Connecting the Dots

More research into health issues this weekend has led me to an interesting game, “Which came first?”

  • Over the last year and a half, I have donated blood products. The donation center does a free liver tox and cholesterol (non-fasting, obviously) test when you donate. My liver is fine…BUT my cholesterol levels have been consistently between 143 and 164. Cardiologists would celebrate this range if I were 55.
  • Reading more about Luteal Phase Deficiency led me to see one of the causes is hypocholesterolemia. Your body synthesizes progesterone (and vitamin D) out of cholesterol. Not enough raw material = not enough hormone to carry a baby.
  • Now, my levels are considered sub clinical for hypocholesterolemia, meaning they are just borderline low. This is a good thing because that means I do not have some scary underlying diseases, however…
  • One of those underlying diseases is hyperthyroidism, for which I was treated in late 2005. Hmmm.
  • I do not have any symptoms of being hyperT and my latest blood work actually shows anti-thyroid antibodies in my system. Double Hmmmm.
  • Add to this mix the recent study that women with sub clinical hypocholesterolemia tend to have premature births and birth defects. White women with less than 159 have a 21% incidence of prematurity/low birth weight.
  • All of this leaves me with the question, What needs to be treated? My liver (which should be fine), my thyroid function (not again!), or something else?
  • And, How do I raise my cholesterol numbers?
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6 Responses to “Connecting the Dots”


  1. 1 Teresa April 14, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Don’t forget that many people wih hypothyroidism can still show “normal” levels. And it is often a lifetime condition. I know, i have it. When i am on the wrong dose, high or low, my cycles get messed up ( think a month long period 😦 ), an d i miscarry.

  2. 2 Paula April 14, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Something in regards to what to eat, is to make sure to cut out all soy products. Soy mimics estrogen which drives down progesterone, which in turn raises thyroid levels.
    Paula

  3. 3 cbrunette April 14, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Teresa,

    You know…I am very hesitant to take any sort of synthetic thyroid, precisely because you get “hooked” on it. There are people who get wean themselves off of Synthroid. Right now, I’m doing ok and my Dr. agrees as long as I don’t gain any more weight. 🙂

    Paula,

    Soy — Does this include naturally fermented products like tamari and tempe?

    ~Anna

  4. 4 Paula April 14, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    It includes anything that comes from the soybean. Lecithin is found in many products as well, so watch out for that when reading labels.
    Are you vegetarian?
    Paula

  5. 5 Rod April 15, 2008 at 1:04 am

    I don’t know where you get the ‘hooked on Synthroid’ idea from. People take thyroxine for life *because they need it*. Resolution of the hypothyroidism is infreqent (less than 20%).

    Whilst I would avoid soy for many reasons, I have found little or no evidence that soy lecithin is much of an issue. It is so incredibly highly refined that it carries virtually nothing else into to.

    Also, it is usual toaccept that properly brewed/fermented soy products are not singificant to the thyroid.

    Bear in mind, *your* body makes cholesterol.

    I concur that you need to do more research on thyroid issues. If you have a heavyweight appetite, try http://www.thyroidmanager.org.

    [Don’t believe a word I have written without checking it up.]

  6. 6 cbrunette April 15, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Rod,

    I agree that there are plenty of folks who *need* synthroid or other replacement hormones. The problem I have is with Drs. who never tell their patients that they have a 10-20% chance of coming off of synthroid. They just prescribe, test, prescribe, test, prescribe!

    Thanks for the input on soy. I was certain I had heard that fermented soy products are alright in low amounts. (Miso, tamari, tempeh) The Japanese would have been royally messed up for centuries!

    So, if *my* body makes cholesterol…how do I get it to make more?

    Paula,

    I am not a vegetarian but I do like to eat lower on the food chain. Conventionally grown/processed meats are mostly out of our diet now until we can afford locally grown animals.

    ~Anna


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