How to interpret thyroid level results?

I've wondered for a while if I have a thyroid problem. I've suffered years of depression, memory problems, fatigue, anxiety, palpitations and more recently, thinning hair (this was the most strange to me). I'm a 29 year old female and have been on a paleo-style diet for a couple years and more towards the BP diet for over a year now, with relatively good luck. I've lost about 36lbs over the last 2 years and while I'm not quite where I want to be physically, I'm becoming more concerned with the fatigue and anxiety than my weight. My weight loss has been pretty slow, yet steady. I finally got my doc to order a thyroid level check, specifically requesting a check for T3 levels after hearing a recent Bulletproof podcast on it. However, I can't seem to find anywhere where they talked about normal levels in relation to T3. There is the "reference range" suggested on my paperwork and I'm good according to those, but am wondering if there's something I'm missing? Here are my values (14 hrs fasting):

TSH - 1.06 mIU/L Reference range > or = 0.40-4.50
T4 - 6.3 Reference range 4.5-12.0 mcg/dL
T3 - 92 Reference range 76-181 ng/dL




  • RekaReka ✭✭✭
    edited November 2016

    These levels look okay to me, although they are not in the middle of the range. Maybe check out your adrenals as well, they can cause very similar symptoms (exhaustion, brain fog, cold body temperature, depressive mood, forgetfulness etc.). Adrenal problems also cause the thyroid to slow down. I only did a saliva test for cortisol, 4 times during the day, but it's useful to also look at ACTH and DHEA. Perhaps also a rT3 test, depending on how much you can afford, for me it was just the three thyroid hormones and cortisol, it was enough to realize I'm in a very crappy situation healthwise. :( Look for the adrenals, if you are eating low carb high fat it is likely that they are being overworked and on the way to exhaustion.

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  • Hey Reka,

    I've also thought about my adrenals as well. I was going at work hard there for a while and was under a lot of stress for a long period of time, so it would make sense. I'm not extremely low carb, though I avoid most of it til lunch or dinner (I stick to sweet potatoes and white rice as my main sources, sometimes some gluten free bread and the occasional snack of root veggie chips). I'll definitely ask my doc about cortisol testing when I have a follow-up - I've thought about it a few times due to my anxiety issues.



  • Hey Danielle,

    This is a quick and dirty middle of the night comment, but I wanted to tell you that you can't tell your thyroid health with just those numbers alone. You are missing two key aspects- 1) testing for an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Grave's disease by testing for 2 different thyroid antibodies and 2) checking the ratio of reverse t3 to free t3 to see how your body converts t4 (the pro hormone) to t3 (the active thyroid hormone your body uses).

    I would highly suggest checking out the book The Paleo Thyroid Solution. It had the most "meat" to it in terms of useable substance out of all the thyroid books I've read.

  • Hi CMcLarty, I was afraid of that... I may wait til we move so I can find a new doctor who actually knows about these things so I can get the proper testing. My current doc is very old school and tried telling me I need to be a vegetarian and drink soy milk. :| In the meantime, I'll check out the book! Thanks for your help!


  • edited January 2017

    no, TSH should be much lower than the lab reference range! you also need a more comprehensive blood draw. i typically fill 12 viles during my blood draws. find another doc. good luck!

  • @loseit I haven’t checked in here for a while!

  • @loseit my thyroid health seems to have normalized - everything was in range last time I was checked in the spring. I am only on 25mcg levothyroxine and don't seem to have any symptoms except more dizziness but that may not be the meds. I stopped intermittent fasting because I had plateaued for over a year, and starting doing the Autoimmune Protocol and am now in the reintroduction phase. I lost my last 10lbs doing that, kept it off for 3 months, and have even more energy than I did on the BP diet. I found my body just needs more carbs!

  • @loseit yes, especially for women. I'm sure you'll get there! Do what works for you - use "diets" as a template but tweak it when necessary. I've already found using AIP as a template that I'm sensitive to several things I didn't know about that were causing inflammation. You WILL lose the weight if you don't give up - keep it up!

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