What is Your Optimal TSH?

Understanding and identifying the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), secreted by the head of the pituitary gland, is the gold standard for diagnosing hypothyroidism, which is linked to cardiac risk factors including:
  • Plasma homocysteine
  • C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • Cholesterol levels

Researchers conducted a study to discover the relationship between these risk factors and the suppression of TSH. The study involved 400 patients divided into three groups. All groups were given Free T3 and Free T4, hormones produced by the thyroid gland. The groups were divided by:

  • Group 1: TSH level less than 2.0
  • Group 2: TSH level ranging from 2.0 to less than 5.5
  • Group 3: TSH level ranging from 5.5 to less than 20.0

The study found that normalizing TSH with a target TSH levels of less than 2.0 is necessary to lower CRP, homocystene and possibly cholesterol levels.

Mary Shomon, author of Living Well With Hypothyroidism, a book detailing the mystery and symptoms behind the disease, was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in 1995. Shomon was able to turn her experiences with thyroid complications into a tool in order to help others struggling with similar issues.

Aside from running the top thyroid Web site on the Internet, Shomon researches and writes about autoimmune disease, hormones and weight loss.

Mary Shomon September 30, 2004

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The mistake many conventional doctors make is using TSH exclusively to guide the dosage of thyroid replacement therapy. Actually, patients need Free T3 and Free T4 levels to do this. You can see my article on how to diagnose and treat thyroid disease for more details.

If your TSH levels are greater than 2.0, you are clearly at an increased risk of developing hypothyroidism.

The higher your TSH levels are, the more likely it is you have an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. Your pituitary increases TSH as a way to stimulate your thyroid gland to make enough thyroid hormone. If you have enough thyroid hormone it does not need to secrete a stimulus for the thyroid to make more hormones. So when your TSH levels are low, it usually means your thyroid gland is generally producing enough thyroid hormone. When your TSH levels are high, this usually means your body requires more thyroid hormone.

There are a number of strategies you can implement to help improve your thyroid function. One is to take essential minerals for your thyroid. Thyroid hormone is composed of three or four iodine molecules so you will want to make sure you have a good source of iodine. If you are already taking thyroid hormones it is unnecessary to take any iodine supplements. Two other strategies that help increase the conversion of T4 to T3 would be progesterone and selenium.

One additional option that can be considered is coconut oil. It is important to understand that coconut oil can vary widely in terms of the types of coconuts used, the manufacturing processes used to make the oil, and more.

You should use the coconut oil to cook with or massage the body as it makes a great massage oil.

Keep in mind that thyroid disease can affect almost every aspect of health, so understanding more about your thyroid, and the symptoms that occur when something goes wrong with this small gland, can help you regain your health.

Related Articles:

Elevated Homocysteine Levels May Affect Your Ability to Think

How To Know If Your Thyroid Is Working Properly With Blood Tests

Thyroid Testing Update

Hypothyroidism Index

Current Thyroid Testing Inadequate

How to Help Your Thyroid With Virgin Coconut Oil

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