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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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Burger King’s Low-Carb Whopper Review

Yesterday evening after work, I had dinner at Burger King on our military installation before going to the movies.  I had to eat something substantial, or I would’ve caved in to the seducing aroma of movie popcorn – of course, drenched in butter and a bit of popcorn salt on top.  In my opinion, that’s the ONLY way to REALLY enjoy popcorn.  Yet, it’s still a No-Go for me, as I can eat almost an entire bag on my own.  Can you say CARB-CITY?  I just don’t want to ruin the progress I’ve made in my health so far.

The Old Way: Since starting on Atkins, I’ve eaten at Burger King a few times for lunch.  Normally, I order a double whopper with cheese, leave off ketchup (and pickles – just because I don’t like them), and buy a bottle of water, since the German diet cokes are way too sweet of my taste.  If I must have some soda, I just grab a small bottle of American diet coke in the PX next door before I get  my lunch at the food court.   When I sit down to eat my burger, I just toss the bun to the side and eat the burger with a fork and knife.  I’ve gotten some odd looks here and there, but I ignore those… heck, I’d probably do a double-take, too, if I’d seen someone eat a burger with a fork & knife.

My Find – The LC Double Whopper: So, yesterday when I went to BK, the manager was working at the register.  What a great opportunity to ask about this low-carb burger they had advertised when I arrived in Germany a year ago.  “Can I help you?”, he asked.

“Yes, do you still have these low-carb burgers you were selling a few months ago?”

He punched a few buttons on his register. “Let me see if we still have it listed in here.  Ah, there it is!  Yes, I can still get that for you.”

“Yay! I want one, please!”

He punched some more buttons.  “Would you like this to be a double whopper with cheese?”

“Sure,” I answered, “no ketchup, no pickles.”

“No problem.”, he said. “It doesn’t come with mayo, as it gets messy, but I can give you a packet, if you like.”

“Sure.”

I paid for my burger and small bottle of water and patiently waited for my low-carb whopper.  I expected a little confusion from the kitchen area, since I’m probably the only person in the last 6 months who ordered one of those things.  Sure enough, a head poked out from behind the warmer.  “Dave, what’s a lc double whopper?”  So the manager gave the guys in the back a quick crash-course on how to put together my low-carb burger.

My number was called 3 minutes later and my lc whopper was presented in a little salad bowl with a lid.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I sat down and opened the lid.  At first glance it looked like a salad, but yes, I found the meat on the bottom as I poked my fork into the veggies.  I squirted some mayo on top and I was ready to eat.

Culinary Delight: The first thing I noticed was that it was a little bit difficult to cut, since it was in a rounded container, but I didn’t mind that too much, because it was presented very well and people don’t stare at you, since it looks like you’re eating a salad.  Loved the tasted, too!  You have your meat to fill you up, the crunch of the veggies, and the creaminess of the cheese and mayo.  Once I was done with my burger, I was pleasantly full and was able to go to the theater without being tempted to eat popcorn.  I didn’t even miss it while watching the movie.

Toss the Bun vs. LC Whopper: I think, I prefer getting the low-carb burger instead of performing surgery at the table on a normal whopper.  Maybe they have a flat plate next time instead of the bowl that I can eat out of… Hey, have it your way, right?

One final thought on BK fries: The funny thing is, I used to be a french fry addict, but I can leave them now – they don’t have the power they used to have over me.  Sure, I’d love to eat them, but sometimes, when I’m out with my family, I’ll sneak just one for the flavor off of their plate and while I’m sitting there chewing it, I realize, that they don’t really taste as good as I remembered them.  Weird…

 

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2010 in Low-Carb Diet, Reviews

 

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Eating Out Low-Carb in Germany

We are living in a small German town and you can count the area restaurants on your fingers.  Since the kids were out-of-town, we decided to try this more expensive restaurant in town that we haven’t been to before.  It was gorgeous inside with old pictures of the place from way back when – talking about black & white pictures with horses still pulling carts.  It was a really cozy little place.  We had nice deer-place mats in front of us made of a thick felt and the brown metal napkin rings had a little deer poking out at an angle – dang, I wish I took my camera.

The waitress came with the menu, and I ordered a hot tea, since we got a good bit of snow again over night.  As I opened the menu and read through my choices.  I started to get a bit worried, because most of what I saw had Spaetzle, Dumplings, fruit sauces and all kinds of carby stuff with it.  But then I found a dish of roast in a mustard coating on cabbage with home fried potatoes.  That was a definite option, I just had to do something about the potatoes.  I asked the waitress if I could have broccoli on the side (saw it on the meal above), since I cannot have potatoes.  ” No problem at all!”  she answered.  Hey, that was easy!  Because I’ve been to a bistro-style place a few weeks ago, where they would not swap anything for the fries, so I stole one and gave the rest to hubby.  But this time, I figured, if they charge that much money, they have a decent cook who is willing to accommodate his guests.

Oh, my gosh, the food was soooo yummy!  The meat was tender and the veggies soft and buttery.  Oooh, to die for!  When I was finished, I had the waitress pack the rest of the veggies to take home so I can have some for lunch again today.  We did pay a pretty penny to eat there, 31 Euros for the two of us, but it was well worth it!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2010 in Low-Carb Diet

 

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Review: Sugar-Free *Schaumkuesse* Chocolate Marshmallows

Zucker LightOn day 12 of my induction, I had a huge craving for something sweet – probably because I’ve been reading about candy substitutes on low-carb forums.  Go figure…  So I went off to some of the local grocery stores here in Germany, and scoured the candy & diabetic isles for some sugar-free goodies to enjoy.  The diabetic sweets were useless, because apparently, they are all sweetened with fructose – I’ll have to check my books, but to my understanding, fructose cannot be good for a diabetic…

At the Penny’s store I finally found some sugar-free “Schaumkuesse” (to be politically correct).  Those are the little chocolate covered marshmallow thingies sitting on a little waffle.  Well, I took them home and ate 3 little ones of them (without the waffle part).  Yes, they didn’t have sugar, but they did have sugar alcohols in them.

I should’ve known better….

  1. 10 years ago when I did a short stint of Atkins, I tried eating protein bars (which are full of sugar alcohols).  If I ate more than 1/2 a bar, I had to find a bathroom – quickly!!!  Those little suckers went straight through me…sorry for the bluntness.  Yes, I’m one of the few people who don’t do well with sugar alcohols.
  2. An hour after I gobbled down those 3 yummy goodies, I found myself at a company promotion ceremony.  Suddenly, my belly started rumbling, and I knew I was in trouble.  I all but ran to find the nearest bathroom….and made it…last second….

Lesson learned – I have to keep away from sugar alcohols!  Gotta eat whole foods!!!

Nevertheless, you may be able to tolerate them.  And if you’re looking for them, Penny’s has them next to the regular boxes of Schaumkuesse in the candy section.  They did taste really good!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2010 in Low-Carb Diet, Reviews

 

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