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  • So..Are My Blood Results Good or Bad?

    Hi, all! I received my lab results two days ago and immediately received a number of "I-told-you-so's!" I did a cursory search of elevated LDL cholesterol and also read a couple posts from Mark. After doing so, I felt pretty darn good. My numbers are high (and WAY higher than I have ever experienced in the past), but I'm catching on that there's more to the story than what these numbers represent. HOWEVER, I did read another couple posts that cast doubt in my mind... I am now confused. I am not sure if I should pat myself on the back or write my will. If any of you would be so kind as to give me direction or advice, I would greatly appreciate it!! (I'm frankly tired of having my family, friends, and doctor believe I'm killing myself.)

    I'm a 41 year old female who has been living primally since about the beginning of this year. I finally was able to order a few more specific tests than my last few ordinary, run-of-the-mill ones. Here they are:

    LDL PARTICLE NUMBER: 1814 (High) <1000 nmol/L
    SMALL LDL PARTICLE N: 212 <=527 nmol/L
    TOTAL CHOLESTEROL: 286 (High) <200 mg/dL
    LDL PARTICLE SIZE: 21.0 >20.5 nm
    LARGE HDL PARTICLE N: 22.5 >=4.8umol/L
    LARGE VLDL PARTICLE: < 0.7 <=2.7 nmol/L
    TRIGLYCERIDES: 38 <150 mg/dL
    HDL CHOLESTEROL: 104 >=40 MG/dL
    LDL CHOLESTEROL: 174 (High) <100 mg/dL

    HEMOGLOBIN A1C: 5.1 <6.0%
    EST AVERAGE GLUCOSE: 100 md/dL
    CRP HIGH SENSITIVE: 0.4 0.0 - 7.5 mg/L


    My doctor called with my results and began with, "I have good news and bad news." She stated my ratios were okay; however, my elevated LDL was of concern to her and (here it comes) I should consider a statin. I should also, "...drastically cut or eliminate all animal fats and push massive amounts of fiber." Ummmm, no to all three.

    I am to retest in a few months and wondered if I even need to be worried. I am taking taking a few prescription medications now and they are hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone). I also now take Synthroid 50mcg. All of these have been relatively recently prescribed...

    I read Cillakat's post from last year, inputted my numbers into her ratios, and look okay from that standpoint. I'm just a bit concerned that my numbers are still pretty darn high (especially my LDL) --even for primal living!

    Thanks for reading this long post. I would love some feedback and ammunition for my loved-ones.

  • #2
    The good news? The LDL you have is of the big fluffy variety (large particle size) which is much safer than when it is of the small dense variety (small particle size).

    Also - hypothyroidism is a cause of high cholesterol, if you read the package inserts on the statin drugs, they say something like "first, reversible causes of high cholesterol like diabetes and hypothyroidism should be ruled out". If you are still being under-treated for your thyroid, your cholesterol may drop more once you get your dosage right.

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    • #3
      You don't need to consider statins. Take a look at your diet - anything you can change there. Not that you need to but we can all make changes. What hormone prescription are you on? As GY said your hypothyroidism needs to be taken into consideration.
      Your triglycerides and HDL are really good.
      Last edited by Sue; 10-15-2011, 04:59 PM.

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      • #4
        Your total cholesterol is also under 300 and no study EVER has shown a relationship between high cholesterol and cardiac risk below total cholesterol of 300.

        Triglycerides are also a more important indicator and they are good.

        Your A1C is good! Well done! Very important.

        And the best news of all is that according to the Harvard Nurses Study, (women) you are actually more likely to live longer with high cholesterol than with low when you factor is ALL CAUSES of death.

        I think if you are worried just continue with the exercise plan and losing weight and getting fit. The body is marvelous at self correcting when you treat it right.
        Original wt: 375, Current, 246
        Total weight lost, 130 pounds (Took 2 years)
        Weight lost first week of low carb, 7.1 pounds
        Current: Deadlift 450, Bench 255, Squat 365, Run 4 miles daily, boxing and conditioning work
        Goals: Deadlift 502 (5 plates a side with bar), Bench 312 (3 plates/bar) squat 402 (4 plates/bar), run 10 miles, bw 200 lbs
        Cows have 4 stomachs to make grass digestible, we have one stomach to make cows digestible, and with that, neither can eat grain and become healthy!

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        • #5
          Plus statins are not beneficial for women. Why take a statin to lower your cholesterol. Also if you interfere with cholesterol production your start to interfere with hormones.

          Comment


          • #6
            Your cholesterol is similar to what mine was when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. My doctor at the time said, while your total and LDL are high, with your high HDL it's not a problem. Also, a symptom of hypothyroidism is high cholesterol.

            Make sure your thyroid status is managed using freeT4 and free T3. You are on female hormones. Estradiol can bind thyroid hormones making some unavailable for the body to use. Testing frees will show the unbound, usable hormone. Your TSH can not be used/trusted to determine optimum treatment.

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            • #7
              Thank you ALL for your responses!! Seriously, I am smiling knowing there are others out there that just "get it." My endo said I was borderline hypo, but I'll tell ya, this last winter was BRUTAL. I was so freezing, could barely walk up my stairs, etc. Miserable. She doesn't know why exactly my hormones essentially shut off (no joke, my levels were barely detectable in the sex hormone department). And I wasn't surprised when she put me on a low dose of thyroid as about 7-8 people in my immediate and extended family take the drug.

              Growing Younger: I do believe I read that somewhere, as well. I know we are tinkering with my dosage, so yes, perhaps things will level off when I'm "level."

              Sue: I eat pretty darn well, but DEFINITELY could make changes like eating less coconut oil/flakes/cream! Ha! That coconut cream is addictive! And, no, I will not even consider statins. I agree with you.

              BSW: I am definitely going to research this study, then show my parents and husband (along with all the post I have received from you all).

              Marcadav: Good to know. I think it's time I start doing more research on the ol' thyroid, too. I am not happy about being on Synthroid--have heard that Armour may be a better route, but this is where she wants to start. I, too, think I need T3 as mine was labeled very low. Now, my hair is falling out AND I'm still tired. That's for another post, I'm sure. Lovely.

              Thank you ALL for your responses. I need the encouragement and appreciate you taking the time to help me!

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              • #8
                Your numbers are really good. Especially your Triglycerides and HDL so congrats on that. Before you start worrying about your LDL though Mark wrote an article about this and really clears things up. Give it a read, it's not too long.

                The Definitive Guide to Cholesterol | Mark&#039;s Daily Apple

                It's quite to the point.

                Good job on your good health!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Why are you taking both estrogen and testosterone? TSH is the BEST way to monitor the functioning of your thyroid gland. T3 and T4 fluctuate daily -- you can't rely on those numbers for ANYthing (unless you like to chase your tail).

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                  • #10
                    Sulamar: Thanks for the link! I actually read Mark's Cholesterol Guide and felt pretty good about my numbers. Then....I read various posts that created doubt. That's why I wanted to post my actual numbers and throw it out to you all. I so appreciate the feedback. AND, I have bookmarked the link you sent so I can share it with others.

                    Reflex: Yeah, not too pleased with taking ANY hormones, actually, but had been taking Estradiol and Prometrium for a few months and my testosterone levels didn't rise that much (lethargy, low low libido, etc.), so we recently added some in for a while. For example, one of recent tests came back as:

                    TESTOSTERONE, FREE AND TOTAL, SERUM: 3 (LOW) 8 - 48 ng/dL
                    FREE TESTOSTERONE (DIRECT): <0.2 0.0 - 2.2 pg/mL

                    My reproductive endo doc has me taking a "pea" size amount of gel a day to see if symptoms are relieved. So far, not so much....but at least I haven't grown a penis or facial hair (kidding). (Oh, and I also have TWO different doctors: a regular Endocrinologist for my thyroid and a Gyno who specializes in reproductive endocrinology for my amenorrhea and sex hormones. Good times trying to coordinate the two..) Thanks for the info on TSH. I really have to educate myself about the throid--very new to me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by reflex View Post
                      Why are you taking both estrogen and testosterone? TSH is the BEST way to monitor the functioning of your thyroid gland. T3 and T4 fluctuate daily -- you can't rely on those numbers for ANYthing (unless you like to chase your tail).
                      I strongly disagree with this statement. I was kept undertreated for years because all the doctors I went to worshipped the TSH. TSH only indicates that your brain is happy--since it's a pituitary hormone. It says very little about how your body is handling actual thyroid hormones-T4 and T3, and more specifically, Free T4 and Free T3. TSH is also completely unreliable in respect to secondary hypothyroidism.

                      And for what it's worth TSH fluctuates, daily as well:
                      "TSH secretion in humans is pulsatile. [250-252] The pulse frequency is slightly less than 2 hours and the amplitude approximately 0.6 mU/L. The TSH pulse is significantly synchronized with PRL pulse: this phenomenon is independent from TRH and suggests the existence of unidentified underlying pulse generator(s) for both hormones. [253] The frequency and amplitude of pulsations increases during the evening reaching a peak at sleep onset, thus accounting for the circadian variation in basal serum TSH levels. [254, 255] The maximal serum TSH is reached between 21:00 and 02:00 hours and the difference between the afternoon nadir and peak TSH concentrations is 1 to 3 mU/L. Sleep prevents the further rise in TSH as reflected in the presence of increases in TSH to 5-10 mU/ml during sleep deprivation. PHYSIOLOGICAL REGULATION OF TSH SECRETION IN HUMANS

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by marcadav View Post
                        I strongly disagree with this statement. I was kept undertreated for years because all the doctors I went to worshipped the TSH. TSH only indicates that your brain is happy--since it's a pituitary hormone. It says very little about how your body is handling actual thyroid hormones-T4 and T3, and more specifically, Free T4 and Free T3. TSH is also completely unreliable in respect to secondary hypothyroidism.
                        +1

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                        • #13
                          Dear Laurel,
                          I think you need to understand your thyroid condition a little better.
                          Here are some website to get you going in the right direction
                          Thyroid Mistreatment, Hypothyroidism Scandals, and Thyroid Treatment Problems | Stop The Thyroid Madness
                          Acacia and Lactose in Synthroid Can Cause Allergies and Sensitivities in Thyroid Patients With Hay Fever, Lactose Intolerance
                          I think you need to figure out several thing for yourself as to if you only need t4 medication or if you need medication with T3 . I have been hypothyroid for over 35 years and have taken various medications. I feel good on the right T4 synthetic but lots of people do not. Mary shomon on thyroid about.com is a good read as she has been writing books for years. You are going to find many doctors will not listen to you and will think they know what they are doing is right. LISTEN to yourself and do not let them deter you. I know armour was reformulated about 1 -2 years ago and many people are having fits since it has changed. Some medications have different fillers and they can cause problems for people with lactose and allergy problems. Synthroid is one of those medications, which by the way was sued and found guilty many years ago for changing the fillers and not notifying people because i was one of them. I had horrible leg cramps and felt awful on it. Learn to read your own thyroid test. Do a food journal to help you identify your problem area. I hope this helps you to bring your small trouble areas in line but I am not an expert so I cannot comment to that. Good luck.
                          Regards
                          Dawn

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Marcdav and Sweet Tart: I, too, have heard something similar--thus all my confusion! The fluctuation makes sense and I will look into the link you sent, thank you.

                            And, Tarna (Dawn), thank you, too, for the links on thyroid. I'm just getting started in my research because after over 40 years, I'm finally not taking the "your labs look fine" answer. I cannot. I'm an entirely different person now and all my relationships have been impacted. I will also look at your links you have added.

                            This is sooo far from my original post, but while I'm thinking of it, do you (or Marcadav or anyone else) think it's a good idea to "go with my gut" and get on Armour? I ask because a few months ago, my doctor prescribed Synthroid (the majority of family members are on it and it's generic). I had read very little and asked to be put on Armour. My doc actually--reluctantly--agreed and I tried it for almost one month. I was all over the place. I had three, non-consecutive days of feeling so much better, followed by a few days of "crash." Whoops, my doc said, I was supposed to break up the doses into two, which I hadn't been told. I bought a pill splitter and attempted to split each pill. The result? Dust and particles. It was a mess.

                            My gyno doc AND my GP recommended I go back on Synthroid. I knew in my heart I hadn't given it enough time on the Armour, but I caved and figured I could always go back, I guess. I asked for the original script and my endo kind of rolled her eyes and did so. I have been on Synthroid for a couple months and don't feel that much different--that is, except MASSIVE amounts of hair lost and a voracious appetite/weight gain. Oh, and I have leg cramps, too, oddly enough. The joke in my household is: I would rather feel like crap, but be thin with great hair than feel like crap and be heavy with bald patches.

                            I want to switch back to Armour but my doc made my next appointment for two months from now (and now I'm supposed to cut a pill in half on only one day. I did this because I didn't want anything but the 50mcg, as I had heard that was the only strength that didn't have all the filler junk, artificial colors, etc.). My question is: Should I risk making my doctor crazy by not giving THIS medication a chance, or hang in for a few more months (and pray I have hair by the next appointment)? I assume it takes a long time and I need to be patient. I had just hoped I would feel markedly better by now. Thoughts? You sound like a pro after so many years.

                            I will read all links sent to me. Thanks to each of you for guiding me along this joyous process. L.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Laural View Post
                              Marcdav and Sweet Tart: I, too, have heard something similar--thus all my confusion! The fluctuation makes sense and I will look into the link you sent, thank you.

                              And, Tarna (Dawn), thank you, too, for the links on thyroid. I'm just getting started in my research because after over 40 years, I'm finally not taking the "your labs look fine" answer. I cannot. I'm an entirely different person now and all my relationships have been impacted. I will also look at your links you have added.

                              This is sooo far from my original post, but while I'm thinking of it, do you (or Marcadav or anyone else) think it's a good idea to "go with my gut" and get on Armour? I ask because a few months ago, my doctor prescribed Synthroid (the majority of family members are on it and it's generic). I had read very little and asked to be put on Armour. My doc actually--reluctantly--agreed and I tried it for almost one month. I was all over the place. I had three, non-consecutive days of feeling so much better, followed by a few days of "crash." Whoops, my doc said, I was supposed to break up the doses into two, which I hadn't been told. I bought a pill splitter and attempted to split each pill. The result? Dust and particles. It was a mess.

                              My gyno doc AND my GP recommended I go back on Synthroid. I knew in my heart I hadn't given it enough time on the Armour, but I caved and figured I could always go back, I guess. I asked for the original script and my endo kind of rolled her eyes and did so. I have been on Synthroid for a couple months and don't feel that much different--that is, except MASSIVE amounts of hair lost and a voracious appetite/weight gain. Oh, and I have leg cramps, too, oddly enough. The joke in my household is: I would rather feel like crap, but be thin with great hair than feel like crap and be heavy with bald patches.

                              I want to switch back to Armour but my doc made my next appointment for two months from now (and now I'm supposed to cut a pill in half on only one day. I did this because I didn't want anything but the 50mcg, as I had heard that was the only strength that didn't have all the filler junk, artificial colors, etc.). My question is: Should I risk making my doctor crazy by not giving THIS medication a chance, or hang in for a few more months (and pray I have hair by the next appointment)? I assume it takes a long time and I need to be patient. I had just hoped I would feel markedly better by now. Thoughts? You sound like a pro after so many years.

                              I will read all links sent to me. Thanks to each of you for guiding me along this joyous process. L.
                              I saw a holistic MD a few years ago who was very, very in to treating thyroid based on T3, T4, and symptoms. He said that over the years he has found that about 1/3 of his patients do best on armour, 1/3 do best on compounded T2,T3,T4, and 1/3 do best on Synthroid. For a long time he tried to avoid the synthroid but eventually found it was best for some people.

                              It may be that you need to do a trial of several doses of several therapies.....very frustrating.

                              Also have you seen the stopthethyroidmadness website? They talk about thryroid supplementation not working as well if your adrenals are not functioning well or if your ferritin levels are low.

                              Good luckl
                              Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                              http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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