When is high TSH normal? Does a TSH above 4 require medication? Are you really Hypothyroid?
As many authors write, including myself….. Don’t we want TSH to be between 1 and 2?
This 2013 Mercola newsletter article caught my eye with this statement….
“Reduced thyroid levels (TSH levels above 5), for a lean individual following a low-carb diet, may be normal and healthy!”
OK then! My recent bloodwork was puzzling, as my TSH had climbed from 1.5 (perfect) to 4.53 (a little high in most people’s book). I checked for thyroid antibodies – nope, no Hashimotos’ – and then saw this. Ah-ha!
That’s me! The lean body, Paleo eater, burning fat so efficiently that the thyroid can chill out a bit!
So is high TSH normal?
As Dr. Ron Rosedale notes in the excerpt below, reduced thyroid TSH levels don’t necessarily mean hypothyroidism. Your body chooses to lower thyroid hormones as it is utilizing fat efficiently on the Paleo Diet. It’s an example of how your body adapts to your current situation.
“Metabolic rate and temperature has long been connected with longevity. Almost all mechanisms that extend lifespan in many different organisms result in lower temperature. Flowers are refrigerated at the florist to extend their lifespan. Restricting calories in animals also results in lower temperature, reduced thyroid levels, and longer life.
It should be noted that reduced thyroid levels in this case are not synonymous with hypothyroidism. Here, the body is choosing to lower thyroid hormones because the increased efficiency of energy use and hormonal signaling (including perhaps thyroid) is allowing this to happen.
Anything will dissolve faster in hot water than cold water. Extra heat will dissolve, disrupt and disorganize. This is not what I try to do to make someone healthy. It is commonly advised to increase metabolism and increase thermogenesis for health and weight loss.
Yet how many of you would put a brand of gasoline in your car that advertised that it would make your engine run hotter? What would that do to the life of your car? It is not an increase in metabolism that I am after; it is improved metabolic quality.”
Now here’s another piece of the puzzle – LEPTIN – that amazing fat-burning hormone that recent research is just bursting to tell us about! It also regulates body temperature, in part because of its relationship with the thyroid. Many followers of the Standard American Diet are insulin resistant AND Leptin resistant. The combo is deadly.
But the Paleo Diet (or my Diet For Human Beings DVD) can resolve both these issues and let the hormones signal correctly, perhaps for the first time in many of us.
Bottom line? Stick to the no-grain, no-bean, no dairy and no “chronic cardio” that all the Paleo biggies teach. It works! And if your TSH climbs a bit after fat-adapting, that may be good news! Note: If you have auto-immune Thyroiditis, check with your doctor…