Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thyroid and MTHFR Labs

 Here are my thyroid lab results:

TSHFree T3Free T4Total T3Total T4Reverse T3TPO Antibodies
0.024.31.3

15.744

My MTHFR results are:
C677T:  Negative
A1298C:  Homozygous (two mutant copies of this gene)  Technically, I'm C1298C.

What does all this mean?

Remember how my TSH was 95 in July?  Well, I was right about Armour being my magic pill.  My TSH came WAY down, so instead of 60 and 90 mg a day, I am taking 60 mg twice a day.

As for the MTHFR gene mutation I have, let me see if I can put it in terms that are easy to understand.  

MTHFR stands for MeThylenetetraHydroFolate Reductase enzyme.  This enzyme is super important.  Its job is to help your body process amino acids (and our body is made up of amino acids!).  When mutations are present, lots of things can go wonky!  (This website has a great list of examples:  https://melanieavalon.com/mthfr-mutations-methylation/)

Homozygous A1298C is one of the worst mutations.
MTHFR A1298C mutations affect conversion of methylfolate into BH4, or tetrahydrobiopterin. BH4 plays an important role in neurotransmitter production, which is why MTHFR A1298C mutations are often associated with psychological disorders. The particular neurotransmitters affected include serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. MTHFR A1298C mutations may also affect melatonin production, which often leads to sleep disturbances. Additionally, BH4 is important for heart health and deficiency may play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease.  (http://www.mthfrtreatment.com/)

  • MTHFR is the short name for the genes that code for the enzyme that changes folic acid to the active form that your body uses (the long name is methylfolate reductace).
  • 1298 is the marker for one particular MTHFR gene.
  • You get one copy of this gene from your mother and one from your father, so there are two possible copies that can be either “normal” or “mutant”
  • If you inherited one good copy and one bad copy that’s called “heterozygous A1298C”
  • If you inherited two bad copies (one from each parent) that’s called “homozygous A1298C”
  • A…C stand for the bases that you actually have.  A = adenine C = cytosine.  Bases are essentially the letters that spell out your genetic code.  There are four of them commonly (C, T, A and G).
  • When this gene is “normal”or “wild type” it looks like MTHFR A1298A.
  • Heterozygous mutations (one good copy and one bad) are MTHFR A1298C because there is one normal A and one abnormal C Also occasionally written 1298AC.
  • Homozygous A1298C (two bad copies) can also be written as C1298C (because there are two abnormal copies with C instead of A). Occasionally you’ll also see it written 1298CC
Phew! So the take-away there is MTHFR A1298C means you have at least one bad copy of this gene, and if it’s called homozygous, or C1298C then you have two bad copies.
Homozygous MTHFR A1298C (C1298C) have about 65% normal activity (so 35% compromise). Normal activity refers to the way your body converts folic acid to 5-L-methyltetrahydrafolate (the active form) so that it can be used. Compromise in this case looks like a folate deficiency.

http://dramyneuzil.com/i-have-mthfr-a1298c-mutation-what-does-that-really-mean/

My doctor recommended a supplement to help with this.  Once I hear back from her with the exact name, I'll be able to order it.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Follow-Up Appointment

My appointment with Nan yesterday ended up turning into a phone appointment, which was really all I needed.  She relayed the results of my cortisol test, as well as my DHEA levels.

Cortisol is all in range, even a little low.   
DHEA is high so she said to stop taking it.

Since my endo didn't test my TSH in August, Nan said we needed to retest it now, so when I got off the phone with her I drove up to their office to get my blood drawn -- for the thyroid panel as well as for the MTHFR gene mutation test.  It will probably be a week or two before I get a call with the results.  I can't wait to hear what they have to say.

Now I need to save up for the LEAP (food sensitivities) test I want to have done.  It's more expensive but will tell me a whole lot of other useful information about which foods I'm sensitive to.  Hopefully it will help me figure out which foods to cut out, like soy and dairy, so I can heal my thyroid.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Can I just forget the world?

So I was expecting my TSH to be tested today but since my holistic doctor is handling things, Carrie said they didn't test it or my cholesterol values.  Kidney and liver functions are normal, A1C is 7. 

She gave me some Tresiba samples to try.  Maybe it'll help with basal? 

She asked if I'd be willing to get the endo's opinion if my thyroid values keep fluctuating.  I told her I didn't want to change anything right now since I just started the Armour again. 

I see her again in November, after Thanksgiving. 

No answers.  Just more trial and error. 

Lots of error. 

No results. 

I'm tired.  So tired. 

WHY CAN'T I GET THIS RIGHT?!?!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Why aren't you working?

Remember how I got my thyroid lab work done last week?  My nurse called me today during work in a bit of a panic and told me that my TSH results came back at 95 and that is SUPER HIGH.  Even higher than the last high result I got, which was 48.  They're switching my Nature-throid back to Armour and it looks like they increased my dose, too.  I haven't felt too much different...maybe a little cold, and tired.  But not noticeably, and I'm still functioning as usual.  I thought the tiredness was from working, and it's cold in the office because they keep the AC on full blast.  I've been drinking 2 Bai drinks a day to keep me awake - 30 - 45mg of caffeine in each serving.

I also picked up the saliva cortisol test, and I'll be taking it on Saturday.  The day I wanted in August isn't available so I'll have to pick a different day for the results on that one.

I'm also going to go through my thyroid labs, results, and med changes and start keeping track of everything.  Trying to look for patterns and answers.  I don't know why these meds aren't absorbing like they're supposed to.  Ugh.  I'm pretty frustrated. 

EDIT:
Here's the tracker I made:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Minor update

I've been enjoying the mySugr app and everything it lets me see.  Rather than tracking my numbers on paper, I can put it all in one place on my phone.  Now to see if I can integrate my Dexcom data...

On Tuesday morning, I got my blood drawn for thyroid labs.  I've also scheduled time next Tuesday to pick up the cortisol/DHEA saliva test they want me to do that goes hand in hand with my thyroid labs.  Those results should give us a pretty good idea of how things are working for me.  https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/saliva-testing/

The follow-up appointment for the test results will be in 3-4 weeks.  I'm considering scheduling it for the Wednesday I already have my endo appointment so that I can just take that whole day off work and be able to tell Carrie what we found.  That's my thought at this point, anyway.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

MySugr Bundle Arrived!

My mySugr Bundle arrived in the mail today!  I'm super excited to start using it!  I've been using the app every day so that I get used to it and it makes tracking things super easy.
 
I log my meals, insulin, and even my supplements!   

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

AccuChek Guide and mySugr Bundle!!

So I learned from a fellow Type 1 on Facebook about an awesome deal - $39.99 per month for unlimited test strips while using an AccuChek meter with the mySugr app bundle.  At first I was disappointed to see that my smartphone, a ZTE Majesty Pro, wasn't listed on their website as compatible with their app.  I contacted the mySugr support team and explained my interest and problem, and the girl answered back asking if I'd like to test out the pairing for them.  I said yes and ran out to Walgreens to buy some test strips and a Guide meter:
 After a few days (and tries!) to get them to pair and share data, I succeeded!  BOOYA! 
  I'm waiting to hear back from the support team, but I think this means I'll be able to save money on test strips now!  Whereas I was spending $50+ a month for 300 test strips at Walmart, now I'll be able to get unlimited for $40!  And it's a cool meter too, with a back light, test strip light, an A1C estimator on the app, and pattern spotting on the meter, plus a test strip eject button (haha).  Pretty spiffy!  Also, the test strip container is specially made to keep the strips from falling out when it's turned upside down.  :)  The case is a little small but I will probably transfer my Guide meter to my old case so I can keep my insulin in there like I currently do.  

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A1C

It's been since January that I had my last A1C checked.  My next appointment isn't until August so I bought a home A1C kit from Walgreens.  Today, my result came back at 7%.
I've been struggling with numbers in the 200s.  I guess I'm not surprised. 



My tinea versicolor has cleared up!  Yay!  Now to figure out what to do with these naughty numbers.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Dermatology Diagnosis

Yesterday morning, I got up an hour earlier than usual to make it to my 7:30 appointment.  It literally took 15 minutes!  The doctor took one look at the back of my neck and was like, "Yep, that's tinea versicolor."  A common fungal/yeast infection.  He prescribed me a 5-day supply of oral ketoconazole.  I'm also thinking I'll try using apple cider vinegar on the spots if the pills don't clear it up all the way.    

I also asked him about the little red "blood spots" I have in various places.  He said they were normal and called cherry angiomas.  So nothing to worry about!  Now to let my holistic NP know!

Monday, May 21, 2018

New glucotabs and a dermatology appointment

I bought some new glucotabs to try.  They are all natural with none of those yucky artificial colors or ingredients in them.  I'd try them now but I'm not low! 






I also made an appointment with the dermatologist Nan recommended.  I'm going to see what he has to say about these red blotches on my neck early Thursday morning.  Apparently I'm not the only one in my family who has them.  I can't wait to hear what they are.

Friday, May 18, 2018

What you should know about a Diabetic Diet (especially since your doctor doesn't!)

Regarding a heart healthy diet:
 
The heart is best protected by eating natural, low carbohydrate foods such as non-starchy vegetables, meats, fish, eggs, high fat dairy, nuts, and healthy oils.  Limiting all manner of carbohydrates is paramount for diabetics of all ages.  Our bodies cannot metabolize carbs and do not thrive while on a high carb diet.  

Eggs are the perfect protein.  They contain all essential and non-essential amino acids.  

Sodium is a necessary and vital mineral and limiting it would be detrimental.  Rather than table salt, which is unhealthy, Himalayan Pink salt should be used. 

Cholesterol is a vital nutrient, without which we will die.  Lower cholesterol levels have been associated with early mortality and higher cholesterol has been associated with longevity.  HDL and LDL are not exactly cholesterol but they’re envelopes that carry cholesterol through the body.  HDL carries the old cholesterol to the liver to be recycled.  If cholesterol is so bad, why would our body bother to recycle it?  Simply because our body needs it.  Our bodies make 2,000 mg of cholesterol every single day.  Nearly every single cell in the body makes cholesterol. Cholesterol works as a band-aid to help arteries that are corroding, getting ulcers or getting inflammation. It acts as a healing agent and that’s why cholesterol is in the artery – to heal it.  It’s not the culprit; it’s the middleman.  Most of our brain is made of cholesterol to allow the insulation to travel through the nerves.

All the cell walls are made from cholesterol.  Most hormones are made from cholesterol, especially the sex hormones.  It’s also needed to make vitamin D to help convert and increase the calcium in the blood.  With that, we can transport other vitamins into the bone. Thus, we desperately need cholesterol to survive.
 
Now about “bad cholesterol.”  They're not really bad.  They’re envelopes to transport calcium back and forth.  Out of the LDL, only a very small part of it is really bad.  LDL comes in different sizes, and the really small ones form the plaque.  But, the purpose is to heal the inflammation.  What causes inflammation?  Sugar and cortisol.  Sugar is the biggest culprit.  Cortisol is also anti-inflammatory in nature but, when it loses that effect, you’ll end up with inflammation in the body.
 
Saturated fats are healthy for you and protect vital organs.  Unsaturated and trans fats such as canola oil, soybean oil, and margarine are best avoided at all costs.  Olive oil, coconut oil, and full fat grass-fed butter are best.  

Grains of all kinds should be avoided for diabetics as they spike blood sugars and increase inflammation.  

Non-starchy vegetables should be consumed, but not vegetables that are higher in carbs.  

Fruits should be avoided as they contain natural sugars that spike blood sugars.  Avocados are the exception.  

Low fat dairy products are unhealthy.  They contain extra sugar and spike blood sugars.

All sweets should be avoided.  They are unhealthy and spike blood sugars, causing inflammation and complications.  They cannot be bolused for with insulin adequately.

Hypo- and hyperthyroidism cannot be properly medicated without a full thyroid panel.  TSH is a pituitary hormone that is useless in the treatment of thyroid imbalances.  Only by examining the Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibody values can an accurate dose and type of mediation be prescribed.  Suppressed TSH means adequate T3 and T4 are being used by the body, because the TSH is not knocking on the thyroid’s door asking for more to be produced. 

Regarding ketones:

Ketones are best measured with a blood test rather than a urine test.  Urine tests are highly inaccurate.  

When a diabetic follows a low carb diet, ketones become less of an issue.  When blood sugars are normal, there is nothing to worry about.  It is only when there is a lack of insulin and very high blood sugars that high ketones become a problem.  But when the blood sugar is constantly maintained at a normal level on a low carb diet, monitoring ketones becomes obsolete.  They act as a protective agent for the brain, especially in the event of a low blood sugar.