You Ask, We Answer: Thyroid Levels

September 29, 2011

You Ask, We Answer: Thyroid Levels

“I had a TSH drawn and my level was 1.44.  I know this is in the normal range but was wondering since it is at the low end of normal if I should consult my doctor about a thyroid medication.”

When we check thyroid levels we look at the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which is a signal from the pituitary (in the brain).

If the TSH is high (above 5) then they have hypothyroid – or an under active thyroid – and that is when someone needs to go on thyroid medication.  When the TSH is low (usually less than 0.4) then they have hyperthyroid – or over active thyroid – and should have a different treatment, not thyroid medication.

Think of the TSH as the signal from the brain telling the thyroid what to do.  If it is high the thyroid is underactive and not producing enough hormone.  If the TSH is low the thyroid is overactive and producing too much hormone.  The patient in question does not need medication at this time.

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