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  • Full blood and hormone panel... some problems. Insights appreciated!

    Hey everybody,

    Some of you may remember me from such emotional threads as "My doctor is a moron", "Live fast diet young", and "Sugar - the forgotten panacea" (two of these thread titles might be made up).

    Anyway - off the back of my extraordinarily high cholesterol, plus a host of other symptoms (notably "too frequent" menstruation) I decided to get a full blood and hormone panel done. Any insights any one could give me would be really appreciated!

    Hormones
    My Estrogen is high. The range is between 28 - 1828 (depending on time of cycle) - mine is 2028.
    My cortisol is high. Morning range is 6.2 - 19.4. Mine is 20.67.
    Prolactin (337.3), Progesteron (1.94), testosterone (1.18)are all in the normal range.
    Also got Serotonin tested but have to wait two weeks for this.

    Thyroid
    TSH: 1.42 (normal)
    FT3: 3.84 (norm is 3.13 - 6.76)
    FT4: 12.29 (norm is 12 - 22)
    LH: 10.32 }
    FSH: 3.09 } Don't know much about these, but they seem normal?

    So I'm not hypo, but my FT3 and FT4 are borderline. Anyone who has experience with hypothyroidism: I want to take preventative measures to make sure that these don't drop lower. What can I do to help this?

    Urine
    I have an infection here. No idea how long I might have had this.

    Erythrocytes and leukocytes are both a little high (23 and 25 respectively; norms are 20).
    Flat epithelium is quite high: 89 (norm is less than 30)
    Bacteria: 3490 (norm is less than 400)
    pH was fine (6.5).

    I've given another sample and am seeing the doctor tomorrow. They say I have to go on anti-biotics but need to determine which ones. I hate going on anti-biotics. What can I do to help my gut flora repopulate? Should I take a probiotic?

    Blood and Lipids
    Weird result with my iron and ferretin. My iron is high: 154 (norm is 145), but my ferretin is on the lower side of normal: 35 (norm is 13 - 150).

    Total Cholesterol: 354 (from 355 (which was the recheck) a few weeks ago)
    LDL: 229 (from 220.5 a few weeks ago)
    HDL: 108 (from 114.46)
    Trigs: 83 (from 109)

    So cholesterol is still high, LDL has gone up even more, and HDL has gone down. But there's a good improvement in my trigs in just a few weeks. I severely reduced my fat intake and started taking milk thistle.

    Morphology
    Mostly everything was normal, but my hematocrits, Monocytes and leukocytes are borderline low, and my neutrocytes are slightly under. Could be explained by the urinary infection?

    Good news:
    Inflammation is practically non existent: 0.3 (the norm is 5)
    Fasting glucose is 84 (norm is 74 - 106)
    Electrolytes and minerals are perfect.

    A lot of info I know. If anyone has the stomach or knowledge to help I'd really appreciate it! I"m seeing an endo tomorrow, and getting a scan of my reproductive system. So will know more then.
    Last edited by YogaBare; 05-09-2013, 03:38 AM.
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  • #2
    I can't answer to many of these, but it is possible to have a UTI and not know it. I had one. I took the antibiotics and cleared it up. I hate taking them too, but sometimes they are necessary. Take a probiotic or eat some live yogurt, or drink some kombucha, or drink some kefir or whatever fermented foods you enjoy to take care of your gut flora.

    Comment


    • #3
      While your total cholesterol number looks high, your lipid ratios are stellar. I wouldn't stress over it.
      Some of you may die, but that is a risk I'm willing to take.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Lynna View Post
        I can't answer to many of these, but it is possible to have a UTI and not know it. I had one. I took the antibiotics and cleared it up. I hate taking them too, but sometimes they are necessary. Take a probiotic or eat some live yogurt, or drink some kombucha, or drink some kefir or whatever fermented foods you enjoy to take care of your gut flora.
        The fermented foods may be enough to clear the infection, but if you're worried, just take the antibiotics and then make sure you get plenty of fermented foods after. Taking probiotics while you take the antibiotics is pretty useless.

        Do some research for "estrogen dominance". I know I've read around the paleosphere from people who have dealt with it, but can't think of who/where now.
        Depression Lies

        Comment


        • #5
          Going by FT4, you are barely in range. FT3 is better but still not near midrange. This says to me that while you do not have enough FT4, it is being converted to FT3-- indicated by FT3(20%) being higher in its range than your FT4 (3%) is in its range.

          As a point of reference I was diagnosed hypo with a TSH of 7.71 (.35-5.50). My FT4 was.98 (.70-1.53) which was 34% of the range. FT3 wasn't routinely done at that time. I would feel horrible with your numbers.

          Your cortisol may be high because your adrenal glands are trying to compensate for the low levels of FT4 and FT3. I've had similar results and an endo was not concerned since I was only slightly out of range.

          Your iron may be normal or high because your body is using ferritin to keep the blood levels up. Since your hematocrit is low you could be trending toward anemia.

          Comment


          • #6
            I can't offer advice on the lab results- but- as an alternative to trying antibiotics for a UTI, can I suggest garlic oil pearls (I just buy mine from the vitamins section at the supermarket) - taking them cleared one right up for me as fast as ABs do, with the added bonus of no wipeout of the good bacteria.

            One negative is the garlicy burps after taking them... make sure you have with food!

            Good luck with the appt tomorrow, hun.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think your high cholesterol is most likely just a marker of everything else that's going on, the fact that your T3 is low doesn't help that, as your LDL receptors are downregulated which means the LDL stays in the blood longer.

              Deal with the UTI, whether you go antibiotics or natural or both, I'm not familiar with UTI's, but my inclination is to go with both to make sure you clear it with one course. One bout of antibiotics isn't going to wipe out your gut flora totally, so afterwards probably a good idea to up the fermented stuff and stick to well cooked foods to ease the mechanical load on gut and improve nutritional uptake.

              As for the thyroid, unless you are actually starting to feel negative, like Hypo symptoms, I wouldn't stress too much over it, it is likely also a secondary response to underlying issues, as a general rule according to T3 & T4 you are technically Hypo, but there is not much known about TSH role in the rest of the body as there is TSH receptors throughout the body, The HPT axis isn't the only one with regard to TSH, I'd suggest there are many as yet undiscovered Axis. As an example individuals can express mild Hypo and Hyper symptoms with both T3 & T4 perfectly in range, but TSH just slightly high or low, so this suggests TSH may play a bigger role in the manifestation of both Hyper & Hypo than T3 or T4.
              The thyroid is definately one to watch, but I wouldn't go knee jerk, investigate mild nutritional and herbal support for the thyroid, maybe minimise raw goitrogens like crucifers, and get some selenium rich foods in, garlic, brazil nuts, don't go crazy with it though, I assume your not restricting or supplimenting Iodine so it should be fine.
              If you do start to feel some hypo symptoms then it may be worth considering a low dose of Thyroxine just to boost T4 and hence T3 levels, but this is only a symptomatic treatment, core issues still need to be dealt with.

              The high Estrogen and short cycle are simulating a perimenopausal situation, like many of these things there can be many different causes of high estrogen, and it may well be doing a balancing act with the thyroid levels, question is who's in charge and orchestrating that dance.
              On that note of who's in charge, ever checked your Fasting Leptin levels?
              What is your menstral cycle history, when did they become short, are they still regular, flow and timing?
              This may give more clues as to where your problems lie, from memory you had a bit of a whirlwind run, going from Vegan to Primal to VLC to high carb and now at eat primal freely with no counting and you have been feeling much better.
              If you are still feeling good then there is a very high likelihood that all these inconsistencies in your hormonal situation may just be lagging your current dietary situation.
              The process is first you start to feel better, then your body starts to heal, once healing has progressed the body relaxes the high alert and hormone levels start to fall back into line.

              How's your GI process, all regular, good consistancy and flow?
              That's all I've got for now.
              "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lynna View Post
                I can't answer to many of these, but it is possible to have a UTI and not know it. I had one. I took the antibiotics and cleared it up. I hate taking them too, but sometimes they are necessary. Take a probiotic or eat some live yogurt, or drink some kombucha, or drink some kefir or whatever fermented foods you enjoy to take care of your gut flora.
                Originally posted by Black Timber View Post
                While your total cholesterol number looks high, your lipid ratios are stellar. I wouldn't stress over it.
                Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                The fermented foods may be enough to clear the infection, but if you're worried, just take the antibiotics and then make sure you get plenty of fermented foods after. Taking probiotics while you take the antibiotics is pretty useless.

                Do some research for "estrogen dominance". I know I've read around the paleosphere from people who have dealt with it, but can't think of who/where now.
                Thank you all for the input and suggestions! <3

                Good to know that there's no point in taking probiotics at the same time.

                Originally posted by heatherp View Post
                I can't offer advice on the lab results- but- as an alternative to trying antibiotics for a UTI, can I suggest garlic oil pearls (I just buy mine from the vitamins section at the supermarket) - taking them cleared one right up for me as fast as ABs do, with the added bonus of no wipeout of the good bacteria.

                One negative is the garlicy burps after taking them... make sure you have with food!

                Good luck with the appt tomorrow, hun.
                Cheers heatherp I appreciate the warm wishes. The garlic pearls sound perfect... I'm with my mum over here though and I think she might freak at teh prospect of something holistic but I'll see what I can sort out, lol.
                "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                - Ray Peat

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by marcadav View Post
                  Going by FT4, you are barely in range. FT3 is better but still not near midrange. This says to me that while you do not have enough FT4, it is being converted to FT3-- indicated by FT3(20%) being higher in its range than your FT4 (3%) is in its range.

                  As a point of reference I was diagnosed hypo with a TSH of 7.71 (.35-5.50). My FT4 was.98 (.70-1.53) which was 34% of the range. FT3 wasn't routinely done at that time. I would feel horrible with your numbers.

                  Your cortisol may be high because your adrenal glands are trying to compensate for the low levels of FT4 and FT3. I've had similar results and an endo was not concerned since I was only slightly out of range.

                  Your iron may be normal or high because your body is using ferritin to keep the blood levels up. Since your hematocrit is low you could be trending toward anemia.
                  Thanks for your input Marcadav! It's a relief to know that you've had similar numbers and felt rotten. Nice to know it's not "all in my head" So annoying that doctors don't take things seriously until you are actually "sick" (whatever numbers they use to define that).

                  Would you recommend taking something like thyroid armour or cytomel to get my numbers up?

                  I was anemic when I was vegetarian, so maybe my numbers reflect that. Or is could be because I'm menstruating so frequently...
                  "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                  In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                  - Ray Peat

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Omni View Post
                    As for the thyroid, unless you are actually starting to feel negative, like Hypo symptoms, I wouldn't stress too much over it, it is likely also a secondary response to underlying issues, as a general rule according to T3 & T4 you are technically Hypo, but there is not much known about TSH role in the rest of the body as there is TSH receptors throughout the body, The HPT axis isn't the only one with regard to TSH, I'd suggest there are many as yet undiscovered Axis. As an example individuals can express mild Hypo and Hyper symptoms with both T3 & T4 perfectly in range, but TSH just slightly high or low, so this suggests TSH may play a bigger role in the manifestation of both Hyper & Hypo than T3 or T4.
                    The thyroid is definately one to watch, but I wouldn't go knee jerk, investigate mild nutritional and herbal support for the thyroid, maybe minimise raw goitrogens like crucifers, and get some selenium rich foods in, garlic, brazil nuts, don't go crazy with it though, I assume your not restricting or supplimenting Iodine so it should be fine.
                    If you do start to feel some hypo symptoms then it may be worth considering a low dose of Thyroxine just to boost T4 and hence T3 levels, but this is only a symptomatic treatment, core issues still need to be dealt with.

                    The high Estrogen and short cycle are simulating a perimenopausal situation, like many of these things there can be many different causes of high estrogen, and it may well be doing a balancing act with the thyroid levels, question is who's in charge and orchestrating that dance.
                    On that note of who's in charge, ever checked your Fasting Leptin levels?
                    What is your menstral cycle history, when did they become short, are they still regular, flow and timing?
                    This may give more clues as to where your problems lie, from memory you had a bit of a whirlwind run, going from Vegan to Primal to VLC to high carb and now at eat primal freely with no counting and you have been feeling much better.
                    If you are still feeling good then there is a very high likelihood that all these inconsistencies in your hormonal situation may just be lagging your current dietary situation.
                    The process is first you start to feel better, then your body starts to heal, once healing has progressed the body relaxes the high alert and hormone levels start to fall back into line.

                    How's your GI process, all regular, good consistancy and flow?
                    That's all I've got for now.
                    Thanks for your response Omni

                    The reason I started getting all the blood work done was because I have a ton of hypo symptoms: depression, in ability to regulate temp, insomnia, energy crashes etc. etc. Right now I'm feeling a lot better, so I know I'm on the right track, but my energy is still crashing so that's something to monitor.

                    Asked for fasting Leptin, but they didn't have the option here. All good with the GI these days - better than ever actually!

                    Cycle history: it's never been regular. At a young age I had cysts and went on the pill which masked the symtoms for a number of years. Came off it about five years ago and since then I skipped a lot of periods, but I was underweight and vegetarian a lot. Since starting to eat meat again in July (and gaining weight) it's been getting increasingly short.

                    You're right that everything is linked: it's just a matter of finding what the initial weak link is.
                    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                    - Ray Peat

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok, so as I'm reading that, you've had a lot of bad symptoms and these have abated somewhat, yes?
                      Currently, very recent history, you are on a positive tangent, though energy levels are still crashing.
                      Are the Crashes a cyclic effect, circadian maybe, it could be a result of hormones simply being out of synch, any anxiety at all?
                      Is the Insomnia still a significant issue?
                      There are two main drivers of hormonal circadian cycles, some hormones are reset by sleep/wake times and others by the light/dark cycle, we perform best when they are synchronised, i.e. wake with sunrise and wind down with sunset, shift workers have these phases out of synch and have worse health outcomes.
                      Late night TV's, computers etc. can also be an issue, it's the blue/green light component starts sending our brain signals that it must be day time, and this disturbs the release of melatonin, evening lighting should be in amber tones, like Grok's fire.

                      Fasting Leptin should be available, it will likely be a pay for and you will probably have to research where it's done, I did a few online searches, located the hospital and test procedure, then went to path lab, they weren't sure, but did dig through the back of their manual and found it, then we went to the doctor, who also wasn't sure, whom we told it was available and just to write out the request, then there were a whole lot of hiccups sending the sample away to be tested, I think we were the first people to request it.

                      Good to hear the GIT is humming nicely, better than ever comment indicates there should be some more rewards coming your way from that improvement.

                      With the cycle history, that becomes anyones guess, the fact that it has been getting shorter since eating meat, may actually be more to do with your low carb start there, I'd expect now if you have turned a corner and starting to feel better, then it will stabilise, wouldn't be surprised if it stayed short for a while though while things get reset.
                      Do your body temps align with your cycle, i.e rise on ovulation, then fall just before mensus?
                      I've written before, my partners cycle started quite short in her treatment, then got longer, then she had some wobbles with a short, then a missed, then stability, then another wobble, but they did come up to normal length and have been rock solid for a few years now.

                      I do engage in a few AI discussion groups and the one important thing with people that are ill is to get stability, then start to tweak the process to get improvement, certain things like getting circadian rhythms right are "no brainers" they only show benefits, other things like suppliments can go either way, so see what ideas you get from here and elsewhere, then choose one and try it out, you'll know in a couple of weeks if it's a benefit or not, if not then stabilise again and try the next best, but if it is helping or not harming, then add the next thing. We took over 6 months to impliment my partners suppliment program progressively adding suppliments and protocols, she is into year 7 now, but well and truly on the mend, she did start from a pretty bad place though.
                      "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yogabare - you've had lots of solid replies here. How long have you been primal? Would you say you've been aggressive in your adoption of it? Maybe even trending toward extremely low total daily caloric?

                        I accidentally did that about 6 months into Primal, largely because:
                        -food was so satisfying now, I found I ate less
                        -hit an extremely stressful period of a year, couple that w/ low volume eating and BAM, severely messed up hormones

                        You could easily be anemic w/ frequent periods. And I would also suggest simply taking a clove of garlic, mince it, let it sit for 10 mins and after a meal, take the minced garlic w/ a drink. Helped me w/ an infection and less or no burping. Even 1/2 a clove is beneficial if easier for you to stomach.

                        There are some great articles out there on the differences btw primal for women and men...it's pretty staggering.

                        “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

                        Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by YogaBare View Post
                          Thanks for your input Marcadav! It's a relief to know that you've had similar numbers and felt rotten. Nice to know it's not "all in my head" So annoying that doctors don't take things seriously until you are actually "sick" (whatever numbers they use to define that).

                          Would you recommend taking something like thyroid armour or cytomel to get my numbers up?

                          I was anemic when I was vegetarian, so maybe my numbers reflect that. Or is could be because I'm menstruating so frequently...
                          First, I would never recommend taking any thyroid meds without working with a doctor and getting an Rx. Second, while everyone seems to think Armour and/or Cytomel is the way to go, I believe the right type of thyroid hormone replacement is person specific.

                          Some people do very well on a T4 med (levothyroxine/Synthroid). Some do well on a T4/T3 combo med like Armour. Another group does well with a T4 +T3 med like Synthroid+Cytomel. Some do well on Cytomel alone. And some find they need to add a T4 med to Armour because the T4/T3 ratio too high as porcine thyroids make more T3 than human thyroids do.

                          Finding the right med and dose can be trial and error and take time. Given your numbers-- T3 higher in its range than T4--tells me you seem to have adequate conversion. Because of that I would not start with Cytomel only. I would, again, looking at your numbers, most likely start with a T4 med and see if symptoms abate and conversion continues to be adequate. Armour is another option I might try.

                          For what it's worth, I have never tried Armour. I started on Synthroid. Switched to Unithroid. Then learned about Cytomel. I then added that. I now take generic levothyroxine, by a specific manufacturer as it is actually Unithroid, in addition to Cytomel (not generic).

                          With or without treatment make sure you get adequate selenium (200mcg/day), iron, and vitamin D. Those things help thyroid function and/or T4 to T3 conversion.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have absolutely nothing helpful or useful to say that hasn't already been said, but...

                            Some of you may remember me from such emotional threads as "My doctor is a moron", "Live fast diet young", and "Sugar - the forgotten panacea" (two of these thread titles might be made up).
                            lulz. I lobe you
                            Is it weird in here, or is it just me?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank all all for the new replies... I have an update which changes things quite a bit.

                              Went to see an endo / gyni today, and got a scan of my womb. Turns out that not only is my oestrogen high, my progesterone is very low. The scan of my womb revealed that, even though I am menstruating frequently, no ovulation is occurring. Which means no possibility of pregnancy.

                              However, this links perfectly with the low progesterone. Low progesterone can cause problems with ovulation. Meanwhile, excess estrogen can cause frequent periods.

                              Furthermore, imbalances of estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol are linked to low thyroid.

                              My thyroid is within the normal range (albeit low), but my progesterone numbers are out of whack, so we're thinking that the progesterone may be the faulty spoke in the wheel. I've been prescribed a three month course of progesterone tabs, and then we'll see after that if I'm ovulating again.

                              Being thorough, she retested my cortisol this avo, and tomorrow I'm doing another test for prolactin (with a two hour interval).

                              I have to say, this is a huge relief. This kind of makes sense. It's definitely worth going to see an endo. Screw regular docs: it all comes down to hormones.*

                              * And yes, I know how that sentence could be construed


                              Edit: Does anyone know what the causes of low progesterone / high oestrogen could be? Stress?
                              Last edited by YogaBare; 05-10-2013, 01:57 PM.
                              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                              - Ray Peat

                              Comment

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