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Old 12-23-2010, 05:39 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: philadelphia, pa
Posts: 4
gray22 HB User
Please help interpret labwork test results....

I apologize for the length of this and appreciate anyone who will take the time to read my post & provide feedback. If you don't want all the details in-between, the first paragraph gives a list of symptoms and test results are at the very bottom.... (though the other stuff may be very relevant!) THANKS!!!!

I am a 36 yr old female and for the past couple years I have experienced many hypo symptoms such as weight gain (50lbs), dry/brittle hair & nails, dry/scaly skin, vit D deficiency, extreme fatigue, possibly fertility problems, 2 miscarriages, worse than normal PMS symptoms, longer & heavier than usual menstrual bleeding, problems with concentration, irritability, depression, anxiety, intolerance to cold, frequent upper respiratory, UTI & vaginal bacterial infections, constipation, foamy stools, abdominal discomfort/gas, slightly enlarged thyroid gland, possible reactive hypoglycemia, etc.

Tricky part is I am also an alcoholic in recovery (sober 3 months) and realize heavy, prolonged drinking can not only mimic hypothyroid symptoms but also affect thyroid function tests.

I have also been under extreme emotional and physical distress in recent years as a victim of domestic battery. To my knowledge, up until a couple months ago when I suffered a severe concussion as a result of my husband's violence (which resulted in an emergency room visit), there hadn't been any major physical injury other than bruising, swelling, a broken tooth and possibly 1 or 2 moderate concussions. I have been working on lowering my blood pressure which had gotten borderline high most likely due to the constant stress, hyper-vigilance, beer, cigarettes, lack of sleep, etc.

Until this past year, I had always maintained a good body weight. I could eat whatever I wanted, go through long periods of binge drinking and abstain from any exercise whatsoever without gaining a pound. Although these past couple years have been the toughest years of my life, I have experienced a lifetime of emotional stress and overall poor mental hygiene yet the way my body has reacted this past year is so different than any time before. For instance, during high-stress situations prior to the past year or so, I would have problems with insomnia lose my appetite and sometimes even lose 10 lbs in 1 wk; whereas under recent stress I can't seem to get enough sleep, and gain weight even though I continue to lose my appetite.

Furthermore, after 3 months of no beer carbs (sometimes drinking up to a case a day), walking daily, drinking plenty of water, and eating healthier, sleeping 8 hrs, living in a supportive/safe/non-abusive environment, I have not dropped a pound. I am also on a couple of medications that have potential side-effects of weight-loss (Ritalin, Topomax, Wellbutrin, Antabuse & Drisdol).

I understand that the older we get, the slower our metabolisms become and that heavy amounts of alcohol (specifically beer-carbs) will pack on the weight but I would've thought by now I would've lost at least water-weight! Besides, I only started gaining weight around November last year right after I miscarried. Most of 2008 & 2009 I drank heavily and daily (although I quit immediately once I learned I was pregnant). While I was pregnant, I had an abnormally large, simple cyst on my fallopian tube. It had been growing with the pregnancy and began to shrink/tort within days after my miscarriage so I had laparoscopic surgery to remove the cyst in Oct '09. Once I healed from surgery I went back to drinking and between November '09 and Sept '10 is when I gained the 45-50lbs.

My psychiatrist and PCP believe I'm going to make a full recovery from symptoms in time the longer I abstain from alcohol and continue towards a healthier lifestyle all around. As of now, I feel zero relief other than improved mental health functioning as a result of starting on the anti-depressant and avoiding toxic situations/people and it’s just too difficult for me to comprehend that in 3 months I wouldn't have gotten hardly any relief from my symptoms.

My blood work results reveal I'm within normal range but I'm still not convinced. I've been reading about how people can be in normal range but still have an underactive thyroid and that comparing some of the tests to one another can be the key to finding less overt problems at times.

Anyway, my results as of 12/15/10 are:

TSH - 1.18 (0.4-4.5)
FT4 - 1.0 (0.8-1.8)
FT3 - 330 (230-420)
GLUCO SERUM - 81 (65-99)
HEMOGLOBLIN A1C - 5.3 (<6)
PROLACTIN - 8.1 (3.0-30)
CORTOSOL - 10.1 (4.0-22.0)

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Old 12-24-2010, 04:32 AM   #2
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Re: Please help interpret labwork test results....

Hi, looks you have been through the ringer and so sorry. Now the only things I can comment on is your thyroid and cortisol.

Okay the Ft4 looks a bit low to me, and it should be 1.4 or a bit higher. Some people, such as I, must have the Ft4 in the upper part of the range about 1.6

Your Ft3 doesn't look too bad but it might need to be higher for you. I feel good when my Ft3 is at the very top about 420. Everyone is different in their needs though.

Also your cortisol seems a bit low in the range.

Heavy dieting can lower thyroid hormones and hospitalized people will have low thyroid hormones, especially low Ft3.

IMO, if you are not on thyroid medication, it looks like you need to be.
** RAI ablation for Graves disease 2004**

Old 12-27-2010, 04:24 PM   #3
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Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 124
Luv2Travel HB User
Re: Please help interpret labwork test results....

Hi Gray. I can't give you any more advice on your thyroid than Lady, but just want to say hang in there. You sure have been through the ringer and kudos to you for having the strength to get out of your abusive situation and move toward a healthier lifestyle. Hugs to you!

Old 12-30-2010, 01:10 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: philadelphia, pa
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gray22 HB User
Re: Please help interpret labwork test results....

Aw thank you both so much for taking time 2 help me. How do i convince my doc 2 try med treatment when he sees no problem?

Old 12-30-2010, 01:29 PM   #5
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Luv2Travel HB User
Re: Please help interpret labwork test results....

Originally Posted by gray22 View Post
Aw thank you both so much for taking time 2 help me. How do i convince my doc 2 try med treatment when he sees no problem?
If you like your doc and trust him, mention what Lady50 answered in her reply to you. Ask what it could hurt to try and treat your thyroid. If that doesn't work, maybe try for a second opinion. I think it's a good sign that your doctor knew enough to order the FT4 and FT3 for you in addition to the TSH. My "old" doc, would only look at TSH which doesn't tell the whole story. What did he say about your cortisol level? Could that have anything to do with your energy levels since it's the low end of normal? From all that your mind and body have been through, it may take awhile for you to heal and feel your best, so don't give up. Best of luck to you!!

Old 01-03-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: philadelphia, pa
Posts: 4
gray22 HB User
Re: Please help interpret labwork test results....

Hi again & thanks for your response!! I haven't spoken with my endo since my first (and only) visit to his office. His nurse called to give me my results and said everything looks normal & that if I'm still symptomatic in 6 mos to have blood work done again. She also said they are waiting for the reverse t3results to come back but that those numbers most likely wouldn't make much of a difference anyway.

I believe my doc does realize that some of my results came back low but wants to wait to see how things look once I'm off alcohol a few more months?? I kind of remember him saying something about how alcohol can sometimes affect thyroid hormone levels. I don't know - maybe I will call back and ask to speak with the doctor directly.

I did just receive my lab results (except for rt3) by mail a couple days ago. The nurse left some of the results out when we spoke by phone. A couple that caught my attention were:
• My LDL cholesterol level is above normal range;
• LH & FSH were low-normal; and
• my C02 was below normal and chloride was high-normal.
I don't have the lab paperwork in front of me so I can't give you exact numbers/ranges but judging from what info I've provided, do you think any of these results could be causing my symptoms in addition to my low-normal t4 and cortisol levels??

Maybe I should start a separate thread asking for interpretation of all my results without all the in-between info. I'd probably get more feedback with all that extra information I originally started with.

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