Thyroid Problems/High TSH and Cholesterol low Vit D
QUESTION: I do hope you can shed some light on where I need to go with blood draw results. I am a female 61 years old.
I have TSH of 4.51, HDL103, LDL139, Trigliceride 166. Total Iron 208, Transferrin Saturation 58 and Vit D 22.3.
I had seen a doctor 18 months ago because my Calcium had been 10.3 and TCH was high normal. He ordered D 1.25 and that was elevated to 98, T3 T4 were normal.
He told me to not go out in the sun without completely covering up and not to take any vit D or calcium supplements. So now my Vit D is low and Calcium is 9.6.
I don't know if I should be concerned with these levels. I am a vegetarian and do not eat any animal fat, my cheese and egg consumption is fairly small. I exercise rigorously, 3 or 4 days at the gym elliptical, weights and treadmill. I also walk my dog everyday. I am 5'2" 114lbs. I do take a B complex supplement, could that be the high iron?
I do have brittle hair and hair thinning and my hands and feet get cold very easily. Am I going to have to go on a Statin or could all of these levels be linked to maybe parathyroid? The Endocrinologist didn't seem to take my concerns seriously. I don't know who I should talk to about my results, can you help? Thank you, Wendy
ANSWER: Your Cholesterol isn't in bad ranges, HDL is your good and should be high, your Triglycerides could be lower of course but the HDL is the protective fat so things should be ok, this would not be my major concern.
If your Calcium came down into normal range then it was most likely high due to the high vitamin D. You don't know if your parathyroid is to blame unless you check your parathyroid hormone. My functional range for calcium is 9.2-10.0 so you're back to where you should be. Remember blood work is a snapshot of a moment of a day, and things can be elevated for other reasons and not be a pathological problem at all, that's why it's good to re-check after a while to see.
Your vitamin D level is now on the low end of life, the lab typically tells you 30 is good, I like people to be 60-80 especially if they have any endocrine disorder, as vitamin D is a hormone in your body and does factor into hormones in the body in all systems.
The Iron, without seeing your total CBC results tells me little. You can have too high iron in the blood because your body isn't utilizing it in the cells properly, typically B-12, folic acid deficiency and as a vegetarian B-12 can be a concern of being too low. There is also an issue if you are not getting the right form of B-vitamins. If your body has the MTHFR genetic mutation your body doesn't have the ability to co-enzymate your B vitamins into their active useable forms. Your body needs B12 to utilize the iron. You may want to try switching to either Methyl B-12 or a Co-Enzyme full spectrum B complex. B's are water soluble and typically flush from the body when not being able to be used. I will also let you know I have seen a high correlation between patients with MTHFR genetic mutations and high prevalence of Thyroid disorders.
As far as you thyroid goes.... My range for TSH is 1.3-2.0, lab range is typically .45-4.5 which is huge and says little about how your thyroid is actually functioning which is why Free T3 and Free T4 are so important. To me you are subclinical hypothyroid based on TSH value alone paired with the complaints/symptoms of cold extremities and corse hair. If you have never had your Thyroid antibodies checked ( TPO antibodies and Thyroglobulin antibodies) I HIGHLY encourage this. The leading cause of hypothyroidism is autoimmune disorders also known as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Your TSH can remain "normal" to most doctors (again based on the standard lab range and not the functional medicine range) for the better part of 10 years before your TSH is "off". Too many people suffer from this form of hypothyroidism for too long without getting checked and I would push your doctor to do this test.
I encourage you to check out the website www.stopthethyroidmadness.com for information on how to talk to your doctor about running the proper thyroid labs. The site is very Pro-Armor, which is a type of natural thyroid medication, but otherwise has very good information on the connection between thyroid, B12, adrenal function as well.
I hope this information is helpful and can clarify some things for you. Also, about the statin, cholesterol elevation is one of the FIRST signs of a thyroid issue especially in women. Statin drugs are extremely harmful to the body and rob you of CoQ10 which is essential for cardiac muscle function and also rob your brain of good fats. I encourage you to look at some research on the correlation of statins with dementia development. These drugs should be taken off the market in my professional opinion, as doctors are supposed to first and foremost DO NO HARM. Please look up the clinical research on a patented supplement called Sytrinol. The clinical studies show it can lower cholesterol 30% in 30 days without side effects. I would recommend trying that before taking a medication and show your physician the clinical research on it (easily found on google) to show that 1- you're being an informed patient and 2- you want to try something that has been shown by clinical research to help with that issue before going on any prescription meds.
If you have any other questions please let me know. It's always hard to tell someone exactly what might be going on without meeting face to face and discussing all your symptoms, 80% of a diagnosis comes from your history the labs are there to confirm and rule out things and take a deeper look at the function of you body, by themselves they are little information.
Dr. Kalli Prater, D.C.
Functional Medicine Specialist
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you so much for the in depth answer, I really appreciate it. Do you think I should go to a family doctor? I did see an endocrinologist and he didn't seem concerned, I just feel there is something 'just not right'. I haven't slept properly for 15 years. I hope you don't mind if I ask you to take a quick look at these blood results over the last 3 years.
Thank you so much.
I would seek out a functional medicine specialist at this point, the family doctor won't do much more than the endocrinologist would. Your 25-OH vitamin D is the important number as well, no the 1.25, you're not converting into active forms. It's hard to say much more than that form your labs.