Please help me interpret my blood work! esp. thyroid

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 02, 2013 at 3:04 AM


I would really love a second opinion on my blood work. I a 5'6" 160 pounds (female) and I haven't been eating paleo (but am planning to). I am worried about my thyroid function, especially since I experience regular anxiety, fatigue, and mild depression. I have a low body temp (97.1 in the morning) and generally low blood pressure. The chiropractor who did my blood work suggested I start supplementing with B6, iron, and magnesium, but I'm not sure I trust this guy so of course the natural next step is to turn to strangers on the internet :-) But I would love to hear any of your thoughts.

I got a ton of values, but here are some highlights (all are in lab reference ranges unless specified in parentheses):

Cholesterol 204 (Above Normal High) LDL 121 (Above Normal High) HDL 62 VLDL 22 Triglycerides 112

TSH 2.58 T4 11.1 T3 Uptake 22 (Below Normal Low, reference 24-39) Reverse T3, Serum 25.8 (Above Normal High, ref 9.2-24.1)

C-Reactive Protein Cardiac 4.34 (Above Normal High, ref 0-3) Homocysteine Plasma 7.7

Alkaline Phosphatase S 46 IU/L ALT (SGPT) 8 IU/L GGT 9 IU/L Iron Serum 57 ug/dl (chiro marked this as low though it's within ref of 35-155) Ferritin Serum 44 ng/ml Iron Saturation 15 %

Hemocrit 37.8% Platelets 222 Neutrophils 50 Lymphs 44% (high end of reference 14-46)

Urine pH 6.0

Glucose 91 mg/dL Hemoglobin 5.2% Uric Acid 3.8 mg/dL BUN 11 mg/dl Creatine .67 mg/dL Sodium 138 nmol/L Potassium 4.3 nmol/L Chloride 104 nmol/L Carbon Dioxide 21 nmol/L Calcium, 9.5 mg/dl Phosphorous 3.6 mg/dl Magnesium 1.9 mg/dl (lower end of reference 1.6-2.6) Protein total serum 6.9 g/dL

If there's something you would like to see or are wondering about, just ask, I have lots of other values (3 pages worth) I just didn't feel like typing everything out!

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5 Answers


on August 02, 2013
at 05:25 AM

Your bloodwork does reveal signs of inflammation (high CRP), which is possibly responsible for your thyroid imbalances. You didn't list free T3 but the high reverse T3 likely means your free T3 is low. Low T3 is associated with many of the symptoms you describe (fatigue, low body temperature, ect). More info on the connection between inflammation and low thyroid function here: http://chriskresser.com/inflammation-strikes-again

I wouldn't supplement iron. Instead, try to incorporate more grass fed beef into your diet. Magnesium is good to supplement. Most people are deficient in it. I prefer Magnesium Glycinate.


on August 02, 2013
at 03:43 PM

Thanks a lot for all the answers!
To answer some of your inquiries: My free T3 was 2.8, which isn't high according to the lab. I'm about 5 pounds overweight and I know I eat too much refined sugar (I eat bread, but not every day). I exercise a couple times a week (not enough) and eat out too much (not fast food, "healthier" options, but still restaurant food).

I think I agree with you all that supplementing iron is not the way to go, when he suggested that I got nervous. I think I might continue taking omega 3, vitamin D3, and rhodiola, and add a b vitamin complex and magnesium.

I will look into the Perfect Health Diet and continue to research thyroid and diet connections. I am definitely changing my diet for the better. I am going to start with removing gluten, sugar, and dairy (I'm slightly lactose intolerant). I already try to eat pastured and grass-fed meats whenever I can and avoid veggie and seed oils (I stick with lard, coconut oil, and olive oil). I still haven't resolved to go full-blown paleo (I did strict paleo for 3 weeks once and it was HARD to maintain), but I am trying to incorporate the principles as much as possible as I believe it's the best way to eat. I might keep in some non-paleo items in moderation (beans, rice, corn).

P.S., I very well could have gotten the units on that hemoglobin wrong, but I don't have my numbers with me right now to double-check



on August 02, 2013
at 02:18 PM

Hi Michelle

welcome to paleohacks. Also, clearly no one on this site is a doctor giving out medical advice, but once someone is eating a similar diet to the people on this site and then still has problems, it's easier to "hack" their issues.

Once you change your diet, your values will change again, and hopefully for the better. Your triglycerides are quite high, so I'm guessing you consume quite a bit of sugar (just a guess).

As you're not providing any basis for how you eat now (bread? 0.5 lb of beef/chicken/pork/fish/whatever per day?) it's really hard to say, but basically a paleo diet is really, really nutrient dense and so the idea is that it can help resolve some mineral deficiencies, which you seem to have.

(Side note: I could be wrong, but isn't hemoglobin usually reported in different units, of g/dL: http://www.drstandley.com/labvalues_hematology.shtml I've never seen it reported as a % before)

I would advise you to check out the perfect health diet book and website:


and this post:


Your TSH would seem to indicate you've got a deficiency of selenium and iodine.

However, it's important you don't go supplementing willy-nilly. All vitamins and nutrients work together in balance, and believe me, as someone who took the doctor's advice and took horse pills of iron, this was the worst thing I could have done for my body. It caused massive inflammation. Better nutrition would have the best thing anyone could have prescribed for me, and time (actually and beef broth) but that's neither here nor there.

The same thing can happen with selenium/iodine supplementation and eating a lot of nutrient-poor food. I don't consider bread "bad" perse, but I also don't eat it because I do supplement iodine and selenium and there are significant links between iodine supplementation, thyroid antibodies, and gluten.

You might be hypothyroid, but whether it's something for which you need to take medicine for, or would resolve itself with a proper diet is not going to be known by anyone here no matter how many test results you post.

And if you are hypothyroid, wouldn't you want to know what's causing it? Is it just selenium/iodine deficiency, or is there a pathogen (say, something you picked up from improperly prepared food while traveling or even in the US - it's actually quite common) that's causing your thyroid or Hypopituitary axis to be screwed up.

I'm definitely not a doctor, but have done and researched just enough to be dangerous as well as make better health choices for myself, and think more critically about what is prescribed for me.

The perfect health diet book explains what supplements you should take and which ones you shouldn't and WHY - again you can take magnesium, selenium, iodine, vitamin C, etc. all kinds of manner of things willy-nilly but that can also screw things up more.

Look at your body holistically and change diet, slowly add in supplements, and then time.

Seriously, I highly recommend Perfect Health Diet, doing your own research based on the claims in the book, and wish you good luck.



on August 02, 2013
at 05:47 AM

If you have hypo symptoms, it's likely that your FT3 is low and RT3 is high. Consistent as the above answer: higher CRP score, low iron. Slightly elevated LDL; nothing really significant unless your LDL was significantly lower before. Could be hypo related. Check your WBC and see if that's like between 3-6, no higher than that. On your next test, you could test your Hashi antibodies and FT3.


on August 02, 2013
at 03:30 AM

If you are serious about eating paleo, then it is awesome that you got these results prior to starting so you can see positive quantifiable change with a retest in a few months. I am assuming you are also a little overweight. Your numbers aren't that bad, but could definitely see improvement following a healthy diet.

Tell more about your current eating and exercise habits.

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