Normal Laboratory Values

Several years ago, I was seeing an endocrinologist for the management of my Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune form of hypothyroidism. I was continuing to exhibit multiple symptoms of underactive thyroid functioning, despite taking thyroid replacement medication each day.

My specialist decided to order a repeated panel of thyroid function tests. This includes the measurement of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). My results fell within the normal range.

More specifically, my results fell within the low normal range of the reference for this test. I discussed these results with my endocrinologist. His flippant response was that “normal is normal.”

However, these results were significantly different from those obtained during my previous TSH test. It’s always been my philosophy that the true practice of medicine is both science and art.

Exhibiting rigid adherence to laboratory test results does not reflect that one is a competent physician. The most astute clinicians synthesize information gleaned from objective test results, along with their patients’ own reports of how they are actually feeling, in making treatment decisions.

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