Rethinking “Normal” Ranges

Many people have come to me asking if they have a thyroid problem. Their hair is falling out, they’ve become sensitive to certain foods, their hands and feet are always cold, they’ve gained weight and have insomnia, mood swings and a fatigue they just can’t shake off. In other words, they feel terrible. Do I even need to mention that they’re depressed too?


We’ve  all been there before.  We go to the doctor eager for help and looking for some answers and walk away feeling dismissed, especially if our basic thyroid panel comes back “normal.” We go from one doctor or endocrinologist to the next, and one medication to the next but never really feel good.


So you had a test and you’re “in the normal range.” Welcome to the club. Twelve doctors and two hospitals tested my thyroid and my levels were always in the “normal” ranges. Fortunately, I finally received a comprehensive thyroid panel, which tested numerous factors that I’d never even heard about before. This is how I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease in which your body attacks your thyroid.

I hadn’t known that, while they are “normal lab values” for blood tests, there are also “FUNCTIONAL” or “OPTIMAL” values which actually tell you far more about your thyroid. My TSH, T3, T4 and other basic thyroid levels have ALWAYS been in the “normal” range. However, when I was sick, they were not in the OPTIMAL ranges. Below is a list of functional/optimal ranges for thyroid markers. If your results are above or below these ranges, let’s get you some help so you can start feeling better. Find your latest blood test results and compare to the chart below.

WANT TO HAVE REAL POWER IN THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE? Learn which tests you REALLY need and why, discover the optimal ranges for a comprehensive blood panel and find the right doctor for you with The Radical TLC Solution’s: Thyroid Love 101


Name of MarkerLab Range*OPTIMAL Range
TSH.35 to 5.01.8 to 3.0
Total T4 or TT46-12 ug/d5.4-11.5 ug/d
Free Thyroxine Index or FTI4.6-10.9 mg/dl1.2-4.9 mg/dl
Free T4 or FT40.7-1.53 ng/dL1.0 – 1.53 ng/dL
Resin T3 Uptake24 – 39 md/dl28 – 38 md/dl
Free T3 or FT3260 – 480 pg/mL300 – 450 pg/mL
Thyroxine Binding Globulin or TBG15 -30 ug/dl18 -27 ug/dl
TPO Antibody (auto-antibodies)<15<15

* ”Normal” lab ranges may vary based on the lab.

*If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from thyroid disease, please forward this page or set up an appointment with me today. Feel free to pin, email or share this page via Twitter or Facebook. Let’s spread the word that there is hope!