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Functional Medicine: Understanding Thyroid Lab Tests | Wellness Clinic


Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, is among the most frequent chronic hormonal problem on the planet. With approximately 20 million instances in America alone and 200 million people affected globally, hypothyroidism is a silent epidemic. What’s worse is that about half of those struggling with this health issue are undiagnosed.


How can people know they have a thyroid disease?


Living with weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, brain fog, depression, nervousness or gastrointestinal problems can cause pain and discomfort, often making the individual feel hopeless. If your thyroid is not functioning well, nothing within your body works properly. Many people will visit their healthcare specialists to have lab tests. In case your thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH, is out of this lab range, you are given Synthroid, or even levothyroxine. If the labs are “normal,” you’re typically shipped home, without any choices left for a traditional medicine approach.


“Normal” Lab Ranges for Thyroid Issues


Should you still have low thyroid symptoms and your TSH is “normal”, something is not being addressed. How can we get the “normal” lab range anyhow? The reference array is based on a statistical average of the lab’s populace. That is, other than vitamin D and cholesterol levels, laboratory reference ranges will change depending upon the lab.


The people who normally have work done on labs are mathematically not the weakest segment of the population. So if the laboratory results are “normal” despite them having symptoms, what your healthcare professional is essentially saying is that you’re the same as a lot of other ill people. In functional medicine, practitioners look at a more narrow range wherever your body functions optimally and you feel great.


Functional Medicine Guide To Recognizing Thyroid Labs


A functional medicine approach at your thyroid is more in depth than a T4 plus and TSH. Here are a few of the labs functional medicine practitioners perform on their patients and what they mean:




Thyroid-stimulating hormone is released from your pituitary gland to communicate with your thyroid gland. It’s sort of like your brain shouting in your thyroid, if your TSH is elevated. Research has linked a lab “normal” TSH of 2.5-3.5 mIU/mL with a 69 percent risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke. Now you can see why the optimal “functional” range is so important for your health, not just on the lookout for labs from the larger reference array.


Laboratory Range: .45-5.5 mIU/L

Optimal Range: 1.8-2.5 mIU/L


Total T4


T4 is mostly inactive from the human body and has to be converted to be usable. This lab gives you a total of bound and unbound forms of T4. Hormones have to be unbound to be utilized by your entire body. Due to this, this lab doesn’t provide the action of T4 to us when quantified alone. T4 is measured together with a T3 uptake.


Laboratory Range: 4.5-12 mg/DL

Maximum Range: 6.0-12.0 mg/DL


T3 Uptake


This lab does not look at T3, but is very helpful at indirectly looking at hormones like testosterone or estrogen and their relation with the binding of thyroid hormones.


Reference Range: 22-35%

Optimal Range: 28%-38%


Total T3


This laboratory shows us the amount of the active thyroid hormone. It permits a healthcare professional to verify your body’s ability also to rule out an overactive thyroid gland and to convert T4 to T3.


Lab Range: 80-200 ng/DL

Maximum Range: 100-180 ng/DL


Free T4


This will let you know the degrees of free or active form of T4. This will be reduced in cases of hypothyroidism but may be normal in early stages of thyroid disorder.


Laboratory Range: 0.8-1.8 ng/DL

Optimal Range: 1.0-1.5 ng/DL


Free T3


This is your thyroid hormone’s more energetic form. Low T3 syndromes are a common dysfunction seen in practice, and also a low level of the hormone is strongly linked to a greater risk of coronary attack. The issue with this if you’re taking a T4 medicine is that the hormone isn’t being converted by your body into T3, though there are other reasons why thyroid medications may not be working properly.


Laboratory Range: 2.3-4.2 pg/mL

Maximum Range: 3.0-4.0 pg/mL


Reverse T3


Stress and cortisol may increase levels of reverse T3, which is an form of the thyroid gland.


Reference Range: 8-25 ng/DL

Maximum Range: 9.2-24.1 ng/DL


Thyroid Antibodies


Elevated levels of thyroid antibodies reveals an attack against the thyroid gland. The majority of low thyroid cases are around the spectrum, the most typical Hashimoto’s disease.


Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Ab Optimal Range: 0-15 IU/mL

Thyroglobulin Ab Optimal Range: 0-0.9 IU/mL


Labs to address the health of your immune system, your microbiome, along with hormones should be considered. Every one of these labs are going to be a first step into finding out which thyroid pattern which you have, and keep in mind there are thyroid dysfunctions that don’t appear on labs.


The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900Green-Call-Now-Button-24H-150x150-2.png


By Dr. Alex Jimenez


Additional Topics: Wellness


Overall health and wellness are essential towards maintaining the proper mental and physical balance in the body. From eating a balanced nutrition as well as exercising and participating in physical activities, to sleeping a healthy amount of time on a regular basis, following the best health and wellness tips can ultimately help maintain overall well-being. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards helping people become healthy.


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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Functional Medicine: Understanding Thyroid Lab Tests | Wellness Clinic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
License Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*
Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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