Is the TSH normal range even representative? - Thyroid UK

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Is the TSH normal range even representative?

rosetrees profile image

In this thread someone suggested that the normal range is supposed to be set using patients who don't suffer thyroid issues.

I worry about the ranges as it's my understanding that the labs set the ranges using tests that have been sent to them at the request of doctors - ie tests taken from patients who are ill. I've never heard of a well patient being asked to supply a test for reference purposes.

Anyhow, just read this article where the writer says:

"Who goes to labs to get tested? Sick people. If a lab creates its “normal” range based on test results from sick people, is that really a normal range? Does that tell us anything about what the range should be for health?"

How the ranges are set in the US is also mentioned in this vide.

One day I must ask my GP how the ranges are set in the UK. I'll bet he doesn't know.

11 Replies

and this too

Perhaps this will answer some of your questions. You need to download two pdf's, the presentation and the slide notes and open them side by side so you can read the notes as you look at the slides. PR

rosetrees profile image
rosetrees in reply to PR4NOW

Thank you. I just got a bit of a bee in my bonnet about this. I need to calm down!

And depending on where you live, depends on what levels the labs use!!

Where I am in Wigan, is it 0.2 - 4.2

In Barry Island where my aunt lives is it 0.2 - 3.0!! As it is in the USA too!!

Ann xxx

PR4NOW profile image
PR4NOW in reply to ChemicalAngel

Actually it varies considerably in the US, usually around .3 to .4 on the bottom and 4.0-4.5 and even 5.5 still on the top. PR

I live on Barry Island too ;-)

Hi it is difficult to get the correct treatment with low tSH. I am treated on my T4 and FT3 as TSH always been immeasurable, too low, I had all the investigations for low TSH and no cause ever found.

Best wishes,


my lab range goes up to 5.50

Hi just found out this week my lab range is 0.20 - 4.50 .

Do the actual test results differ from lab to lab? For example, If I went for a test at Sezzy's lab and got a results of 5.5 would the same test at Lizzy's lab give a results of 4.5?

Makes you think that if the lab ranges are different from lab to lab ,maybe they think the hypo is different from area to area and that is why we are all not well.It just dont make sense

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