What are the lab ranges for FT4 and FT3? Your result matters only in its relation to the lab range, and lab ranges differ.
Forget TSH altogether. It's true that healthy people without thyroid disease have an average of 1-1.5, but for people in treatment, there is no average. Many of us, me included, need for it to be totally suppressed to raise the FT levels to the place they need to be. My last TSH was .01.
Your last question may not get a definite answer here. For one thing, "most" of the people here still aren't recovered. That's the nature of health message boards; the people who mostly visit are still searching for health. Once they find it, they tend not to visit as much.
And for another, everyone's need for FTH varies. My FT4 is currently about 50% of its lab range; the FT3 is about 70%. I feel pretty good like this, but you and others may not. One thyroid expert I've read says in his experience, people feel well only when their FT4 is at the top or slightly above the range, but I didn't. I was hyper there. It's all so individual.
Whatever level you eventually find yourself feeling best, remember that it won't be overnight. It usually takes a half year or more to arrive at that point.
Midwest1, how did you get your doctor to allow your TSH to get to .01 where you feel best. I recently had bloodwork that showed my TSH at .02 and my doctor flipped. She initially wanted to cut my dose dramatically but I asked her to slightly reduce it and test me again soon. She thankfully agreed because I felt my best so far and actually lost weight with my TSH that low. I hope the slight decrease in meds doesn't slow my progress too much. Do you have any medical references for allowing the TSH to be completely suppressed when hyper sysmtes aren't present? I could really use some research to bolster my defense for not worrying about a suppressed TSH.
Thankfully, I didn't have to "get" him to do it. He knows that suppressing a Hashi-damaged gland completely and then replacing with Armour is often the best way to eliminate symptoms.
Doctors are most often worried about osteoporosis due to overtreatment, I think. It's a concern that's misguided, but stubbornly persists. My MD sent me for a baseline DEXA scan, and he stresses I should take calcium and minerals for bone health, but I don't think he's super-concerned about the thyroid med causing damage. He's very smart...
The only thing I've been able to find about suppressing TSH online is Dr. Anthony Toft's paper on the treatment of hypoT. He is a consultant physician at the Endocrine Clinic of the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh. You should be able to find his writing pretty easily. He says that most people do best with a dose that results in high-normal FT4 and low-normal TSH, but that some patients achieve a sense of well-being only if TSH is low or undetectable and the free T4 is slightly elevated.