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4274823 tn?1388529098

Bloodwork results from lab Summer 2014

July 24, 2014 8 am (bus to lab)

TSH 5.95
Reference range 0.35 – 5.00 miU/L


Free T4 13
Reference range 12 – 22 pmol/L


Free T3 4
Reference range 2.6 – 5.7 pmol/L


Vitamin B12 746
Reference range >220 pmol/L


Ferretin/iron 37
Reference ranges 31 – 79  ug/L reduced iron stores, 80 – 300 ug/L normal iron stores

I found out recently that I having been drinking too much water given the high water content in my diet (plenty of vegetables and fruit). The symptoms I attribute to hypothyroidism are also symptoms of too much water. See my other post entitled Drinking too much water? I wonder if too much water is the reason I don't have enough iron in my system or if I have an absorption issue. I went to a talk about water by a medical professional at my local natural health store a while ago.  
37 Responses
1756321 tn?1547095325
Check out the youtube video - How Much Water Do you Drink Each Day? by Cori Ann Lentz.  She drinks 2 gallons (7.5 litres) of water a day. I think that is excessive and she does warn you have to go to the bathroom a lot lol.  She isn't suffering any symptoms of hypothyroidism or low metabolism.
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
I saw your post and read the article on drinking too much water, but got called away from the computer and didn't have a chance to comment on it, last night... I'm sorry about that; I'll try to get back to it.

While drinking too much water can be an issue, judging from your recent labs, I'd say that your symptoms of hypothyroidism are really coming from hypothyroidism, even though it's possible you are drinking too much water.   Your TSH is too high and even though your FT3 and FT4 are "in range", they are too low in the ranges.  Your FT4 is only at 10% of its range, indicating that your thyroid is not producing very much hormone.  Since the thyroid produces much more T4 than it does T3, nearly everything you're producing, at this point is being converted to T3.  As we've noted previously, rule of thumb is for FT4 to be approximately mid range and FT3 to be in the upper half to upper third of its range.  Of course, this is the recommendation for those on med and you aren't, but it's still an indicator that your thyroid production is declining, rather rapidly.  

Additionally, your Vitamin B-12 is still too low in the range, as well, though I know you're supplementing.  Again, as noted in previous threads, many countries start their ranges at 500, so you'd barely be mid range, if that.  Most of us have to be near the top of the range in order to alleviate symptoms.

Ferritin and iron are 2 different tests.  Ferritin is the iron storage hormone and indicates how much iron you have in reserve.  Iron is the actual iron you have in your blood.  Is it safe to assume that the test you had done, with a result of 37, was ferritin, not iron?  Since your ferritin is low, you should ask for a complete iron panel.

As I noted above, drinking too water can cause issues, but that's primarily with electrolyte/glucose and sodium levels, as noted in the article (yes, I've gone back to reread it).  I think it might be a stretch to say the water could be diluting the iron in your blood - if that's what I'm reading from your post above regarding the low ferritin levels - if that's not what I'm reading, my apologies.  Are you taking actual iron supplements or are you simply trying to get it from your food?  It's possible that you simply aren't getting enough iron if you're only trying to get it from food, since you don't eat animal products, which is fine, but that's where the majority of iron comes from.  

There's a fine balance between too much and not enough of everything; that's what we have to find...

I don't know how much water you drink, in addition to the foods you eat.  I certainly wouldn't eat less food in order to get less water, because that would mean you'd miss out on so many of the important nutrients that you're already low in.  You might have to take a look at how much extra water you're drinking and go from there.

All things in moderation.
4274823 tn?1388529098
Thanks for your post. Please note not everyone responds the same way to anything. Just look at the range of symptoms for those with thyroid disorders.

Too much water can wash away nutrients including vitamins and minerals.
My urine was clear and I had to go frequently. It has some colour since I reduced my intake.  My metabolism is slow, I get calf muscle cramps, insomnia, and I'm emotional.

My mom has low sodium from drinking too much water and tea.
4274823 tn?1388529098
Thank you for your reply. I will have to respond in detail when I return from vacation. I'm leaving shortly for two nights away.
1756321 tn?1547095325
I used to drink a lot of water due to excessive thirst but not all at once which does cause problems.  Reminds me of the death of a woman who died of water intoxication after drinking nearly 2 gallons of water (7.5 kg) in three hours without going to the bathroom in a radio game called "Hold Your Wee For A Wii."
4274823 tn?1388529098
Thanks again for your post.

Please note I do include dairy and eggs in my diet as I am vegetarian not vegan. Perhaps I need to go back to taking the B12 supplement more regularly, but it has been slightly affecting my MCV and MCH as noted in a previous post.

I have been trying to get enough iron from my food. I have never taken an iron supplement. I hear the liquid is easier to absorb.

Hopefully the doctor will order an iron panel at my request. The thing is he has not even mentioned that my iron stores are reduced even though they have tested this way twice in the past several months.
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
I hope you had a nice vacation, even though it was short.

I just looked at my milk carton and an 8 oz glass of milk provides 0% of the daily requirement for iron, though it's a good source of vitamin B12.  An extra large egg provides only 4% of the daily requirement for iron - still an excellent source of vitamin B12.

Like many doctors, yours has probably not mentioned your reduced stores of iron, because your levels are "in range" and aren't "flagged", so they haven't even caught his attention.  Most of the time, we can't wait for the doctor to offer information; we have to point these things out to them.

You're correct that liquid iron is supposed to be easier to absorb.  You should try to find one that says it doesn't cause constipation, since iron supplements are notorious for that.
4274823 tn?1388529098
Thanks for the info. I eat yogurt, Greek yogurt or kefir daily. I have been trying to eat eggs more frequently. I have two per serving usually hard boiled. I did scramble them before.

I still would prefer to have the iron panel prior to considering a supplement.

649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
It's not a bad idea to get the iron panel; however, as I've already noted, neither dairy, nor eggs are significant sources of iron.  Since dairy gives you, basically, nothing for iron, and you have 2 eggs/day, that's only 8% of your daily needs.  That means you have to make up the other 92%  with other foods.

The top 10 foods highest in iron are:  

I'm not sure if you eat any fish or not, but mollusks (clams, oysters, scallops, mussels, etc) are very high in iron; they are considered the number 1 source of iron.

Next, of course, is liver, which we know you don't eat and that's perfectly okay.. most people don't... lol

#3 is squash and pumpkin seeds (also sunflower and flax seeds, but not so much).  Fat content is a concern, here.

#4 is Nuts - Cashew, Pine, Hazelnut, Peanut, Almond (Also Hazelnuts,  Peanuts, Almonds, Pistachios, and Macadamia but not so much).  I'm sure you're aware that nuts are very high in fat, so consumption must be limited.

#5 is Beef and lamb, which we know you don't eat - not to worry.

# 6 is Beans and Pulses (white beans and lentils)

# 7 is  Whole Grains, Fortified Cereals, and Bran

# 8 is Dark Leafy Greens (Spinach, Swiss Chard)

# 9 is Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder  (Aaaah  Chocolate... lol)

#10 is  Tofu... but keep in mind that soy is a goitrogen and inhibits thyroid function.  It should be avoided.

Be aware that a single serving of each of these foods will give you only a portion of your daily needs.
4274823 tn?1388529098
Thank you very much for the info.
I do not eat fish, poultry or meat.I do not eat soy either.
I eat many of the plant based sources of iron you mentioned and others as well. I know I posted a list of foods I consume some time ago which include hemp hearts and quinoa. I must start eating lentils more regularly as the iron content is higher than for beans/chick peas.
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
Please note that the iron content in most of vegetable based sources is minimal and as I noted above, a single serving of each will only provide a small portion of your daily needs.  You'd probably be wise to supplement, as well.
4274823 tn?1388529098
Thank you for your post. If I have "reduced iron stores" would it be safe to start the supplement before the iron panel? I know my mom previously had an iron deficiency and did supplementation and she eats fish, poultry, and red meat.
4274823 tn?1388529098
I figure if I wish to obtain an accurate picture of the current iron level in my blood I will have to wait until after the iron panel to start supplementation.
I just don't know yet when I will be able to get to the doctor to request it. I sure hope he cooperates. He doesn't seem concerned at all about the "reduced iron stores" (ferretin).
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
You're correct that it would be better to wait for supplementation until after you have the iron panel, but if your doctor is reluctant to order it, you're only hurting yourself by waiting.

Have you discussed this with your doctor?
4274823 tn?1388529098
Thanks for your reply. No, I have yet to discuss my concern about "reduced iron stores" with my doctor.

Check this out:
1 cup serving of red kidney beans 25% of daily value for iron
30 g serving of pumpkin seed butter 30% of daily value for iron
3/4 cup serving of green lentils 50% of daily value for iron

I need to get a large, heavy-bottom saucepan to cook lentils..
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
Very interesting.  I have a good friend who dearly loves lentils; she makes lentil soup nearly every week during the winter, I think.. I'm going to send this to her if you don't mind.

Have you checked the calorie/fat count in these foods (I think pumpkin seed butter would have quite a bit) and can you eat those amounts of them every day to make sure you get sufficient iron?  I, personally, might be good for a day or two, then I'd be looking for something different to eat.

I think, both, red kidney beans and lentils are good sources of protein, as well, but I'd have to verify that.  Unfortunately, I'm not a big bean eater... the texture gets me every time.  I'm working on overcoming that, though I don't intend to give my meat products either.  

Let's keep digging on this; maybe we'll all get healthier.  :-)
4274823 tn?1388529098
Yes, please do share the info. I appreciate that we can all learn from each other. I wonder if the iron content is the same for red lentils (they dont' keep their shape when cooked).

Good point about calorie/fat count. Pumpkin seed butter isn't something I would eat every day as it has 20% of daily value for fat. It does also have 10 g of protein in a 30 g serving.

Red kidney beans 17 g of protein in 1 cup/250 ml (labels mix
measurements which I find frustrating).with 4% of daily value for fat

Green lentils (to be cooked) 23 g of protein in 3/4 cup/100g with 2% daily value for fat

Also tahini 20% daily value of iron with 25% daily value for fat.
Raw hemp seeds 30% value of iron in 3 tablespoon serving with 20% daily value for fat. So both not something to eat every day.

Re: FAT
Please note I eat no fat and 2% yogurt/Greek yogurt/Kefir.
I steam many of my vegetables and I hard boil eggs.
4274823 tn?1388529098
The protein content for tahini is 5 g per 30 g serving and for hemp seeds is 10 g per 30 g serving.Tahini has 10% daily value for calcium.
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
Yur body needs healthy fats. You do yourself no  favor by eating no fat
4274823 tn?1388529098
So you think even though I eat a fair amount of avocados, nuts and seeds and seed butter as well as cold pressed extra virgin olive oil that I ought to consider 2% over no fat yogurt/Greek yogurt/Kefir as a staple? I was alternating because of my other healthy fat intake.
1756321 tn?1547095325
Here is some info from Authority Nutrition's article: Top 11 “Diet” Foods That Make You Fat Instead of Thin...

"5. Low Fat Yogurt

Yogurt is often considered to be a healthy food… and it is.

But the problem is that most yogurt found in stores is low-fat yogurt… which is highly processed garbage.

When food manufacturers remove the fat from foods, they taste terrible. That’s why they add a whole bunch of other stuff to compensate for the lack of fat.

In the case of yogurt, they usually add sugar, high fructose corn syrup or some kind of artificial sweetener.

But new studies are showing that saturated fat is actually harmless… so low-fat yogurt has had the good stuff removed, only to be replaced with something that is much, much worse (12, 13).

There is also no evidence that dairy fat contributes to obesity. In fact, one study showed that people who ate the most high-fat dairy products were the least likely to become obese (14)!

So… eat real, full-fat yogurt, but avoid low-fat yogurt like the plague.

Bottom Line: Low-fat yogurt is yogurt that has had the good stuff (saturated fat) removed, only to be replaced with something much worse, like sugar."
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
Yes, avocados, nuts seeds, olive oil and seed butters are good fats... there's a difference between that and "no fat".

I agree with Red_Star about the fat in dairy, but it's hard to find full fat yogurt in my local grocery store.   I also eat "real butter" as opposed to margarine or other "spreads" that are supposed to be better for you.  
4274823 tn?1388529098
Thanks for your post. Margarine isn't real food, butter is. While I don't buy butter I do enjoy it as a treat occasionally when I'm out. I eat yogurt that is plain.The sugar in it is milk sugar not added sugar. I'll post more later.
4274823 tn?1388529098
Thank you for your post. Please see my reply to Barb135 about yogurt and butter. The Kefir is 2% not full fat. One brand of yogurt I sometimes buy comes in "no fat", 2% and 3.8% or something like that. I eat plain not flavoured yogurt and Kefir because I don't want the added sugar ...
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