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Unexpected test results... I would be grateful for some guidance

Discussion in 'Diagnostic Guidelines and Laboratory Testing' started by Bluebell, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    Thank you Crux, for your ideas and well-wishes!

    I took curcumin on and off for the last 2 years, in hopes that it might help the inflammation of my tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis. It just felt that I wasn't doing too great on it, but I couldn't point to anything specific. I think it upset my tummy a little. Then I think that I read something last week where, for one of my genetic mutations, it might not be a good thing to take. I didn't note more information about that down.

    For the past year, I've had one cup of green tea a day (and 3 cups of black tea), because I'd read about the benefits of green tea. However, the other day I read that green tea might also not be good for my mutations. I stopped drinking the green kind two days ago, until I can research more about it.

    I am compound heterozygous for MTHFR and I think based on symptoms that I've got a problem with folates. So I might want to avoid things that limit folate absorption.

    I had been taking some zinc daily for a long time - I think generally it was 15 mg, and now I've upped it to 22 mg of zinc picolinate. My aim for the moment is to replicate a decent, moderate-dose multi-vitamin/mineral so I can add on the "real" B12 and B9 of a methylation protocol, and see how I do. However, I will keep zinc in mind as another factor that might be worth dramatically amping up, later on.

    There was a time, several years ago, when I read that 50 mg of zinc a day had helped some women with painful/heavy periods, and I tried it for a few months at that level of intake, but it didn't help my periods, or seem to help in any other way. But that was then, this is now!
     
  2. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    Thank you Sea! :hug:
     
  3. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    Just an update.

    Monday, the day that I have been planning to take my repeat CA-125 test, just happens to be my "Day 21", so that works out well for testing the sex hormones at the same time.

    I have been looking at which sex hormones a private individual can order testing for, and whether or not I should add them.

    It appears that these are the main sex hormone tests that a private individual can order:
    dihydrotestosterone DHT
    estradiol
    estrogens total
    estriol
    estrone
    follicle-stimulating hormone FSH
    luteinizing hormone LH
    pregnenolone
    progesterone
    prolactin
    sex hormone binding globulin SHBG
    testosterone, free
    testosterone, serum
    testosterone, total LC/MS-MS

    Privatemdlabs.com's "advanced female hormone panel", which Ema has recommended for me, has
    Estradiol
    Estrogens, total (Estradiol and Estrone)
    Estrone
    Progesterone
    Testosterone, free
    Testosterone, total

    I have made a chart of every hormone test, individual and panel, offered by privatemdlabs, including prices. (If that kind of thing were easy to append here without being a formatting nightmare, I would!) I also studied the offerings of directlabs and lef, but privatemdlabs seems to be the best for this area.

    The "advanced female hormone panel" still looks to be the best combination for the price, but it excludes several tests that I am wondering about: FSH, LH, SHBG, and Prolactin. I've looked into each of those online, but it's hard to know how valuable they would be, since I have little medical knowledge.

    I read last night on labtestsonline.org that testing prolactin might give me some relevant information, because it can show if there is a prolactin-producing tumor of the pituitary gland. They said that this sort of tumor can also press on the optic nerve and cause vision disturbances -- and I have had vision disturbances since the end of last year.

    I was concerned that the over-the-counter urine tests for FSH say to conduct those tests on Day 3, then relieved to see that lef.org says to test FSH and LH in a blood sample on Day 21 (those two types of tests probably have slightly different objectives). The urine test is cheaper, but it wouldn't really help me because it apparently checks to see if the hormone is above a certain amount, "yes/no" style.

    ---
    I still don't know if it would be worth testing for CA 19-9 and CA 15-3 along with CA-125.

    ...as I look around these lab test shopping sites, I wish I could buy so many of the tests! There is so much information available these days.
     
  4. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    A note to say that when I mention a topic more than once, either on this thread or on PhoenixRising generally, it doesn't mean that I have disregarded or forgotten about the advice I've already received about it! Not at all.

    No offence is meant. I am a collector of information, I like to see the big picture, then narrow down.

    I know that different people are on the forum at different times, and people respond differently to different thread titles and compositions (the prospect of reading a complicated 6-page thread versus reading a 3-paragraph quick question).

    On topics such as this one --where I have little academic knowledge, little personal experience; where the health stakes are potentially so high -- I would look to learn about many views and personal experiences, and then figure out which path I will travel when I sort of know the "lay of the land".
     
    Sea likes this.
  5. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I wonder a little bit about testing metabolites in blood because I'm not sure how those results are best interpreted. I've never seen anything on ratios or what this should look like optimally. And after spending a small fortune at Labcorp, I'm now much more cautious about ordering tests when I'm not sure what (if anything) I would change as a result of the testing.

    So if you want to see steroid conversion and metabolites, I would probably choose a saliva or urine test that is specifically designed to look at the cascade and then interprets it for you in that context. I think Genova does one. If it were me, I would stick to the basics, estrodiol, progesterone, free/total testosterone with serum testing. It's possible that you could make some assumptions about T conversion from DHT but I'm just not familiar with it unfortunately.

    Genova does a month long saliva test which can be useful to give a picture of one whole cycle.

    Genova also makes this comment on estrogen metabolites:

    Please note that certain estrogen metabolites are falsely promoted as risk markers for breast cancer. A recent study which compared 2/16 hydroxyestrone ratio in women with breast cancer to a control group of cancer-free women concluded that there is no support for the hypothesis that the ratio of 2/16 hydroxyestrone is an important risk factor for breast cancer.
    (J Nat'l Cancer Inst 1999 Jun 16:91(12):1067-72)


    The other problem is that metabolites of steroid hormones seem to interconvert and are especially sensitive to food and xenoestrogens. I think I mentioned this to sianrecovery when she had her estrogen testing. I had coincidentally listened to a doctor speak on that topic on a podcast and she mentioned that conversion to estrone after consuming soy temporarily increased something like 400% in the short term. The variability in testing the metabolites made for limited usefulness of the test overall since so many things could change the results.

    I always suggested testing FSH and LH on day 3 but when you look at a graph, they appear to be essentially the same across the cycle except for when they peak at ovulation. So I think I will revise my opinion (pending further testing) and say that they could be tested at any time other than around ovulation.

    Despite my preference for serum tests, the truth of the matter is that NO testing is 100% for sex hormones. There are limitations to each method and depend a LOT on the accuracy of the lab. Some people say that no testing (serum or saliva) is accurate for progesterone at all. This has actually been my experience as of late. I test right where I should be for progesterone...yet I seem to be clearly progesterone deficient (short luteal phase and high prolactin).

    Here's my thread on prolactin if you're interested:

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/high-prolactin-causes-severe-fatigue.24117/

    I would not bother testing SHBG personally. I have only found this useful for people that are having trouble with optimizing thyroid hormone. Sometimes when SHBG is high it can cause people to need higher levels of hormone replacement to compensate.

    I recently tested pregnenolone and started supplementing. I started with 50 mg and have increased now up to 150 mg based on follow up testing. I think this is more crucial for adrenal issues/low cortisol problems since pregnenolone is the mother hormone.

    I write all this just to give you some perspective about what you can and can't expect testing (really all testing) to tell you. It's not the concrete absolute that most doctors would have you believe.

    tl;dr...so what would I do? I would do the Advanced Hormone Profile from privatemdlabs (do you have the 15% off coupon??) and consider a saliva/urine test to look at the cascading metabolites if you are interested. I would skip FSH and LH unless you are trying to conceive or worried about early menopause. You'll have to decide on prolactin and pregnenolone as I can make a case either way. :)

    I don't know anything about the other CA tests to say one way or another.

    Ema
     
    sianrecovery likes this.
  6. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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  7. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    Ema, nothing you would write would be "tl;dr" to me!

    I don't even know what metabolites are :) I won't be able to get into that kind of analysis on my own.

    I will do that one, for sure, as the basis. Just am not sure if one or two others might be smart to add.

    I didn't know you have been looking into your prolactin and wondering about a pituitary tumor. How did your MRI go?

    Is IGF-1 something I should look at for myself? I don't know anything about it.

    Maybe I should test my pregnenolone. I noticed that it seems only Life Extension sells that test, of the 3 companies I looked at. Did your doctor order yours?

    Yes - just got a coupon email from them last night.

    In the hormone website that you mentioned in the second post, it says, "For very low-level hormones (E2 in children, men, and postmenopausal women and testosterone in children and women) more sophisticated methods (extraction-based assays, high-sensitivity test kits, mass spectrometry assays etc.) are preferred to assure accuracy."
    I notice that privatemdlabs.com has a "Testosterone, Total - Women, Children, and Hypogonadal Males, LC/MS-MS" test.
    The $159 test that you do says it has "testosterone total" but it doesn't indicate that it's the LC/MS-MS one.
    These are the test panels that the site search says have the MS-MS version: http://www.privatemdlabs.com/lab_te...sults&show=2116&category=14&search=ms-ms#2116
    Do you know, does the $159 "advanced female hormone panel" test that you get from them do the high-sensitivity testosterone test or just a normal-sensitivity one? (I noticed the last time around that sometimes their test descriptions leave things out)
    Is this higher-accuracy testosterone something I should worry about? I am guessing not?
     
  8. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    :)

    Metabolites are the what the original substances break down into...almost all drugs transform in the body mostly due to processing by the liver and they are then broken down into their metabolites.

    http://www.pharmgkb.org/pathway/PA145011118

    In terms of estrogen, I have no idea how much of one estrogen metabolite over another is preferred, whether or not they are able to be tested accurately, or give any sort of useful info about cancer risk. Though I do know some saliva tests purport to be able to provide at least some of this type of info.


    I just saw my doctor last week and it was her opinion that unless I really wanted to do it, the MRI was pointless because with my levels, any sort of microadenoma would be miniscule and terribly difficult to find on imaging. And further, the treatment would be the same - medicine to lower the prolactin level. So we decided to proceed directly on to the meds instead. I started Cycloset today.

    IGF1 is generally used as a measure of growth hormone since it is much more stable than growth hormone. However, I think the reliability is questionable at low levels. If it is high (like mine) it is probably high, but it might not be high because of high growth hormone but high because of problems downstream in conversion. If it is low, you might just have caught it at a low pulse. I don't put a ton of stock in this test though I think it has been interesting to see mine consistently be at the top of the range or just over since I got sick.

    Unless you are prepared to undergo a harrowing ITT and also have symptoms of low growth hormone, I would probably skip it at this point.

    I get pregnenolone from walkinlab...$59.

    LEF should be ashamed of their price!

    This is what Labcorp says about that test:

    https://www.labcorp.com/wps/portal/... Free (Direct), Serum With Total Testosterone

    It says it reflexes to the LC/MS-MS one if over 1499 ng/ml but that makes no sense to me. Total T is usually reported in ng/dl anyway.

    It says the test method for total is Electrochemiluminescence Immunoassay (ECLIA). I have always found this test to be specific enough for my needs and this is the usual range that is given for purposes of comparison.

    If it is low (total T should be between about 25-50 for adult women), you will know it from this test along with the free.

    Alternatively, you can call privatemdlabs and have them give you the test code that they are using which you can then look up on Labcorp's website. It's probably on the requisition but it won't let me look at any of the used ones unfortunately. I really think that one is sufficient regardless.

    Ema
     
  9. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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  10. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    I read your original note but had no time to read the intervening notes. You do need to verify whether or not you have cancer before supplementing DHEA. DHEA is known to be "anti-proliferative" but idk how that translates to anti-cancer (I mean 1% less chance or 80% less???). I have no experience with any hormone and cancer, nor really with cancer. Only thing I know is that green tea is more effective against COLON CANCER than any other means of chemotherapy (which is not to say it is effective).

    IF you verify that you do not have cancer, then you should take the 24 hour urine hormone test from Meridian Valley labs offered by Life EXtension: http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplements/ItemLCM4098/Urinary-Hormone-Profile-24-hour-Urine-Test.html

    This test is way more accurate than any blood test since your hormones fluctuate throughout the day and this captures a 24 hour period. This test measures every single metabolite of estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone so you can get a good idea if you are headed for cancer, or if your body is making the right things out of your hormones (whether they are endogenous or exogenous).

    If your hormones are ok, then you start to supplement DHEA, but also supplement pregnenolone (DHEA cannot make progesterone). You need to determine with your doctor or health advisor what dosing is right for you. You should read this to get an idea where to start: http://www.lef.org/protocols/female_reproductive/female_hormone_restoration_01.htm

    Some examples of dosages others take: Freddd takes 100mg pregnenolone + 25mg DHEA;
    I take 75mg DHEA + 30mg pregnenolone

    You need to come up with a cancer avoidance strategy: I take LEF's cruciferous vegetable extract: http://www.iherb.com/Life-Extension-Triple-Action-Cruciferous-Vegetable-Extract-60-Veggie-Caps/22969

    You should also be replete in D, iodine, and selenium, since deficiencies in these are linked to breast cancer.

    Good luck
     
  11. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    Thank you for your comments!
     
  12. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    Just a side note --

    I have not looked up whether there are genes that particularly relate to ovarian cancer, but tonight I happened to stumble across a general discussion on another thread here about the SHMT1 rs9909104 SNP, and when I typed it into 23andMe to see what my results would be on that, I found out that I am homozygous with CC.

    Only 4% of Europeans have the CC version.

    I then looked up why having one or two Cs on that SNP is risky, and found that:
    "Each copy of the minor allele in SHMT1 intron 5 A>G (rs9909104) was associated with epithelial ovarian cancer [odds ratio (OR), 1.2; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.0–1.4; P trend = 0.02; FPRP = 0.16] "
    http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/68/7/2498.short

    If I am reading this correctly, I take it to mean that when one T(A) shifts to a C(G), that the odds are 1.2 higher of having ovarian cancer,
    and when both Ts(As) shift to Cs(Gs), then the odds of that person getting ovarian cancer are even higher (and those odds of CC appear to not be stated explicitly there, unless each C provides a 1.2 higher risk by itself, and for CC these are added together... to make a 2.4 odds ratio, or what?).

    Ovarian cancer is pretty uncommon, so the increased odds that this genetic mutation provides do not raise a random woman's chance of having ovarian cancer a whole lot (I think); but still, it is interesting that I have the worst form of that particular SNP.

    Another study said about it:
    "...Our most promising SNP (SHMT1 rs9909104) with ovarian carcinoma risk"
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=rs9909104
     
  13. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    Here are my female hormone and tumor marker test results.

    All thoughts and advice about this are welcome!

    =============================================================================
    FEMALE HORMONES

    Other information that might help when reading the results:
    -I'm in my mid-40s.
    -I am still menstruating regularly.
    -My cycles are pretty regular and generally are from 25-28 days long (in the 2 cycles previous to this blood draw, they were 28 days long).
    -My Body Mass Index (BMI) is 21.5, so my hormones presumably would not be markedly influenced by my body composition.
    -This is the first time I've ever had my female hormones tested.
    -About 5 or so years ago, I started using a Vitex/Agnus Castus/Chasteberry (all 3 are names for the same thing) supplement, and for a couple of years, it helped a lot with my bad period pain and heavy flow, but then about 3 years ago it stopped helping and my symptoms seemed to even get worse on it, so I stopped taking it. At the time, I found a couple of sources online that said that adaptogenic herbs can stop working after a while, and that Agnus Castus has been known to do this.
    -I had considered taking the prolactin, LH/FSH, and prenenolone tests too, but to conserve funds and focus on the most crucial items, I ended up only taking the advanced female hormone panel from privatemdlabs.com.

    -I took this hormone test mainly to see if I could supplement with DHEA pills, since my DHEA is so low, and to get a baseline reading of my hormones so I could retest to see how the DHEA affected them after 6 weeks and 3 months.
    -I did not take this test because I thought that my other female hormones were out of whack. But, it seems, they are. :eek:
    -I do not know if I have any tumors (benign or cancerous) which might be raising the estrogen level--see my tumor marker test results in the next section. Does that seem likely, with these hormone results?
    -I am not sure if these numbers indicate that something is wrong. Should I try to get my estrogen levels down and my progesterone levels up? How can one do this?
    -Should I do a more extensive hormone lab test to track my hormones over time?
    -Do doctors take female hormone tests seriously?
    -If I can't take DHEA supplements because they can dramatically increase estrogen in some women, is there anything I can do to raise my low DHEA, which surely is a big reason that I'm so lacking in energy?

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Day 21 Estradiol: 470.5 pg/mL

    Reference ranges
    Follicular phase: 12.5 - 166.0 (from day 1 up to about day 14)
    Ovulation phase: 85.8 - 498.0 (usually around days 14 and 15; 95% prediction interval of being between day 8 and day 20)
    Luteal phase: 43.8 - 211.0 (from around day 15 to day 28)

    Wikipedia chart for day 21 specifically: the average result is 130, the highest end of the range stops at 175

    ----
    Day 21 Estrone: 187 pg/mL

    Reference ranges
    Follicular Phase: 37 - 138 (from day 1 up to about day 14)
    Mid-cycle: 60 - 229 (usually around days 14 and 15; 95% prediction interval of being between day 8 and day 20)
    Luteal Phase: 50 - 114 (from around day 15 to day 28)

    ---
    Day 21 Estrogens, Total: 591 pg/mL

    Reference ranges
    Days 1-10: 61 - 394
    Days 11-20: 122 - 437
    Days 21-30: 156 - 350

    ----
    Day 21 Progesterone: 0.5 ng/mL

    Reference ranges
    Follicular phase: 0.2 - 1.5 (from day 1 up to about day 14)
    Ovulation phase: 0.8 - 3.0 (usually around days 14 and 15; 95% prediction interval of being between day 8 and day 20)
    Luteal phase: 1.7 - 27.0 (from around day 15 to day 28)

    Wikipedia chart for day 21 specifically: the average is 13, the lowest end of range starts at 1

    ----
    Day 21 Testosterone, Serum: 16 ng/dL (Reference range: 8-48)

    Day 21 Testosterone, Free Direct: <0.2 pg/mL (Reference range: 0.0-2.2)

    ----
    DHEA-Sulfate: 28.8 pg/mL LOW (reference range: 35.4-256)

    ================================================================
    TUMOR MARKER TEST RESULTS

    CA-125

    6 weeks ago: 314.9 U/mL HIGH

    This week: 232.7 U/mL HIGH

    Reference range: 0.0-34


    CA 15-3

    This week: 23.2 U/mL

    Reference range: 0.0-25

    Note: My reason for taking the CA 15-3 was the following study which indicated that it might help differentiate between malignant and benign ovarian tumors, which the CA-125 seems to be less good at doing:
    "All serum tumor markers were elevated in patients with ovarian carcinoma.
    Serum level of CA 15-3 was increased in patients with ovarian carcinoma (median 48.33 U/ml, normal range 0-36), while it was normal in patients with benign ovarian tumors (median 20.67 U/ml; p >0.05).
    CA125 serum values were strikingly increased in ovarian carcinoma (median 264.16 IU/ml, normal range 0-35) and benign ovarian tumors (median 119.59 IU/ml; p <0.05)."
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17436409


    -Is the CA 15-3 test a pretty high result, even though it's in range?

    -What does it mean that the CA-125 went down a little - is that just a natural physical fluctuation and/or or a natural lack of precision in lab readings?
     
  14. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Bluebell, I think you are going to have to bite the bullet and find a doctor. That estradiol level is almost four times where it ought to be for your age. Your progesterone and T are quite low but I don't think you should take any hormones until you have had a full examination. My inclination is that something is secreting estrogen somewhere where it shouldn't.

    I don't think you should take DHEA either until you find out what is behind the high estrogen. Too many women get E out of DHEA and you don't need to complicate the picture right now.

    I think the CA-125 result is both a natural fluctuation and lack of lab sensitivity. I think it is still too high. I don't know anything about the other test.

    I wish I had more helpful things to say. I know this must be an uneasy time for you.

    Do you have a doctor you can follow up with now?

    Ema
     
    Crux likes this.
  15. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    I can't advise you on hormone labs and certainly not on cancer, however you might want to consider joining Life Extension (www.lef.org) as you can then phone a doctor at any time to go over your labs and answer your questions.

    To lower your estrogen you can look up aromatase inhibitors online...I think either mint or tea (mint tea for sure) is one, for instance. idk if your estrogen is high because depends as you see on what phase you are in anyway. Let me see what mine is...104, and my doctor is unconcerned. Now I don't believe mint tea will gain you much. I think maybe the thing to do is take something like Life Extensions cruciferous veggie mix. Or however you want to get it - take broccoli, DIM and/or I3C (DIM is the more stable form), calcium d-glucarate. In fact you are probably short on calcium d-glucarate...idk what you eat to get enough of this but what happens if you do not get enough is your liver pacakges up estrogen for elimination and in the gut it becomes UN-packaged and reabsorbed. There are fruits and veggies you can get this from. I do not take calcium-d-glucarate because it has never been a problem for me. It is highly advised to take it though if you do HRT.

    And this is the kind of advise you can get from Life EXtension which is superior than you'll get from your local doc. I called Life Extension to ask them to recommend a local doc who practices as they do.
     
  16. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    Thank you, Ema! I am so grateful for your advice.

    I must say that I was very surprised by my hormone test results. I guess it's no wonder that I feel below par - at least, it's good to finally have external "proof" of why this might be so.

    Yes, this is what I now fear. :(

    Yes, everything I've read about that test seems to agree that being over 200 is a big deal.

    I know what you are saying. I am not being afraid or stubborn about going to a doctor, it's just that I literally would not be able to pay for anything, even with a cc, beyond the first appointment or two, even if I negotiated a cash discount. The process of finding and treating what is wrong with me could quickly cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars (I explained above how I am not allowed to declare bankruptcy, how I don't want to--and am not sure it's practicable in my region to--seek a large outlay from charity, and how I cannot drag my long-ago student loan co-signer into a mess, etc.) I am embarrassed that I am in this financial situation, and am without a signficant other. My energy and resilience to pull myself up by the bootstraps, this time, are low. I scraped along in the shadows of my former life on willpower and ever-diminishing expectations for a long while, but that failed me about a year ago. I feel frozen, but others can't see why anything should be wrong, and it's mortifying. All the abnormal lab results have been a blessing to learn, in this sense.

    Also, I question if it's a good idea to get any conditions recorded in my health records now because the new obamacare coverage (which I might have to move to another state to get -- not a straightforward or inexpensive task, and I'll need to make a decision on this shortly) will apparently exclude treatment of pre-existing conditions for the first 3 months, meaning that April would be the earliest that the conditions would be covered under the new insurance. This 3-month waiting period was stated on the govt website. Whereas, not seeing any doctors until January would let me start being treated immediately in January, as far as I am aware (I do not know if the lab tests I have done on my own this year and the symptoms I have privately noticed this year would be held against me, but I don't think they would.) Given the limitations, I think I'm being as rational and strategic as I can about the issue of timing.
    If that is the case, perhaps I can see if there are little steps I take on my own to lessen what is going wrong inside, and to hang on in there until January. I might not be able to..., and I'll have to assess this as I go along.
     
  17. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    Good idea. Before, when I thought that my results were not going to be abnormal, and I wasn't really knowledgeable about what services they offered (which I admit I haven't looked into), I didn't see the point of paying extra for LEF testing when I could get the same tests a bit cheaper elsewhere. But when you do have an abnormal result, suddenly you can see the benefit of being able to speak to a doctor, even just for a moment!

    Four hours ago (while I was sipping peppermint tea, so it stuck out!), I think I read that spearmint tea inhibits progesterone, which I would not want to do. But maybe that action is specific to spearmint and not other mints.
    Definitely the idea of inhibiting estrogen is key, no matter what else I decide to do. I looked at checklists for this tonight, and I do almost all those things already. Except for taking certain supplements, such as the ones you mentioned (DIM, calcium d-glucarate). I've always kept ingestion of cruciferous veggies to a couple of times a week (max) due to their goitrogens, but I guess that the thyroid concern goes to the back burner now, and maybe the pill form of the veggie concentrate doesn't have the goitrogenic effects. I saw those supplements mentioned earlier tonight on a couple of websites - Dr. Lam's, etc.
    The womentowomen site recommends Ashwagandha, Black Cohosh, and Vitex. I'm reluctant to try Vitex again since it lost effectiveness for me before, but I happen to have a bottle of unopened Ashwagandha, which I've never tried. There was some reason years ago I thought Black Cohosh not suitable for me (maybe just that I hadn't hit the menopause years at that point), but I can look into it again.
    Several sites recommend Milk Thistle, since the liver is the clearance organ for estrogen and if it's not working well, the estrogen level gets high in the body, but the one time that I tried Milk Thistle (for constipation, which it was really helpful for), it chelated the iron out of me and my serum ferritin went from 44 to 24 in 2 months, even though I was taking 72 mgs of supplemental iron daily during that time. I don't know if I should gamble with my shaky 51 ferritin right now, because it took a couple of years to get to 51 from deficiency.
    Oops, It's 7 am and I've been up all night long with a racing mind. I have an errand to do at 12:30, so this is no good! I'll turn the computer off and lie down. :zippit:
     
  18. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    Arizona, USA
    Bluebell,
    I just stumbled upon your story. I'm only part way through, but I saw this comment. When I had the ACTH stimulation test, they took blood and checked both cortisol and ACTH before giving me the injection. Unchallenged ACTH alone is helpful, but if it comes out low-normal (bottom 5%), you still don't know if your adrenals can respond if they need to. Just food for thought.
    You've been so helpful to me. I wish you all the best.
     
  19. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    :hug: Thank you!
     
  20. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    Michigan
    Huh. Wow! I will have to look into Milk Thistle's chelation abilities. I was always anemic due to fibroids so never suspected any other reason. However I am still low ferritin and not taking milk thistle and no uterius so now I think it is due to low retinol binding protein (low vitamin A) In fact I have keratinic pilaris which is known to be due to vitamin A deficiency so case closed. Milk thistle made my joints feel good even after missed sleep. Now I am finding missing sleep raisesmy bp so I am going to try milk thistle again to see if that takes care of it.

    Really I think your problem is that you need calcium d-glucarate. I have a book about this somewhere. But www.lef.org also discusses it: http://www.lef.org/protocols/female_reproductive/endometriosis_05.htm and http://www.lef.org/abstracts/codex/calcium_d-glucarate_index.htm and here it says D-glucarate is found in grapefruit, apples, oranges, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/nov2007_report_breastProstate_02.htm
    I don't eat any of these everyday but I do take a broccoli pill every day so maybe I get it there as I have no issue with estrogen elimination. But you seem to so definitely get a bottle f calcium d-glucarate and see if it lowers your estrogen. Then if so you can see if there is some other way to get it that suits you (I trust LEF's broccoli supplement).
     

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