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The range of "normal" for thyroid hormone varies quite significantly from lab to lab. One lab may say that .4 to 4.0 is normal where another lab may say .3 to 6.0 is normal. Our normal reference range, based onwhat we see in the clinic is 1.5 to 2.0 (with .3 to 3.0 being the full range we use), anything over 2.0 or below 1.5 gets our attention and we support the thyroid. However even men and women who have TSH within this optimal range can show low thyroid out put on further inspection. I know, its confusing.


If you have been dealing with fertility issues for awhile though its a good idea to have a more thorough screening. For example, I would suggest that you ask your doctor to test FT4 and FT3, which are the actual hormones produced by the thyroid. Your physician may be resistant to testing these if there is no apparent thyroid history or if TSH is normal so be ready to take responsibility for your own health and give him/her good reasons to test these. Realise you will likely have to pay out of pocket for these tests and you may get some resistance from your physicians. If your physician does not want to do this testing then contact us or your local naturopath as their are labs where you can go to get these tested at a reasonable price.


The other tests that should be considered if you have been dealing with fertility issues for a while and/or if you have had recurrent miscarriages or difficulty getting pregnant after a miscarriage or stillbirth, is thyroid antibodies. These are tested even less frequently than the thyroid hormones and its a shame as it has been shown that a woman with elevated thyroid antibodies (which can be elevated even if TSH is "normal") are 3 times more likely to experience post natal depression and more likley to experience miscarriage. Most physicians do not test this if TSH is normal however thyroid antibodies can be elevated even with normal TSH. Though traditionally physicians not familiar with its signficance regarding miscarriage will not treat elevated thyroid antibodies but instead they will usually tell you to wait until the thyroid fails (or TSH rises above its "normal" range before they will treat this. Based on research reviewed in the New York


Times medical treatment for this is typically Thyroxine. This treatment apparently decreases the incidence of miscarriage by half.


Natural remedies for optimising thyroid function are also available from herbs and nutritional supplements. An Ayurvedic herb called Withania Somnifera and Chinese herb Bacopa Monneri are a few herbs that have been shown to effect thyroid hormone levels. And nutrients such as selenium, zinc, iodine and chromium are significantly important as well. Keep in mind that the thyroid hormone T3 helps make progesterone and the nutrients mentioned are imperative in this process.


Clearly this is important information for any woman who wants to become pregnant or who is already pregnant. French researchers stated in a recent abstract, "Thyroid autoimmunity is associated with hypofertility, particularly with spontaneous abortion.


THE RESOURCES LISTED IN THIS DIRECTORY ARE UNSCREENED AND SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS RECOMMENDATIONS OR ENDORSEMENTS, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, BY THE AFA. 42


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