell of the body, the signs, and symptoms related to hypothyroidism are very wast.
In hypothyroidism, your cells are in a low energy state resulting in the organ and tissues not working optimally. You can learn more about the signs and symptoms of low thyroid function in our Home Thyroid Test as well as in our “Hypothyroid Treatment Program”.
Do I have hypothyroidism?
If your blood test comes back with values that indicate low thyroid function, such as a TSH significantly above 1 and you experience signs and symptoms of low thyroid function, including low pulse and temperature, you might have hypothyroidism.
How to Increase your Thyroid function?
Many people are suffering from many of the typical hypothyroid symptoms and have been trying to address the symptoms individually when in reality correcting the underlying hypothyroidism is the core issue.
We help people with low thyroid function with diet, supplements, and hormonal support compounds to support their thyroid function and hormonal balance in general.
Our health method is based on Dr. Ray Peat, a leading thyroid expert who for more than 40 years has researched the interplay between nutrition, hormones, and health.
Especially important we offer online private counseling sessions, here we can discuss your thyroid blood test, your pulse, and temperature measurements as well as your symptoms, and how our diet and health approach can help you.