Thyroid math: what the numbers mean and what your doctor forgot to tell you

Jun 16, 2022

As you guys know, because I talk about it a lot on Instagram, many of my clients will come to me for weight loss and more energy. I hear those things ALL the time in my consultations.. and what I uncover with so many clients is that they’re actually struggling with hypothyroidism and don’t even know it.


Thyroid lab values can be really counterintuitive and super confusing. When you combine the concept of hypothyroidism with the common low thyroid symptoms of brain fog and depression, you’ve got a perfect storm for feeling overwhelmed and disempowered about what to do next.


So I want to take this opportunity to shed some light on what is ACTUALLY considered hypothyroid, so if you’re feeling low, or heavy in your body, or always cold, and you can’t get any answers, this may light the way for you.


Thyroid lab values can get really confusing… here’s what I mean.


  • The most common test doctors run is TSH. TSH goes up when thyroid function is low
  • Your thyroid makes T1, T2, T3, and T4, but your mainstream doc will probably only check TSH and maybe free T4, which is not the whole picture of what’s going on!
  • You definitely want to test your T3 as well because this is the active form of your thyroid hormone


So with all of that said, most people aren’t even seeing the full picture of what’s going on with their thyroid because mainstream doctors tend to have a resistance to checking. There are some other really important things for you to know if you’re feeling all of the HYPOthyroid symptoms and your doctor is telling you that your labs are in the “normal range.”


  • In 2002, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry lowered the normal range for TSH to 0.3-2.5. Most docs don’t know this and are still using the old, pre-2002 range! Labs too. If your TSH is above 2.5, you’ll definitely want to have a further conversation with your doctor about more comprehensive testing and potential supplementation and/or work with a coach on lifestyle and dietary changes
  • Changing the lab criteria means that more than 13 million Americans are likely to be defined as hypothyroid.
  • Women are ten times more likely to have thyroid problems than men, and their symptoms often get overlooked and misdiagnosed.
  • A lot of people have high reverse T3, which is a sign of overactive adrenals and too much stress and low free T3 (your active thyroid hormone).
  • Ideally, to feel your best, you want your free T3 in the upper half of the normal range and your TSH in the lower half of the normal range. Between .3 and 2.0.
  • If you’re dealing with weight gain, depression-like symptoms, hair loss, and chronic fatigue, all these symptoms combined are highly suggestive of thyroid issues and it becomes more and more likely the older you get as a woman.. although I was struggling at 23.


As you start to try to uncover what may be going on with your health, working with a doctor, and discussing your labs and symptoms, I hope this short email empowers you. If you have a doctor shut you down with your newfound knowledge, maybe it’s time to find a new doctor or a coach that can walk alongside you and help you to ask the right questions so you can get back to a place of feeling calm, serene, have ease around your weight, an overflow of energy, a stable, supportive mood and keep your hair on your head where it should be.


Sending so much love X