Friday, October 26, 2012

Health Data from October Blood Panel

I didn't receive any info from the lab before I saw my doctor, so I went in eager to see my numbers, just like the "good old days".

The measurement that was unresolved last time was my thyroid levels. I had a TSH of 5.5. My doctor wanted to let it ride and see what it would do over time. This time it was 5.62, which is a tad higher. This time we also tested my free T4, which is the actual thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland, and it showed to be 1.1, which is in the normal range. So does that mean that everything is normal? I don't know. Reverse T3 is sometimes the real problem indicator for type 1 diabetics, but that wasn't tested. My doctor is satisfied with the results. Since I haven't had any complaints about my energy levels for the past few months, I guess I'm satisfied too.

Thyroid & Lipids
I brought up the connection between lipids and thyroid and he said that it is more of a story if the thyroid is really out of whack. He said since I don't have any signs of CHD, he's not going to try to figure out my borderline lipids via thyroid tweaks. I agree with that. The markers are fuzzy, and it's made even more murky because of the medical establishment's tendency to get everyone on a pharmaceutical when lifestyle solutions might be safer.

So, yes... lipids.
Total cholesterol: 250
HDL: 72
Triglycerides: 56
LDL: 167
CHOL/HDLC ratio: 3.5
NON-HDL Cholesterol: 178

The non-HDL Cholesterol was one I hadn't seen before. The target range is listed as 30 mg/dL higher than the LDL cholesterol target. Perhaps this measurement takes into account the fact that LDL isn't actually measured, but rather calculated... and it's, sometimes incorrectly, assumed that you have a certain number of lipoproteins, regardless of size. I'll have to find out more about this measurement and target.

Glucose Control
My A1c was 6.4, which goes along with what my average sensor numbers have indicated. Right now I'm hanging out in the 6.1-6.4 "higher risk of diabetes" range. I'd love to get into the "decreased risk of diabetes" range at <5.7, but based on my efforts I don't know if that's ever going to happen. Plus, I am positive that I already have diabetes.

My blood glucose at the time of test was 79 mg/dL. I tested on my meter before and after my blood draw and got readings of 79 and then 85, and my sensor was reading 80. I guess everything was pretty accurate at that point in time. Good to know...

To be honest, I think i have settled into a routine with glucose control and it hasn't been too variable over the last 6 months. I wish I had more to report, but things are getting pretty quiet and I'm not really experimenting too much. Sometimes it's hard to know what to blog about because most days are pretty simliar. 

I've been geeking out on looking at data across time lately, and I think I'll make some graphs that show trends throughout the past year.

Vitamin D
I made an effort to get daily doses of sun this summer, and I'm currently supplementing with liquid D3. I asked to have my levels checked and make sure I was on the right track. My levels were measured at 74 ng/mL. So, I'm in the top third of that range. My doctor said he's never seen anyone measure over the 100 ng/mL upper limit.

More Doctors...
I was planning to ask my doctor (an internist) for a referral to an endocrinologist. I thought maybe I'd get more aggressive treatment and relevant testing. I've started to realize that m doctor will probably go along with any additional tests that I feel are necessary, and he's always advocated for any devices that my insurance will cover. My long term relationship with him is good and we have mutual respect for each other. I feel pretty lucky to have him as my doctor. I decided to ask for a referral to a podiatrist for my plantar fasciitis, but held off on the endo request.


  1. TSH is usually a much more sensitive measure of thyroid dysfunction and T3 and T4 are usually normal with a TSH that's below about 10. It's considered subclinical hypothyroidism if TSH is the only thing that's abnormal.
    My T3 and T4 stayed in the normal range when my TSH was low three years ago, and I felt like shit, was shaking all over, had a resting pulse 30 beats per minute higher than my normal, and lost 22 pounds during that episode. My endo explained it like this: that there's a huge range in how much T3 and T4 the body actually needs and that levels fluctuate during the day a lot, so the normal range is big. Your brain, which makes thyroid stimulating hormone, should be able to move your thyroid hormone levels through the normal range to where it wants you to be without making more than a certain amount of hormone- it it's high, then it's having to shout, so to speak, in order to get your thyroid to be compliant.
    Kind of like if you measured somebody's c-peptide and it was high with normal blood sugar, that would indicate a huge risk for type 2 diabetes because of it being proof of insulin resistance.

    I've been wondering about how they measure cholesterol, myself. My last cholesterol test said total cholesterol was 104, LDL and HDL were 41 and 49 (don't remember which was which), and that adds up to 90, not 104. I guess VLDL is included in LDL. Maybe there're intermediate density lipoproteins. I notice yours do add up: 72 + 178= 250. And whatever that non-LDL non-HDL is, it's 11 of your total.

    My endo told me the only patients he's ever seen with vit D above 100 other than me were hospitalized and really sick.

  2. P.S. I talked to my mother the doctor and she says the non-HDL, non-LDL included in total cholesterol is VLDL- they don't include that in LDL.