Sunday, April 07, 2013
First I'd like to apologize if I ramble a bit. Here's a bit of background. I've always been one of those lucky ones whose weight never fluctuated that much no matter what they ate or whether they exercised. Trust me it has slowly climbed over the years to where at my highest I think I was 155 (I'm 5'4"). Paying attention to what I was eating and not eating out dropped me to about 142 with out much effort. I've also been fortunate in that I have always been healthy other than allergies and a tendency to injure myself (bit of a klutz and a cat that thinks it's his job to trip me). Every year I have blood work done and it's always been good. While my total cholesterol was high, it was always my good cholesterol that was up and not the bad. My triglycerides are always elevated, but my doctor was not concerned. The thing he wanted to keep an eye on were my hormone levels. Yes, I have hit that dreaded age where the female hormones plummet. Mine dropped suddenly rather than gradually which he didn't like. I felt fine though so resisted his recommendation to go on bio-identical hormones. The other thing he watched was a trend in my thyroid hormones towards hyperthyroidism.
Recently I changed doctors and just had my first check up and blood work done. This doctor does a different cholesterol test that looks at LDL particle and particle size. His point is that with all the stress on lowering cholesterol why are people with low cholesterol or readings like mine dropping dead? So while my calculated cholesterol levels (the normal test everyone talks about) are great, my particle number is off the charts high. Anything over 1000 LDL particles is associated with cardiovascular disease with anything over 2000 being considered very high. Mine were 2253. That lead to an immediate prescription for a statin as well as a low glycemic diet. By the way, it turns out that high triglycerides are an indication of high LDL particle count even if the calculated LDL is within range.
My thyroid test results were also not up to par. My TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) was almost non-existent at .006 (low is .45) and my T3 free was 5.0 (high is 4.5). He had me go the next day for a sonogram which showed multiple nodules on both lobes and is consistent with multinodual goiter. In doing some research multinodual goiter combined with hyperthyroid blood test results is referred to as toxic multinodual goiter. I have an appointment with the doctor to review this in about a week and a half. Treatment for hyperthyroidism is either thyroid suppressing medication, radiation kill off the thyroid or surgery. The last two choices are permanent and usually cause the person to go into hypothyroidism and be on thyroid replacement meds for the rest of their life.
Also, my female hormones were pretty much zero as well. Doctors recommendation is bio-identical hormones.
I also had a bone density test at the same time and the results of that showed osteoporosis in both hips. The doctor recommends starting osteoporosis meds as well.
I am the kind of person who believes in research and knowing as much as I can about things in order to make informed decisions. What I have found is that all of these conditions are interrelated. Hyperthyroidism and menopause are both causes of osteoporosis if not treated. Also, the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and menopause are very similar. So all the hot flashes and fatigue, etc. could be from the thyroid rather than menopause.
So the end result is that I have started both the bio-identical hormones and the statin prescription and have committed to a low glycemic diet. I will know more about the thyroid issue and whether I will need to start treatment for that in a little over a week. If he recommends treatment and I have a choice (which of course I always will), it will be the meds. I will hold off on starting the osteoporosis meds until I have had a chance to do further research to determine which one I believe is best for me. Also, I don't like the idea of jumping on a bunch of meds at one time. Add slowly and see what happens. If all goes well, tackle the next issue.
Anyway if you have read this far, thanks for letting me ramble and I apologize for being so long winded. It does feel better to put it all down though.