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Subclinical Hyperthyroidism – Now what?

English: Scheme of the thyroid gland. Français...

Scheme of the thyroid gland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week I wrote about going to our military hospital to request some lab tests.  (Click here for previous post.)  That Thursday, my PA’s nurse called me to see if I could come in before my scheduled follow-up appointment to discuss my thyroid test results.  I figured something was up, but of course, she couldn’t tell me anything about the results, so I had to wait and ponder until Tuesday after Memorial day to see my PA.

At the day of my appointment, I sat in the small room where the Red Cross volunteer took my vital signs again.  I was nervous, because of my recent elevated blood pressure readings and having to go back onto blood pressure medication if my numbers didn’t improve.  But as it turned out, my reading that morning was only 124/82, much better than the reading from the week prior of 154/105.  Relieved that I was almost back to normal, I could now return to worrying about my possible thyroid issue, while waiting for the PA.

Thyroid Panel Results

She didn’t waste much time and told me my thyroid panel test results.  I added normal ranges in parentheses:

♥  Thyroxine            10.0               (4.8 – 10.4)
  T3                      1.32               (0.970 – 1.69)
  FT4                    1.29               (0.78 – 2.19)
  TSH Sensitive     0.245   Low     (0.465 – 4.68)

The PA then explained that a low TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone value accompanied by normal T3 & T4 values is a sign for subclinical hyperthyroidism, which could eventually turn into full-blown hyperthyroidism.

I must have given her a blank stare, so she continued questioning me about symptoms, and if I noticed any of the following:

  Hair loss (notice more hair on the brush)
  Fatigue
  Palpitations
  Weight loss, etc…

Yes, I have these symptoms, but figured that the hair breakage was due to the dry air in Colorado, the palpitations due to the altitude, and the weight loss, yet slow, was intentional with eating low-carb.

The PA checked my neck again for any growths, but did not feel anything abnormal.

The plan for now is to repeat the blood test in 2 weeks, and if the results are the same or worse, she will order a scan of my thyroid and we’ll go from there.  If the test comes back normal, we’ll just follow-up with tests in 3-month increments.

Lipid Panel Results

My lipid-panel wasn’t that great, either, but the PA said, that we’ll keep an eye on the numbers.  There is NO WAY I’ll go on statins for cholesterol, because of the horrible side-effects they cause and science has proven, that especially women see no improvement in taking them.  Chris Kresser has a lot of resources and scientific backup to prove this point.

Here are my numbers:

  Cholesterol         206         (<200)      okay, a bit up
  Triglycerides         86         (<150)      thanks low-carb
  HDL                     36         (40-60)     gotta work on that
  VLDL                   17         (5-40)       not bad
  LDL Direct          154         (<100)      oh, oh – but I do not have particle size
  Risk Ratio           5.7         (0.5 – 3.5) high

A1C Results

My A1C was excellent with 5.3.  I’m down by .3 points from 2010, when I had it tested the last time.  It should be under 6.  Yay!

Outstanding Test Results

I’m still missing the Vitamin D and the standard test results.  I also do not see LDL particle size on the report, which I requested.  Maybe this test is not done at this hospital – the PA gave me a confused look when I asked her for the LDL particle size as we were discussing the results.  Instead, she kept referring back to the risk factor value.  I’ll ask her again at the next appointment. Stay tuned for updates of my next Dr. visit.

To be continued….

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A Low-Carb Friendly Military Healthcare Provider – Really?

English: Blood pressure measurement.

English: Blood pressure measurement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few days ago, I scheduled an appointment at the clinic of our new duty station to get some blood work drawn, mainly to have a baseline to measure my progress for next year’s low-carb cruise.  I was so inspired by the success stories of this last cruise, that I made a promise to myself to make this year count.  I was particularly inspired by the stories of Andrew DiMino from Carbsmart, Dana Carpender, Amy Dungan, Susan Winkler, Kent Altena, Kim Eidson, and Vanessa Romero, just to name a few.  With all this motivation, this is definitely the year to get healthy!

At first, I was worried about the reaction of my new doctor, because every time I went to see one at the military clinic at our last duty station, which was usually a different physician each time, and mentioned that I was eating low-carb, they were appalled that I did not eat any HEART-HEALTHY GRAINS and that I ate SATURATED FAT.  Of course, they told me that what I was doing wasn’t healthy.  At that time I didn’t have any ammo to counter with yet.  But this time would be different!

Before my appointment, I made sure to do my homework.  I asked my new expert buddies at the Low-Carb Cruise Facebook Group, which additional blood tests I should get done, and made my list:

  Standard tests
  Full Panel Thyroid
  LDL Particle Size
  A1C
  Vitamin D Level

 I also played out in my mind what I’d say to the doctor, when the low-carb thing would come up.  None of my previous physicians were open to this lifestyle, so I wanted to be ready.  Some things I wanted to say were:

  I eat more veggies than ever in my life.  What’s wrong with that?
  Isn’t this how diabetics should eat?
  Isn’t this how food addicts in recovery eat?  Nobody says that that’s unhealthy.  Why can’t I?

So, confident that I was ready for my appointment, I drove to the post hospital, ready for battle, if the need would arise.

At the clinic, a Red Cross volunteer took my vital signs.  I was shocked that my blood pressure was 154/105.  What?  It’s never been that high!  Yes, I had high blood pressure for years around 145/95, which was easily controlled by meds.  Then, after I lost some weight by eating low-carb, I stayed off my low-dose HCTZ and monitored my blood pressure, which was usually fine.  When I returned from the cruise, it was still normal for a few days, then shot up to the 150s/90s and I thought my machine at home was broken.  Since I had no way to test it, I just waited a few days for my appointment to verify that my blood pressure machine indeed went belly-up.  But I was wrong.  We checked twice.  Yep, I was really up there.

The volunteer then told me that my physician assistant will be with me shortly and left the room.  What?  I’m seeing a PA?  Nothing against PAs, but I really expected a doctor.  Oh well, nothing I could do at that point.

A few minutes later, the PA came in.  After some small-talk, she asked me why I was here.  I told her that I’m due for a physical and that I just came off the Low-Carb Cruise with a lot of experts and that I wanted some blood work done, so I can compare results right before the next cruise.  She nodded and got her pen ready:  “What tests do you want?”

Really?  No push-back?  I like that lady!!!  So, I rattled off my list to her.  She repeated the tests to me to make sure she got them all, did a quick physical and then we discussed the blood pressure issue.  She thinks that it could be the altitude, since I just came from a week at sea-level back to Colorado at 6200 feet.  She wants me to come back in two weeks for a follow-up and to see if my pressure goes back down.  We’ll then discuss my test results and if I need to get back on blood pressure meds.  As I went down to the lab, I was still amazed about my PA’s reaction, or non-reaction.  That was easy!

Update:  Thursday afternoon, I received a phone call from the nurse.  My PA wants me to come in sooner to discuss my thyroid test results.  Great, now I have to wait until Tuesday to find out what’s off on my results…

To be continued…

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Low-Carb Cruise, Low-Carb Diet

 

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