Not Done. (And labs).

Yeah, I’ve decided to come out of retirement.

That last bout of depression was the worst I’ve experienced.  Not the longest, but the most severe.  I don’t know what’s going on with me.  Things are a bit better now.  Just milldly depressed. Thanks to friends who commented or emailed…I appreciate your support.  I really don’t mean to be this drama mama.  In real life I don’t seek the spotlight at all – I’m content for no one to notice me in the room.  I’m really not all that dramatic.  The blog is a reflection of what’s in my head though…it’s a side of me that no one in my real life gets to see. I guess there’s depression drama in my head.

I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday.  She’ll be checking the labs she ordered and seeing how this beta blocker is doing for my blood pressure.  I’ll also be talking to her about whatever the fuck it is in my abdomen that’s pushing against my ribcage for the last few months.  This might result in more (and expensive) tests, and that’s just going to have to be ok.

So how did I do?  Metabolic panel first:

metabolic panel 7-1-14

The diet I’m currently following is 95% starch free – I’d say most days I eat none, every few days I might have a bite or two of something with starch in it.  Also, it’s 95% free of glucose and fructose.  Very little juice, fruit, or table sugar.  I’m eating mostly protein, fat, and vegetables, leaning harder on the vegetables and bone-broth based soups than I used to when low-carbing.  I’m getting most of my carbohydrate calories from milk (lactose) and vegetables, around 100g of carb a day.  My diet when I had these labs done was about 50% fat, and the rest split between carbohydrate and protein.  When I became severely depressed, I had eaten a couple of bananas (they’re high in potassium, trying to bring down blood pressure).  No more bananas. Stupid starch.

Ok, let’s see what’s changed over the last couple of months:

Blood sugar and Hb-A1C are a bit improved but still high.  Not high enough to be considered diabetic though (diabetic = 126 on the fasting glucose, and 6.5 on the Hb-A1C, according to the values that came with the labs).  The far right column on the chart is the current lab “normal” ranges, which vary a bit from the previous lab I used.  The doc ordered these, so I used their lab.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is better now, at 26.  I attribute this to bag breathing.  I haven’t done a lot of it, but for a week or so I did it once or twice a day, while trying to normalize my blood pressure. It didn’t help my blood pressure, but seems to have made a difference in CO2 level.  I’ll continue that once a day.  Traditionally people breathe into paper bags when they are hyperventilating – I’ve been using plastic gallon-sized “food and bread bags” from my local supermarket.  Not as noisy as paper, and not as rigid as Ziploc bags.  You just make a seal over your mouth and nose with the bag and breathe normally, in through the nose, out through the mouth, until it becomes a little difficult to breathe – at that point the oxygen is about depleted, and it’s time to stop.

BUN/Creatinine ratio is slowly dropping, probably because I don’t eat as much meat as I used to.  I still eat it every day, but it used to be every meal.  Now a lot of my protein comes from dairy and bone/oxtail broths and soups.

Everything else is unremarkable.

Ok, now for the lipid panel:

lipids

Again, this is about a month into eating 100-120g of carbohydrate daily, with very little fructose/glucose or starch in my diet.

  • Total cholesterol dropped almost 50 points.
  • Triglycerides almost halved.
  • HDL up from 30 to 42.
  • LDL able to be computed now.

I guess I don’t handle carbohydrates well.  More veggies, less carbs. When I eat this way I feel good.

The recent depression has been related to eating starches, as usual.  They’re off my plate permanently now.  Or until I can figure out why that happens and fix it.

Lab Results

Serotonin, Whole Blood

  • Current: 145 ng/mL (Range 11-204)
  • Compared to March 2014: 155 ng/mL

So, serotonin is down 10 ng/mL.  The March 2014 draw was taken on a day that I felt great – no depression, no anxiety.  The current draw was taken on a day I was crying, anxious, and depressed.

Now, before drawing conclusions I should mention that I wrote to Ray Peat last week and asked him about ways to lower serotonin.  I also asked him about blood tests for serotonin.  Here was his answer:

Foods like chicken consomme and ox-tail soup, with a lot of gelatin, help by reducing the amount of the precursor, tryptophan. Raw carrots or boiled bamboo shoots, by slightly disinfecting the bowel, help to lower serotonin. Some ways of testing the blood are very misleading, because what’s in the platelets isn’t necessarily causing trouble, its when the platelets can’t retain it to deliver it to the lungs for destruction that there’s a problem. Checking the urine for 5-HIAA can show how much serotonin is being destroyed. It’s the platelet-free plasma that should be measured, and there the level should be as low as possible.

Hm…the platelet-free plasma you say.  Well, wish I would have known that before spending money on labs that are essentially meaningless.

Ok, next (and possibly more importantly):

CA 19-9, which I tested because I’m a paranoid idiot who clearly spends too much time on the internet:

  • CA 19-9: 18 U/mL (range 0-35)

So, not elevated.  Doesn’t necessarily mean I DON’T have pancreatic cancer (or some other cancer) but it’s not looking likely.  Apparently 5-10% of Caucasian people don’t even have the ability to express this antigen, so it’s not enough information to rule cancer in or out…but seeing that there’s no elevation, I’m less freaked out.

I think it’s time for me to take a step back from all this.  I’m clearly making myself nuts, and I don’t have the knowledge to even order the correct tests for myself.  I’m not seeing results and I’m getting more sick, more depressed, and have fewer answers than ever before.

Time to re-evaluate.

 

Getting Back on Track…and New Labs

I was wrong…my HSLFDE was not resumed…It’s still paused.  I’ve been having a hard time getting back on track.  One day of bad planning and I’m eating crap food from a restaurant…then visiting people and eating their crap food…then another day of bad planning….you get the idea.  I’m still tracking what I eat so it’ll all be data for my experiment, but I do want to get back on track with the intervention portion of the experiment – I think I’ve got a pretty solid baseline at this point, from which to measure.

It looks like in 16 days a movie will be hitting theaters called Fed Up: “…the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see.”  Hm…well, that has potential, right?  But then I scroll down and see there’s a “Fed Up Challenge” – can you be “sugar free for 10 days”?  Like that’s the ticket to awesome health.  Yeah, I can be sugar free for 6 months.  You know what that gets me?  High cortisol, high BUN/Creatinine, high TSH, low energy, low mood, low interest in interacting with my child….shall I go on?  So yeah, great…more anti-sugar propaganda.  Makes me even more determined to stick to a low-fat Peat-inspired diet for a while, so I have some N=1 data to point to when this movie starts making waves.

Got some lab results today.  Numbers are fun.
labs1
labs2labs3

Current labs are in RED.  If there’s a space with no result, that means I didn’t get that test done this time.  Money is always an issue with labs…I try to get just what I need to track progress.

A couple thoughts about these…Let’s start with the good stuff.  My BUN/Creatinine ratio is coming down.  It reached it’s peak of 34 when I was eating low carb and under a lot of stress.  It’s come down gradually and is just a little over the range now.  I’m not sure what this is about – I know BUN and Creatinine have to do with kidney function and can indicate dehydration.  I guess I drink more fluids now but don’t drink much water these days…too much to drink with actual nutritional value, like milk, juice, or coffee.  Or maybe the improvement is because I’m not eating as much meat as I used to?  Less work for the kidneys?  Anyway, nice to see improvement there. Calcium Dioxide is now 21 instead of 20…a very small improvement.  Maybe that’s from the addition of carbonated water to my diet?  I mix a few ounces with OJ in the morning – it’s so awesome that way.  I should really start bag breathing and get that CO2 level up. Thyroid function may be improving – TSH is down from last time.

OK, that’s it for the good stuff…now, seriously.  512 for triglycerides?  That’s kind of high.  Like 10 times higher than I want it.  Conventional wisdom says that high triglycerides are caused by eating too many carbohydrates.  Hm…maybe.  I asked the smarties on my Ray Peat Facebook page for input and got the following responses:

Niacinamide 3x a day. Too much cortisol. Coconut oil. get enough calcium and reduce phophates.

and

This was from a kmud interview, mar 2014 – “niacinamide inhibits the lipase enzyme which liberates the free fatty acid’s from the triglyceride stores in the tissue. aspirin also does this.”

These comments are from people I’ve come to trust, so I’ll give niacinamide a try again.  I stopped it because it didn’t seem to be making a difference in any way I could sense.  It would be worth it though to bring these numbers down.  Also, the  “too much cortisol” and “reduce phosphates” comments hit home – I still eat too much meat.  I need to embrace carbohydrates and stop eating so much meat.  Darn the carbophobia.  Right now my carbohydrate:protein ratio is about 1:1.  I need to pretty much double my carbs and cut my protein by 1/3 or so.

They couldn’t calculate my LDL cholesterol because my trigs were so high.  Can you believe that?  I’ve never heard of that.  I’m off the charts.

Looks like MCHC was a little low.  I don’t know what that means, but Google says I might be a little anemic.

That’s about it.  Please feel free to analyze and share your interpretations of these numbers.

Also please feel free to feel superior to me because my labs suck, and link to my blog from your blog and talk about how you’ve got it all figured out and about how much of a loser I am to be continuing on my current path.  Go ahead.  It’ll be fun for everyone!

Just kidding.

Labs and Many Variables

I haven’t written much because it’s been a rough week.  I definitely have ups and downs, more so now that I’m following Peat because I didn’t used to have many “ups”. Unfortunately I don’t always know the cause of the mood/fatigue roller coaster, because I haven’t done a good job of controlling variables.  That’s going to change.

To summarize, my depression returned and stuck around for a week.  I’d recently started resistance training, so I took a week off (mostly because I didn’t have the energy – not because I was scientifically eliminating variables…but the result is the same.).  That didn’t help…so I conclude that exercise probably wasn’t the cause.  I had some mild food poisoning from a seafood stew I made last weekend – maybe the intestinal irritation released a bunch of serotonin into my system?  Well, maybe…but the depression lasted till Friday.  Seems things would have returned to normal before that.  I forgot to take my pregnenolone supplement 2 weeks ago, so I took it last Tuesday.  Nope…still had 2-3 more days of depression, and I’m sure it would have kicked in before that.  I also “forgot” to eat liver for 2 full weeks (forgot = avoided).  So I ate liver on Friday, and seriously within 2 hours my depression was gone and has stayed gone since then.  Maybe I was low on Vitamin L. (<–“liver”).  Seriously though, maybe I was low in B vitamins – liver is my main source of these.  So no more skipping Liver Night.  In fact, I’ve taken a pound of grass-fed beef liver and cut it into 16 1-oz pieces and then froze them individually in an ice cube tray.  I’m going to thaw and eat an ounce of raw liver most days (5-7oz/week) in an effort to stabilize my intake and make it more routine.

This whole thing has made me very aware that I keep changing multiple things at once without taking time to evaluate the results before introducing another change.  Not very scientific.  So I’m going to go about this more methodically from now on.  One change at a time, with at least a 2 week period of time between interventions.  So here’s what I’m doing now that seems to be working well for me so far, and contributing to my health:

Supplements:

  • Progest E – 6 drops per day
  • Niacinamide – 250mg 1x/day
  • Vitamin D – 5000mg/day
  • Magnesium Glycinate – 100mg/day
  • Cynoplus – ¼ tab/day
  • Pregnenolone – 500mg/week
  • Aspirin – 325mg 1-2x/day
  • Vitamin K – 1mg/day

Food:

  • Liver – 5-7oz/week
  • Wild-caught shellfish – 1x a week
  • Dairy
  • Salting food to taste (which for me is a lot)
  • Orange juice/honey
  • Raw carrots daily
  • Coconut oil
  • Eggs
  • Very low starches – some days none, but some days one serving
  • Avoidance of PUFAs – 4g or less most days.  I’m very strict about this.
  • Grass fed beef, occasional low-fat chicken breast or ham
  • Bone broths
  • Coffee – about 24 oz per day of a weak brew

Habits:

  • Lights – 2-3x/week for 30 minutes
  • Resistance training – 2-3x/week for 1 hour

The things I continue to struggle with:

  • Unstable mood (but that seems to be resolved when I follow the above supplements/foods or habits and don’t “forget”).
  • Weight loss (as in, there is none and I’d like there to be some)
  • High blood sugar (fasting blood sugar currently averaging around 130 – lower when I avoid starches consistently and stick to simple sugars instead).
  • High blood pressure – still averaging around 148/94.

Interventions I want to try (singularly, and with an appropriate evaluation period following):

  • More Cynoplus (T3/T4 hormone) – for better thyroid function, increased metabolism = weight loss
  • Epsom salt/baking soda baths – for blood pressure reduction and overall health – increased CO2 in blood
  • Bag breathing – for blood pressure reduction and overall health – increased CO2 in blood
  • More gelatin/less meat – ok, “some” gelatin – I haven’t been loving the gelatin – for overall health (less phosphate from meat = less inflammation).
  • Sugar at night and again when I wake up in the middle of the night – for blood sugar management, and cortisol/adrenaline reduction, ultimately resulting in weight loss
  • Lowering dietary fat – for blood glucose control and weight loss
  • Cascara Segrada – for intestinal health, lowered serotonin
  • B vitamin supplements – specifically B1 for cognitive benefits and B6 for estrogen management and libido.
  • Complete avoidance of starches (low isn’t low enough).

Hm…where to start.  I really should start with low-fat.  That seems to directly affect weight loss and blood-sugar.  All right.  2 week trial of low-fat Peat eating starts tomorrow.  I’ve tried sporadically to do this but haven’t committed to it.  I’ll committ to it.

Ok, next on the agenda – Peat-inspired labs that I had done recently.  Here are the results:

Parathyroid Hormone: 22 (range 15-65)
Prolactin 5.4 (range 4.8-23.3)
Serotonin 155 (range 11-204)
hs-CRP: 8.08 (range 0-3.0) HIGH

My preliminary interpretation:

  • Inflammation (hs-CRP) is still high but is down from my last result of 13.58 6 months ago.
  • Serotonin is solidly in the top half of the range.  On the day my blood was drawn I felt really good – I was in a happy zone.  I can only imagine what that level looks like on a bad day.  I was tempted to go back and test again this past week, but can’t really afford to do that.
  • Prolactin is on the low end, which may suggest estrogen is being well-managed with my current dose of progesterone (estrogen and prolactin tend to increase one another, if I remember correctly).
  • Parathyroid hormone is also toward the low end – not sure what this means really.  More research is in order. I think parathyroid hormone is released to liberate calcium from the bones when calcium intake is low or when the calcium/phosphate ratio (ideally around 1:1) is low.  So maybe I’m getting enough calcium now.

I posted my lab results on my Ray Peat Facebook group and got lots of great Peat quotes, references and advice from folks who I’ve come to respect a lot.  Here are some of the quotes/references offered in the comments:

“The hypo-osmolar blood of hypothyroidism, increasing the excitability of vascular endothelium and smooth muscle, is probably a mechanism contributing to the high blood pressure of hypothyroidism. The swelling produced in vascular endothelium by hypo-osmotic plasma causes these cells to take up fats, contributing to the development of atherosclerosis. The generalized leakiness affects all cells (see “Leakiness” newsletter), and can contribute to reduced blood volume, and problems such as orthostatic hypotension. The swollen endothelium is stickier, and this is suspected to support the metastasis of cancer cells. Inflammation-related proteins, including CRP, are increased by the hypothyroid hyperhydration. The heart muscle itself can swell, leading to congestive heart failure.” – RP, from Water: swelling, tension, pain, fatigue, aging.

“Honey has been used therapeutically for thousands of years, and recently there has been some research documenting a variety of uses, including treatment of ulcers and colitis, and other inflammatory conditions. Obesity increases mediators of inflammation, including the C-reactive protein (CRP) and homocysteine. Honey, which contains free fructose and free glucose, lowers CRP and homocysteine, as well as triglycerides, glucose, and cholesterol, while it increased insulin more than sucrose did (AI-Waili, 2004).” -RP, from Sugar Issues.

J Med Food. 2004 Spring;7(1):100-7.
Natural honey lowers plasma glucose, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and blood lipids in healthy, diabetic, and hyperlipidemic subjects: comparison with dextrose and sucrose.
Al-Waili NS.

“Bacteria thrive on starches that aren’t quickly digested, and the bacteria convert the energy into bulk, and stimulate the intestine. (But at the same time, they are making the toxins that affect the hormones.)” –RP

“One of the major “acute phase proteins,” C-reactive protein, is defensive against bacteria and parasites, but it is suspected to contribute to tissue degeneration. When its presence is the result of exercise, estrogen, or malnutrition, then its association with asthma is likely to be causal, rather than coincidental.” -RP

“Systemic metabolic problems make local problems worse, and if a local injury is serious, it can cause the liver to produce stress-related proteins called “acute phase proteins,” including fibrinogen and serum amyloids A and P, C-reactive protein, and other inflammation-related proteins. These proteins are a primitive sort of immune system, that can directly bind to some harmful substances. Endotoxin absorbed from bowel bacteria is probably the commonest reason for increased production of these proteins.” -RP

“The liver is the major source of the acute phase proteins, and it is constantly burdened by toxins absorbed from the bowel; disinfection of the bowel is known to accelerate recovery from stress.” -RP

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Apr;33(4):549-55. Anaerobic exercise induces moderate acute phase response. Meyer T, Gabriel HH, Rätz M, Müller HJ, Kindermann W.

Other recommendations were Cyproheptadine for reduction of Serotonin, cascara for intestinal happiness, spending less awake time in the (stressful) dark, and engaging in more things that lead to general happiness and fun.

Love that group!

Anyway, please help me hack my labs – any and all info is greatly appreciated!

Updates

Some updates on all things me:

1.  Started weight training.  I really like it – it’s the first time I’ve lifted weights with an actual program designed by an actual professional trainer – usually I just go to the gym and meander around the circuit training area.  I’m lifting 3 days a week for about an hour each time, and I’m already getting stronger – after only a full week.  I’ve had to bump up the weights on several of the machines I’m using.  I didn’t think I’d care about getting stronger – I mean, if I can pick up my kid how much stronger do I need to be?  Turns out it makes a big difference.  Like, already I notice it’s easier for me to physically get out of bed – I need to do a sit-up motion to get up, which used to be hard.  Now it’s getting easier.  I know, pretty weak, right?  It’s been about 24 years since I’ve lifted weights.

So my trainer asks me, “Are you sore?” to gauge how hard I’ve been working.  I want to tell her yes, but the truth is, my muscles are not sore.  They’re fatigued and I’m working my ass off at the gym, but for some reason my muscles aren’t that sore.  When I’ve done resistance training in the past my muscles were sore for days, so I’m not sure what’s different now.  I’m supplementing aspirin when I can remember, but not every day…maybe muscle soreness is the result of something I currently don’t have in my diet?

2.  I decided to tell the trainer that I’m not going to follow her stupid diet.  She gave me a diet that recommended starches for breakfast and lunch and no carbs after 4:30PM.  Wow.  I tried that for a couple of days.  My mood was terrible after eating oatmeal for breakfast, and I was too tired to do anything but lie down.  Also, no carb after 4:30 and my heart was pounding with adrenaline by 9:30 at night.  Not going to work.  Also, she wants me to have less than 1500 calories per day.  That just wasn’t enough food.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned lately, it’s that nothing is more important than feeling alive and happy every day.  I have that now.  It’s the direct result of eating simple sugars (fruit and honey), lean protein (I just don’t like gelatin, but I’ll try again at some point), saturated fats, eggs, salt, dairy, liver, seafood – a nutrient dense diet low in PUFAs.  Oh, and of course my progesterone.

3.  My weight is oddly stable. For the last 9 days, it doesn’t matter how much I eat, how much I drink, how much I work out, my morning weight is always exactly 208.8 lbs (94.7 kg).  Exactly.  To the tenth of a pound.  Isn’t that weird?  My whole life my weight has been up and down a pound or two a day….but now it’s so stable it’s freaking me out.  I’ve eaten 1600 calories one day and 3000 the next…doesn’t matter.   One day I made homemade gluten-free bread for my daughter and husband (well, homemade from a mix) that was so good I ate like 4 slices of it with butter.  Completely defied my no-starches rule.  I was really full.  The next day?  208.8.  Well, at least I’ve stopped gaining.

I am interested in losing weight, of course…and I think I’m going to try to accomplish this by drinking skim milk rather than eating cheese.  Also, I’m going to trade out heavy cream for skim milk in my coffee.  Those two things account for a lot of my daily fat.  I don’t want to count calories anymore.  I did that for a week for my trainer, and it made me feel like eating a pizza.  It’s more important to be emotionally healthy around food than to track every calorie.  I don’t want to be obsessed with this stuff.  It’s only a PART of my life.

Did I mention that I feel really good almost every day now?  Now if my mood is low or I feel tired I can usually directly attribute it to something I did differently than usual, like eating starches or experimenting with a new supplement.  Before Peat-ing I was tired, depressed, and anxious most days.  I never felt “happy”.  Then after adopting some of Peat’s recommendations I started feeling better in the mornings – not every morning, but a lot of them, and in the afternoon I’d go back to feeling low-energy.  Now almost every morning is delightful and a few times a week I feel great all day long.

I had some labs drawn last week….getting Peat-inspired labs is kind of a hassle.  I ordered labs for serotonin, parathyroid hormone, hs-CRP, and prolactin from Life Extension.  Went to the lab with my requisition, and the tech tells me that to test serotonin they need a “special tube” and that I’d have to go over to the “main lab” 12 miles away for that draw.  Ok…so I went to that lab instead. Then a few days later I got a call from Life Extension – they told me that the blood they drew to test my parathyroid hormone didn’t contain enough plasma…so I’d have to go back to have it retested.  Huh?  Not enough plasma?  Where’s all my plasma?  I haven’t had the retest done yet.  Anyway, they promise results in 10-14 days – I’ll update with results when I get them.

I’ve got my husband eating less PUFA, using red lights, taking aspirin and vitamins K, D, E, and A, and eating liver.  He keeps walking around saying he feels great and doesn’t know why.  haha.

Updated Labs and Gut Health

I didn’t get everything tested – just the basics, which is what I could afford right now.  Here they are, with the current results in RED.

3/27/2012 11/14/2012 9/6/2013 12/30/2013
Units Ref
Glucose 98 98 117 114 mg/dL 65-99
Hb A1C 6.4 <7.0
Uric Acid 5.9 5.2 5.4 5.4 mg/dL 2.5-7.1
BUN 19 25 18 18 mg/dL HIGH 6-24
Creatinine 0.69 0.73 0.57 0.6 mg/dL .57-1.00
eGFR 108 101 113 111 mg/dL >59
BUN/Creat Ratio 28 34 32 30 HIGH 9-23
Sodium 138 139 139 138 mmol/L 134-144
Potassium 3.8 3.8 4.5 4.1 mmol/L 3.5-5.2
Chloride 1.3 104 103 104 mmol/L 97-108
Calcium 9.3 9.2 9.4 9.2 mg/dL 8.7-10.2
CO2, Total 28 20 mmol/L 19-28
Phosphorus 3.6 4.1 4.0 3.4 mg/dL 2.5-4.5
Protein, Total 6.8 6.9 7.2 7.1 g/dL 6.0-8.5
Albumin 4.3 4.4 4.4 4.1 g/dL 3.5-5.5
Globulin, Total 2.5 2.5 2.8 3.0 g/dL 1.5-4.5
A/G Ratio 1.7 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.1-2.5
Bilirubin, Total 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 mg/dL 0.0-1.2
Alkaline Phosphatase, S 63 64 70 62 IU/L 25-150
LDH 142 137 137 143 IU/L 0-214
AST (SGOT) 20 14 12 15 IU/L 0-40
ALT (SGPT) 25 17 18 20 IU/L 0-32
GGT 14 14 27 20 IU/L 0-60
Iron 66 81 116 88 ug/dL 35-155
WBC 8.7 x10E3/uL 3.4-10.8
RBC 4.36 X10E6/uL 3.77-5.28
LIPIDS
Cholesterol, Total 222 297 270 274 mg/dL HIGH 100-199
Triglycerides 107 203 288 312 mg/dL HIGH 0-149
HDL Cholesterol 54 56 43 46 mg/dL >39
VLDL Cholesterol 41 58 mg/dL HIGH 5-40
LDL Cholesterol 147 200 169 166 mg/dL HIGH 0-99
T. Chol/HDL Ratio 4.1 5.3 6.3 6.0 HIGH 0.0-4.4
Estimated CHD Risk (Tot. Chol/HDL) 1.4 1.8 HIGH 0.0-1.0
OTHER
Vitamin D 34.2 67 (on 11/11/13) ng/mL 32-100
Insulin, Fasting 27.9 uIU/mL HIGH 2.6-24.9
hs-CRP 8.65 8.12 13.58 mg/L HIGH 0.00-3.00
THYROID 3/27/2012 11/14/2012 6/19/2013 12/30/2013 Units Ref.
TSH 1.7 4.01 1.55 2.92 uIU/mL 0.450-4.500
Thyroxine (T4) 4.1 8.9 7.4 6.9 ug/dL 4.5-12.0
T3 Uptake 32 25 27 24 % 24-39
Free Thyroxine Index 2.5 2.2 2.0 1.7 1.2-4.9
T4, Free (Direct) 1.04 0.97 ng/dL 0.82-1.77
Reverse T3 20.9 10.2 ng/dL 9.2-24.1
Triiodothyronine (T3) 126 120 ng/dL 71-180
Thyroid Peroxidase TPO Ab 10 8 IU/mL 0-34
Antithyroglobulin Ab <20 <20 IU/mL 0-40
Free T3 2.9 2.8 pg/mL 2.0-4.4

The first two columns (3/27/12 and 11/14/12) are when I was eating low carb with about 5% of my diet being carbohydrates for the first, and 10-15% for the second.  The third column (9/6/13) I was floundering around, trying on various diets/lifestyles.  At that time, about 20% of my diet was carbohydrate.  In November I started paying attention to Ray Peat and I increased my carbohydrate consumption to 40-50%, most in the form of simple sugars/fruit.  My blood sugars started soaring though, so a few weeks later I switched from simple sugars to starches and cut the quantity down to about 30%, while increasing protein.

So how am I doing?

Blood sugar – fasting glucose is high (but not over 126), HbA1C is not ideal, but is not in the diabetic range, and fasting insulin is high.  These factors suggest to me that I am more likely VERY insulin resistant, but not necessarily diabetic yet.  The fact that my body is still pumping out that much insulin is a good thing.  My pancreas isn’t dead yet.  I’m certainly very close to type 2 diabetes, if I’m not there yet…and I know I need to take this very seriously.

Thyroid – I was hoping eating carbs would help thyroid function.  However, if TSH is a reliable marker (and Ray Peat says it is) it looks like I did best with some carbs but not many.  Of course my triglycerides were happiest with none, but you can’t please everyone.

Lipids – OMG, I’m so about to die of a heart attack.  Triglycerides absolutely not going in the right direction…HDL was highest on low carb, LDL a bit better now than it was last winter but still not good.  I have been taking very small doses of T3 every day (6mcg), but that clearly isn’t enough to have an impact on cholesterol.  Will have to increase it.

Other – That CO2 number is terrible.  What happened there?

My ability to interpret labs is limited – please feel free to add your interpretation in the comments.

And in other news, I’ve decided my gut is completely torn up from 2 rounds of antibiotics this year, and that’s why I’m having trouble tolerating the potato starch.  I’ve decided I’m going to mix it with all kinds of junk and make it into BIONIC FIBER.  (<– Imagine I said really loud with an echo.)   I’m on day 3 of probiotics.  I’m going to fix my gut biome, dammit!  But most importantly, I have baseline data for my Resistant Starch Experiment.

Adrenal Stress Index Results

Here are my current cortisol lab results:
Hormone Test 3/23/2012 11/14/2012 6/30/2013   Units Range
DHEAS (saliva)
15.4
5.3 8   ng/ml 2-23 (Age Dependent)
Cortisol Morning (saliva) 9.6 7.6 5.8   ng/ml 3.7-9.5
Cortisol Noon (saliva) 1.3 1.3 1.5   ng/ml 1.2-3.0
Cortisol Evening (saliva) 0.9 1.3 1.4   ng/ml 0.6-1.9
Cortisol Night (saliva)
0.5
1.6
0.3
  ng/ml 0.4-1.0
Current results are in bold, and are shown compared to the last 2 times I had this test done (about a year ago and about 6 months ago).  According to Dr. Myhill, I’m recovering, as evidenced by normal DHEAS  and low cortisol.  Great.  Well, most things are in range – night time cortisol is a bit low, but I’m not sure I care about that, except that suggests overall low cortisol production.  I’d like morning and noon levels to be higher.  I guess I’ll be looking into adaptogens and supplements.  We’re all moved in to the new place.  I’m looking forward to things.  I have been sleeping well and don’t feel completely tired.  I think I just need to go to bed at a reasonable time.