Being in the “normal” range has nothing to do with it, plus three adrenal videos to see

The famous psychiatrist Carl Jung used to say “To be normal is the ideal aim of the unsuccessful”. 

And nothing is ever so unsuccessful when it comes to thinking that a lab result within the so-called “normal” range is ideal. It’s not. And unfortunately, when I do phone coaching sessions with thyroid patients, I hear all too many say “My doctor/Nurse Practitioner/Physician’s Assistant/Naturopath says I’m normal”.  And I have to immediately back the conversation up and say “Can you share that lab result and range with me?”

Because as patients have learned:  “optimal” and “problem-free” has nothing to do with “being in range”.  It has to do with “where” in the range one’s result is.  

B12:  This may not be true for all international ranges, but when it definitely came to the US range or those similarly broad, we found out that ‘mid-range’ still produces symptoms of low B12, and we can confuse them with hypothyroidism, including fatigue and pain.  We look for our result to be in the upper quarter, if not near the top.  Because there, we found out, is where our symptoms related to low B12 abated.

Vitamin D:  Several leaders and I had a private discussion about all the conflicting information on the net as what an ideal Vit. D result was. We decided to follow the Vitamin D Council, which states that 60-80 is the goal.  I then add that progressive doctors like to see 80-100, which can especially be cancer-protective.

Cortisol Saliva Results:  When you look at the results of someone with no symptoms of an adrenal problem, here’s what you note: 8 am, at the top of the range; Noon, about a quarter from the top; Afternoon, mid-range; Bedtime, at the very bottom.

Iron: Of the four labs we generally like to see as thyroid patients, we note that a good Serum iron level is closer to 110 (with men being higher and up to 150, says some information); a good % Saturation is 30-35% for women and 40-45% for men; a good Ferritin will end up being 70-90 (though this can come last as one improves the others), and a good TIBC is about a quarter from the bottom.

To read more about what patients have learned about lab results, go to the Recommended Labwork page. Then scroll down to order the revised STTM book, which has even more detail throughout the book. You’ll find labwork information in Addendum C. 


I often feel I can’t rave enough about what Paul Robinson of the UK revealed to us about promoting better adrenal function without the use of the medication hydrocortisone (HC), also called Cortef.  It’s a quite unique method of using T3-only (or natural desiccated thyroid) in the early morning hours when the adrenals need it the most. You can see several testimonies–some with more updates coming–on the STTM T3 Circadian page, and mention of his book. You’ll also note that patient Taylor did saliva results after using this method.

Granted, if you have Addisons, hypopituitary, or untreated diabetes or blood sugar issues, you may still need HC. The STTM book contains and excellent chapter for that. But for the majority, this is a very workable solution.

And now, Robinson has created three videos to explain it all, which he also links to from his recent blog:

Part 1: 

Part 2:

Part 3:


Progress appears to be one step at a time. And we are seeing more and more doctors prescribing T3 to their patients on T4. That’s good!!

But…understand that doctors are FAMILIAR with the synthetics. So that’s what they will prescribe! But many, many patients who have tried both synthetics, and who have tried natural desiccated thyroid, report even better results with the latter. So THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN. Teach your doctor!! Why just be on synthetic T4 and synthetic T3 when you might do even better with all five hormones from desiccated thyroid—i.e. the same five your own thyroid would be giving you! Consider sending the Revised STTM book to your doctor: 


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11 Responses to “Being in the “normal” range has nothing to do with it, plus three adrenal videos to see”

  1. low_T_man

    Hi Janie,

    Thanks for this post on the “normal” range. I’m still battling with my Endo, although he has just trialled me on Levothyroxine (I have supposedly subclinical Hypothyroidism). I’ve been recently diagnosed with empty sella syndrome which is supposedly rare for a man in his 30’s.

    I had a head injury a couple of years ago that brought it about. I was put on testosterone because they thought it was down to my damaged pituitary. I have insisted on coming off Testosterone and because I battled and “insisted” I’m Hypothyroid and wanted T4 my Testosterone levels are now getting into the Normal range 6 weeks after stopping T (Normal for the first time in 2 years I might add!!) ALL because of my insisting on Trialling Levo.
    I have all the signs and symptoms of being Hypo but because in the UK, you are subclinical if your TSH is <10 mine was 6.78 and fluctuating between 3 and 6. My T4 is very low in the range too.

    So I may now be on my way to beating Low Testosterone. I'm hoping that I can make some headway in getting my thyroid treated properly! It's amazing really, I had one GP tell me that I either drank too much or was just "a bit depressed". I despair at this treatment – that was before I had got an MRI done. Again I had to insist upon seeing an Endo, and she only arranged it as she said "well I'm only doing this just so he can tell you there is nothing clearly you won't listen to me!" Not only that, she said "men don't get Hypothyroid" ..Now as an adult I can take it, but I fear that people with this mindset are determining the healthcare of children and the elderly.. what chance do they stand?

    If you are interested in my struggle against Hypogonadism induced by Hypothyroidism my blog is at

    Wish you all the best in your battles. Keep your powder dry folks!

  2. Lorie

    Men don’t get hypothyroid? WTF? That has got to go into the “Doctor’s Hall of Shame”!

  3. Low_T_Man

    Thanks Lorie, I think you are right and she should be ashamed. If I had listened to her I would be gravely ill now. No MRI done,no endo and no diagnosis of empty sella syndrome. Ever lowering thyroid, increasing prolactin. Zero testosterone. But all the antidepressants she could offer. Oh and not forgetting counselling for drinking alcohol (which I only do occasionally). I should go back & tell her all this, but I walked out mid consultation agry that she was ignoring my symptoms.

  4. Joseph

    Well, I have been following the blog for sometime, and I guess it is time to get my story out there.

    I am a 51 y.o. man that has been plagued with Hashimoto’s since childhood. In 2005, I had to have a total thyroidectomy because the goiter got so large, it was crushing my wind pipe. Six years later, just this past October, I underwent Liver Transplant surgery. Up, diagnosis “Autoimmune Hepatitis.” Do I believe that – absolutely not. I believe that my liver disease was 100% caused by my thyroid issue and the subsequent hormone imbalance since my thyroid surgery. Now, six months later, I am having a systemic inflammatory response and they are running test for Lyme, Lupus, RA, Sjogrens, and who knows what else. But do I believe it is coming my thyroid horomore imbalance…yes! Now to get an endocrinologist to admit that is something entirely different. But here I stand as a testimate that thyroid disease and hormone imbalance causes all sorts of issues. One day, I firmly believe that they will find the cause of all these ailments and it is going to be something with my thyroid hormones. I can’t wait until I can say “I told you so!”.

  5. Jane

    Joseph – your goiter and Hashi’s was caused by low iodine/high halides. See and Dr. Brownstein’s book, “Iodine Why You Need It”.

  6. Barbara

    Jane, are you saying that ALL Hashi’s is caused by iodine deficiency, or just in this case with the goiter? What are the most common causes of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?

    (From Janie: see Chapter 9 in the revised-revised STTM book)

  7. Lisa

    Joseph……you need to be evaluated for Celiac Disease! I have Celiac and Hashi’s, along with 2 other autoimmune diseases and your problems are all connected to Celiac!
    Autoimmune liver disease happens most commonly in Celiac patients and I really believe this is your answer as to why your autoimmune system is going haywire! Since going gluten free, all of my problems have calmed way down and I am doing great. Doctors never look for Celiac and they are killing people in the process! Please see a Celiac expert and do not hesitate to inform them of all your AI problems.

    Good Luck! ; )

  8. Lynn D

    trying to figure why so tired still. (been grainfree for years(SCD),not celiac, 1 test showed high RT3 but next Dr didnt believe in T3, (didnt matter , reated to cytomel and iodine(rash)). 1 Dr did ferritin finally (35) after 1 before that (10yrs ago of 12). Iron and sat was good though. My B12 is always ~900,but really feel better when take it, so think need a test that shows active form. Same with folate is aways high but feel bad if take it.Dont think I can use the synthetic form and had unmetabolized folate in blood.
    chloride- urine from adrenal test found online (always high). D vite is low no matter how much in sun or eat liver, so try low amount supplement as higher causes muscle cramps. Do have the 23andme test and showed VDR differenc snp’s. wish easier to feel healthier!!

    • Janie

      You will definitely get some answers by doing 23andme.

      • Lynn D

        Not sure how to get more help from the 23andme results.(am MTHFR C677T homozygous). SOmeone did research on snp’s that effect oxalates and found I have some of those,but really dont know what to do w info. (last Dr never heard of MTHFR….). Am try the pulse test this week to see what might react to (so far, the computer! ).

  9. Carla

    I’m 51, diagnosed 12 years ago with primary Addisons Disease and hypo-thyroidism. Up until this year, the condition was really well managed with Hysone, Florinef and Oroxine. This year I felt really sick, stressed, anxious (so scared I couldn’t speak and had to go and hide in a toilet – I used to be an actor, there’s no way that was me responding to a stressful environment or anything). Eventually, after various dead-ends my doctor found a B12 and vit D deficiencies. Vit d deficiency is normal where i live because of altitude and climate (everyone I have spoken to – I can talk now! – has said “oh yes, I have that”). The B12 deificency is really worrying me – I eat meat, full-fat milk, cheese and a good balanced diet. I had 3 B12 injections and now i’m taking a daily multi-vitamin, vit D supplement and sub-lingual B12. It has taken a while (about 5 months) but I’m now feeling a lot better – going to a gym etc but it’s worrying me because none of the tests showed any cause for this. Any suggestions?


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