2

votes

Hack my blood test - 23yo male, high TSH/BUN, low HDL

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 05, 2012 at 1:46 AM

Summary: BUN/TSH seem high, HDL seems low. I'm a healthy, athletic 23 year old male. Current pictures here and here. 6', 195 lbs. Between 8 and 10% body fat I'd guess.

Details:

Both of my parents are on Synthroid, but AFAIK I don't exhibit any real hypothyroid symptoms. I'm rarely cold and have never had an issue with body fat levels (though I've never been below 8% by my estimates). I do have prehypertensive blood pressure (135/85) and have had it since I was 19 (pre-paleo - I started the paleo diet about 7 months ago). Measuring at home or at the doctor's office yields the same readings. The cause of my BP has never been determined. Most doctors just blow it off and say it's not a worry (I disagree).

Weekly workout schedule includes 3 days cardio or HIIT and 3 days of heavy, lower rep (usually 5x5 or similar) work in the big lifts (deadlift, squat, etc.). I eat at least 3500 calories a day, guessing 100-200g of carbs. Lots of fish, either sardines or salmon (.5-1 lb/day) and some grass-fed meat (.5-1 lb/day), 1 lb+ of veggies (spinach, etc.), a fruit or two. Drink 1-2 glasses of red wine a few times a week for the cardiovascular effects. Strict paleo, little to no dairy/legumes, no veggie oils, etc etc.

My HDL also seems pretty low considering that I consume a considerable amount of saturated fat from coconut (40-50g/day I would guess). Unfortunately these tests weren't so comprehensive as to include LDL and trigs - I'm going to really bug my doctor to get trigs/LDL. He kinda blew it off when I asked for it before this test.

I don't have pre-paleo blood test results available, unfortunately. However, I do know I was tested for hypothyroidism sometime in high school because of high TSH levels. No thyroid abnormalities were shown, though, and T3/T4 were fine (don't know the exact values). Ultrasound on the thyroid was normal.

My WBC has been low on every test I've ever taken, sick or healthy.

Any help or guidance from you guys is appreciated. I've always wondered about some sort of renal cause for the BP (and the high BUN further raises my suspicions), but I've never really pushed a doctor to investigate it.

                            *Measured*                 *Reference range*

  CHOLESTEROL          [H]  254 mg/dL                   <200

  HDL-CHOLESTEROL           65 mg/dL                    >40

  TSH                       4.00 uIU/mL                 0.40-4.50

  GLUCOSE                   93.0 mg/dL                  70.0-99.0
  BUN                  [H]  30 mg/dL                    7-25
  CREATININE                1.2 mg/dL                   0.7-1.3
  GLOMERULAR FILTRATION RATE
                            79.7
    Reference Range eGFR is greater than or equal to 60 ml/min/1.73

    *If a patient is African-American, multiply result by 1.210
  SODIUM                    139.0 mEq/L                 135.0-145.0
  POTASSIUM                 4.3 mEq/L                   3.5-5.1
  CHLORIDE                  103.0 mEq/L                 98.0-107.0
  BICARBONATE               28.0 mEq/L                  21.0-31.0
  ANION GAP                 12.3 mEq/L                  10.0-20.0
  CALCIUM                   9.7 mg/dL                   8.6-10.2
  TOTAL PROTEIN             7.6 g/dL                    6.2-8.3
  ALBUMIN                   4.9 g/dL                    4.2-5.5
  GLOBULIN                  2.7 g/dL                    2.1-3.9
  ALBUMIN/GLOBULIN RATIO
                            1.8                         1.0-2.1
  ALKALINE PHOSPHATASE      69 U/L                      34-104
 ALANINE AMINOTRASFERASE
                            33.0 U/L                    7.0-52.0
 ASPARTATE AMINOTRANSFERASE
                            36.0 U/L                    13.0-39.0
  TOTAL BILIRUBIN           0.5 mg/dL                   0.3-1.2
  DIRECT BILIRUBIN          0.10 mg/dL                  <1.81

 25 OH VITAMIN D TOTAL
                            41 ng/mL                    30-100 

 WHITE BLOOD CELL COUNT
                       [L]  3.3 Thousand/uL             3.8-10.8
  RED BLOOD CELL COUNT      4.93 Million/uL             4.20-5.80
  HEMOGLOBIN                15.3 g/dL                   13.2-17.1
  HEMATOCRIT                43.9 %                      38.5-50.0 

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on February 07, 2012
at 12:56 AM

Perhaps I should stop eating a pound of fish/day :). PSMF is a protein-sparing modified fast. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_Sparing_Modified_Fast

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 06, 2012
at 06:29 AM

Dont sweat it... i think your path is right on. wHat is PMSF, may i ask? Yes, ZMA is great stuff. The problem i have with fish is that the toxins and contaminants they harboe now rflext the awful state of the oceans, even the deep oceans. We have a friend and the bro-in-law is a fisherman off SF Bay in CA. He had a mercury level >> 70 (normal <10) which reduced when he stopped eating his catch. Unfortunately so much is messed. There is a distinct link betw affluence and ethnicities who consume lots of fish and high blood mercury. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19165386/

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on February 06, 2012
at 01:42 AM

Thanks for all the info, grace. I've read quite a bit about visceral fat and its negative effects. I could try a PSMF for a few weeks to drop it down further. Also, I'll look into ZMA to deal with the magnesium. Given how much fish I eat I don't think I need any more omega 3s. Definitely planning on getting some labs again in a few months.

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on February 06, 2012
at 12:44 AM

@NP - Thanks for the pointers. I'll talk to my doctor about looking into kidney function. What body fat do you estimate? 3-point caliper tests give me 7% which I think is low - BIA gives me 13% which seems high since abs are visible. Perhaps 11 or 12 is a more accurate estimate than 8-10.

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on February 06, 2012
at 12:12 AM

@NP - Thanks for the pointers. I'll talk to my doctor about looking into kidney function. What body fat do you estimate? 3-point caliper tests give me 7% which I think is low - BIA gives me 13% which seems high since abs are visible. Perhaps 11 or 12 is a more accurate estimate than 8-10 For more Paleo hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/95362/hack-my-blood-test-23yo-male-high-tsh-bun-low-hdl#ixzz1lYWyL5lp

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on February 06, 2012
at 12:12 AM

@NP - Thanks for the points. I'll talk to my doctor about looking into kidney function. What body fat do you estimate? 3-point caliper tests give me 7% which I think is low - BIA gives me 13% which seems high since abs are visible. Perhaps 11 or 12 is a more accurate estimate than 8-10.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:36 PM

Heather, veyr astute. many young hawwwt paleo boys have the same issues... testosterne predisposes to heavy metal and probably other toxin accumulations.... Grrrls, we have toxin issues too. the gender divide definitely exists and we deal with synthetic birth control and redicluelessneses

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:29 PM

i would strongly consider avoiding D until the mag, zinc and selenium are up and replenished otherwise D will bring these serum levels down (by trying to build the bony matrix of our skeleton)

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:27 PM

alt="temp_alt"

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:22 PM

we've talked about tsh at PH before; please see Chris' comment about the HUNT study. In the normal pop, TSH > 1.4 is assoc with greater all cause mortality. i hate the tsh but it does have some merit and value. http://paleohacks.com/questions/8479/whats-a-good-tsh-level/8507#8507

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:19 PM

the value of mag and other supps to reverse SAD damage: http://www.baumancollege.org/pdfs/articles/MTCardioFinal.pdf

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on February 05, 2012
at 07:08 PM

Your HDL is high enough; don't need any higher. HDL functions max out at 65. Don't let people say it has to be 1/3 of TC.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on February 05, 2012
at 07:07 PM

First I think your body fat % is a bit higher than 8-10%. 2nd, your GFR, Bun, WBC and creatinine jump out: I'd get those retested and see if there is connection between hypertension and kidney function. You seeem to be eating enough carbs, so there is no reason why BUN should be so high or GFR so low for a 20 year old. TSH hi, also, yes, but also elevated liv enzymes for someone eating Paleo. If your above #s still high (low), you need someone to do detective work and there seems to be something going on.

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on February 05, 2012
at 03:05 PM

Appreciate the candid answer - and yeah, I do agree that diet simply cannot solve everything. I try to optimize what I can and deal with what I can't.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on February 05, 2012
at 02:35 AM

Hopefully you get better info, but: check out Jack Kronk's posts on here (paleohacks), he's pretty motivated to work on his labs and look at realthyroidhelp.com

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

2 Answers

3
Ceda025d1f349bc43be115a5f9199fb1

(501)

on February 05, 2012
at 01:32 PM

Hi. You're looking fit. Can't give medical advice on the Internet, but labs look fine. Keep an eye on the blood pressure over time, you've probably got the hypertension gene. HDL is good. BUN is high because you eat a huge amount of protein. A TSH of 4 without symptoms of hypothyroidism is probably fine, but I would keep an eye on it. Despite what you read on the Internet diet is not the cause and solution to every health problem.

Consider:

  • Taking a Vitamin D supplement.
  • Increasing carbohydrate (reducing protein), which might help your thyroid function.

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on February 05, 2012
at 03:05 PM

Appreciate the candid answer - and yeah, I do agree that diet simply cannot solve everything. I try to optimize what I can and deal with what I can't.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:29 PM

i would strongly consider avoiding D until the mag, zinc and selenium are up and replenished otherwise D will bring these serum levels down (by trying to build the bony matrix of our skeleton)

2
3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:18 PM

things and metabolism slow when thyroid and adrenal function are low. for maximal longevity, fertility and mental function, optimal function is mndatory. obviously you realize and are aware. you appear fine physically (ok subjectively naturally you appear totally HAWWWT) but the biochem is suboptimal.

My thoughts

-- the thyroid and adrenals are finishing recovery from autoimmune depression from grains and the SAD

alt="temp_alt"

SCARY! from the recent Time mag

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/common-synthetic-chemicals-could-weaken-immune-system

-- modern toxins cause immune suppression and cellular insulin resistance (perfluorinated chemicals like Teflon, PCBs, flame retardants, plastics, heavy metals, omega6 seed/veg oils, etc)

Solutions you want to consider for the maximal functioning for biohacking because unfortunately paleo alone isnt enough

-- get the liver happier. clear the visceral fat. the liver is the prime regulator of our health and P450 detox/metabolism pathway for food and toxin and hormone activation as well as proper elimination

-- replenish all nutrients depleted by overbudened detox pathways, sluggish thyroids/adrenals and the damage wrought by the SAD and possible in utero damage by a mom damaged the same way

-- consider magnesium (malate, taurorate, glycinate, citrate) for lowering BP and to replenish what has been lost. its the most common deficiency leading to insulin resistance, endocrine disruption and stiff arteries. read the below link

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:19 PM

the value of mag and other supps to reverse SAD damage: http://www.baumancollege.org/pdfs/articles/MTCardioFinal.pdf

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:27 PM

alt="temp_alt"

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 06, 2012
at 06:29 AM

Dont sweat it... i think your path is right on. wHat is PMSF, may i ask? Yes, ZMA is great stuff. The problem i have with fish is that the toxins and contaminants they harboe now rflext the awful state of the oceans, even the deep oceans. We have a friend and the bro-in-law is a fisherman off SF Bay in CA. He had a mercury level >> 70 (normal <10) which reduced when he stopped eating his catch. Unfortunately so much is messed. There is a distinct link betw affluence and ethnicities who consume lots of fish and high blood mercury. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19165386/

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on February 06, 2012
at 01:42 AM

Thanks for all the info, grace. I've read quite a bit about visceral fat and its negative effects. I could try a PSMF for a few weeks to drop it down further. Also, I'll look into ZMA to deal with the magnesium. Given how much fish I eat I don't think I need any more omega 3s. Definitely planning on getting some labs again in a few months.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:22 PM

we've talked about tsh at PH before; please see Chris' comment about the HUNT study. In the normal pop, TSH > 1.4 is assoc with greater all cause mortality. i hate the tsh but it does have some merit and value. http://paleohacks.com/questions/8479/whats-a-good-tsh-level/8507#8507

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on February 07, 2012
at 12:56 AM

Perhaps I should stop eating a pound of fish/day :). PSMF is a protein-sparing modified fast. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_Sparing_Modified_Fast

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!