Normal Thyroid Levels

The thyroid gland produces two hormones, thyroxine or T4 and triiodothyronine or T3. These hormones regulate the rate of the metabolism. If the levels of the hormones are too high, the metabolism will be too fast. If the levels of the thyroid hormone are too low, the metabolism will be too slow. In order to keep the metabolism running at the correct rate, the levels of thyroid hormones must be maintained within the normal range.

The production of hormones by the thyroid gland is regulated by thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH. Thyroid stimulating hormone is produced by the pituitary gland in response to low levels of thyroid hormones in the blood. It stimulates the gland to produce more thyroid hormones. Once the levels of the thyroid hormones are high enough, production of thyroid stimulating hormone ceases. The thyroid gland is no longer stimulated and production of the thyroid hormones slows. This prevents the levels of thyroid hormones from rising too high.

Sometimes, the system that regulates the activity of the thyroid gland or the thyroid gland itself may fail to function properly. This can lead to the levels of thyroid hormones becoming too high or too low. If the levels are too high, this is known as hyperthyroidism. If the levels are too low, it is known as hypothyroidism. The levels of thyroid hormones and thyroid stimulating hormone can be measured in order to determine whether someone if suffering from hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

The levels of thyroid hormones are also monitored in patients who are being treated for hypothyroidism. This thyroid disorder is treated with daily doses of synthetic thyroid hormones. Treatment will be begun at a low dosage and the patient will be required to undergo regular blood testing in order to check the levels of the thyroid hormones in their blood. Initially, these tests will be conducted every two to three months. During this time, the dosage will be adjusted according to the results of the blood tests. Once the correct dosage has been found, the levels of thyroid hormones will become normal. After this, the patient will still need to undergo annual blood tests in order to check that the dosage is still working.

A range of 0.3 to 3.3 is usually considered normal for TSH. The normal ranges for T4 and T3 are 4.5 to 12.5 and 80 to 220. If the levels of thyroid hormones or TSH in the blood are not within these normal ranges then it could indicate a thyroid disorder.


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