Monday, April 13, 2009

Interpretation of my blood tests

Calories eaten yesterday: 642
Fat: 8g (12%)
Carbs: 81g (54%)
Protein: 53g (34%)
Weight this morning: 135.4 (One week ago: 132.6)
Calories burned in exercise today: 190

Slept in to recover from getting up so early the last two days and not being able to sleep in on Friday. I walked down to BART, took it one stop, then walked from there to work. I stopped at WalMart for more sugar-free Hawaiian Punch packets. Tomorrow I may be able to hit the gym.

I will do better this week!

Leslie from the thyroid forum had some thoughts on my blood test results. I asked her about the possibility that I am changing T4 into Reverse T4 and that's why my Free T3 levels are low.

Her words below are copy and pasted from her forum posts to me.

From Leslie:
You're making estrogen and it's not in the menopausal range at all. Your low LH and FSH may be saying there's enough estrogen, so no need to rise up and ask for more. I wouldn't jump on a pituitary problem just yet. You've also lost a great deal of body fat in the last few years and estrogen is both stored and made in body fat.

The reason you've been feeling lousy lately is that your T3 level is below range. I wonder if the iron supplement you're taking is blocking thyroid hormones? Even taking it many hours apart, your ferritin went from really low to 90, which means your iron levels are higher. Your doc may freak out at the low TSH but point out the FT4/FT3 levels.

Once the prescription iron runs out, you could test thyroid and ferritin again. With so many types of iron supplements, this is what might be blocking T4 to T3 conversion, at least in part. Read that long article I gave you the link for and maybe you'll find other things interfering with T4 to T3 conversion.

The LH and FSH levels are like TSH.... when low, it means the pituitary is satisfied with the level of hormones you have. You're not in menopause because your estrogen levels are not anywhere near postmenopausal levels and menopause would cause LH and FSH to rise significantly as estrogen goes down. I don't know why you're not having periods except to say that loss of body fat might be involved. I'm not saying you're underweight... what I'm saying is that you lost a lot of stored estrogen as your weight went down.

A pituitary problem is associated with low pituitary hormones and low endocrine hormones. If your estrogen was in the menopausal range and LH/FSH were inappropriately low, then you might be looking at a pituitary problem. A hypopituitary disorder can have one or more deficiencies, so sorting them out takes a lot of special testing.


My endo has been keeping an eye on my reverse T3 for the last year. I just got my blood tests back and it's higher than ever but my FT4 and FT3 are at the top of the range, so obviously, despite RT3 being high, I also have enough FT3 to run things. I believe it's an expensive test, but I have no idea how much it costs because my insurance pays for all my testing. Call your local lab and ask the cost.

If your estrogen were rock bottom, I'd say you'd need more testing but it's way above the menopausal range. As for the phases of the menstrual cycle, it's a bit impossible to tell where your body is in the cycle. Yes, you still have ups and down every month (even women beyond menopause have cyclic hormone bursts) but apparently not enough estrogen and progesterone to ovulate and have a period. You might consider getting your progesterone levels checked. However, there's nothing wrong with no periods as long as you're healthy otherwise. One thing you could do, but again expensive, is a uterine ultrasound to make sure your uterine lining isn't thick.

With your T3 below the range now, and below the range when you were diagnosed, I think that it's very possible that some of your T4 is making RT3 and the FT3 is being used up by the body, as it should be. Your FT4 level is good, which means the supply is there. Your exercise routine should help convert T4 to T3. Did you read through the article about things that block T4 to T3 conversion? I found a lot of clues to my own situation reading that article.

Hypothyroidism causes menstrual changes, including having no periods at all... same with hyperthyroidism.

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1 comment:

Sue said...

I think you should have further tests for the secondary amenorrhea (no periods):

"Treatment for amenorrhea may include:

progesterone supplements (hormone treatment)
oral contraceptives (ovulation inhibitors)
dietary modifications (to include increased caloric and fat intake)
In most cases, physicians will induce menstruation in non-pregnant females who have missed two or more consecutive menstrual periods, because of the danger posed to the uterus if the non-fertilized egg and endometrium lining are not expelled. Without this monthly expulsion, the risk of uterine cancer increases."