I Need Help Understanding My TSH And Complete Iron Panel

username

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Gender: Male
Age: 29

TSH: 1.71

Serum Iron: 76.3 ug/dl
Total Iron-binding Capacity: 286 ug/dl
Saturation: 26.6%
Transferrin: 205 mg/dL
Ferritin: 280 ng/ml

I know there are a lot of other important labs that need doing, but I ordered these labs at a clinic in Costa Rica where I am living at the moment. Don't really have much money to be throwing at labs.

I have had cold hands for the as long as I can remember. I was embarrassed about it in high school. Does my TSH explain this or is it normal? I see people mention that below 1 is good, but that doesn't really tell me if 1.71 is such a problem that it has resulted in freezing cold hands my whole life. Again, I know that TSH alone really isn't enough, but it is what I've got.

I have been taking 1/2 of a pill of Armour (I got from my mother who is hypothyroid) every morning for 2 1/2 weeks, but I didn't take any the morning of the blood test. I also took the test fasted.

In regards to iron, I had been on the carnivore diet on and off for about 3 years up until about 2 1/2 months ago when I began eating a diet of meat, liver, milk, honey, and some tropical fruit (I am in Costa Rica after all).

Reason for testing in the first place - I have had serious fatigue issues for about a decade that doesn't improve and seems like it gets worse slowly. I also have anhedonia really bad. I struggle to be motivated at all because I practically never find anything satisfying.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

Hans

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Here's an article on how to interpret your iron test results: How to interpret your iron panel blood test for optimal energy and health » MENELITE
Your ferritin is higher than desired and your saturation is low. So this could mean you have inflammation and/or low copper. Copper is needed to mobilize the iron from stores, which will increase saturation.
Inflammation lowers saturation and increases ferritin. If you have inflammation, then it doesn't necessarily mean you have an iron overload, just because your ferritin is too high.
A TSH of 1.71 isn't bad, but it can be lower. Cold hands indicate that you have elevated noradrenaline. Noradrenaline can block the effect T3 and also convert T4 into rT3, which further inhibit T3's actions.
Carbs and salt are two of the best ways to lower noradrenaline.
Low iron, zinc and selenium can lead to low T3 levels, which might then increase the requirements of noradrenaline.

Do you have any gut irritation?
 

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Thanks! I'll read it!

Your ferritin is higher than desired and your saturation is low. So this could mean you have inflammation and/or low copper. Copper is needed to mobilize the iron from stores, which will increase saturation.

I haven't had a ton of liver lately, but I have had loads of the stuff over the past couple of years on the carnivore diet. About 500 grams per week, but again, not lately. I say this because it is said to be high in copper.

Inflammation lowers saturation and increases ferritin. If you have inflammation, then it doesn't necessarily mean you have an iron overload, just because your ferritin is too high.

Is there a good test to find out if I have inflammation issues triggering ferritin?

A TSH of 1.71 isn't bad, but it can be lower. Cold hands indicate that you have elevated noradrenaline. Noradrenaline can block the effect T3 and also convert T4 into rT3, which further inhibit T3's actions.
Carbs and salt are two of the best ways to lower noradrenaline.

I have been eating a good amount of carbs throughout the day ~300 grams. I don't feel particularly stressed, but I may not be aware of the signs of stress. I got used to burning fat on the carnivore diet and have stable energy, just not a lot of energy. I've been fatigue before ever trying a low carb diet.

Low iron, zinc and selenium can lead to low T3 levels, which might then increase the requirements of noradrenaline.

Given the amount of liver I ate on carnivore, I doubt that I have low zinc or selenium. But are you saying here and above that I have low iron because of low iron saturation score?

Do you have any gut irritation?

I have some gut sensitivity. I have dialed the milk back because I was getting lots of bloating and gas. It was raw local cows milk btws. I have had bloating, gas, and diarrhea issues my whole life, and this is one of the main reasons I stuck to the carnivore diet for so long. My digestion seemed perfect when eating only meat.
 

Hans

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Is there a good test to find out if I have inflammation issues triggering ferritin?
hsCRP should give you a good indication if you have inflammation or not. Also, any skin, hair and hair issues can be a sign of inflammation.
I have been eating a good amount of carbs throughout the day ~300 grams. I don't feel particularly stressed, but I may not be aware of the signs of stress. I got used to burning fat on the carnivore diet and have stable energy, just not a lot of energy. I've been fatigue before ever trying a low carb diet.
What's your salt intake like?
Given the amount of liver I ate on carnivore, I doubt that I have low zinc or selenium. But are you saying here and above that I have low iron because of low iron saturation score?
No I don't think you have low iron, but if you have inflammation, ferritin will drop when you lower inflammation.
I have some gut sensitivity. I have dialed the milk back because I was getting lots of bloating and gas. It was raw local cows milk btws. I have had bloating, gas, and diarrhea issues my whole life, and this is one of the main reasons I stuck to the carnivore diet for so long. My digestion seemed perfect when eating only meat.
Proper thyroid production is essential for digestion and transit time. Low thyroid can lead to gut issues and food sensitivities. Given that you have cold hands, you most like have reduced T3 action. Plus, excess noradrenaline can also inhibit proper digestion.
Salt, inosine, agmatine, etc., are rather good at lowering noradrenaline. On the other hand, excess copper can convert too much dopamine into noradrenaline.
 

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hsCRP should give you a good indication if you have inflammation or not. Also, any skin, hair and hair issues can be a sign of inflammation.
I have never had great skin. I have always figure it to be genetics. Its kind of freckly, but not really. I get sun spots easily and I have always had this eczema that pops likes acne. I haven't been to a dermatologist in forever so I don't really know what it is. Also, I shave my head because I am balding, but I believe that I began balding slowly from a very young age. I remember running my hands through my hair in middle school and wondering if it was normal for so much hair to come out. It wasn't dramatic, but I am fairly certain most people didn't experience this. I might be wrong.
What's your salt intake like?
I don't crave it, but I'll put some in water and down it a couple of times per day. Usually like 1/2 tsp of sea salt (with 1/4 tsp of potassium chloride) in 2 cups of water, 3 times per day. Salt has always been confusing to me, I never noticed feeling better with or without. I even went a month with no salt intake at all on carnivore (obviously some sodium from meat) and couldn't tell a difference. I also think that there might be a difference between drinking salt and eating it with food, but I'm not completely sure.
No I don't think you have low iron, but if you have inflammation, ferritin will drop when you lower inflammation.
Gotcha.
Proper thyroid production is essential for digestion and transit time. Low thyroid can lead to gut issues and food sensitivities. Given that you have cold hands, you most like have reduced T3 action. Plus, excess noradrenaline can also inhibit proper digestion.
Salt, inosine, agmatine, etc., are rather good at lowering noradrenaline. On the other hand, excess copper can convert too much dopamine into noradrenaline.
I do take agmatine, as some people said it is good for circulation by vasodilation. I also lift weights so agmatine kind of gives a pump. I haven't heard of inosine. I'll look into it.

Yea. I'd definitely say that I have had digestive issues. In fact just last night I had acid reflux (another thing that seemed to be resolved by the carnivore diet).

So I could have too little copper, or I could have too much... lovely.
 

redsun

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I have never had great skin. I have always figure it to be genetics. Its kind of freckly, but not really. I get sun spots easily and I have always had this eczema that pops likes acne. I haven't been to a dermatologist in forever so I don't really know what it is. Also, I shave my head because I am balding, but I believe that I began balding slowly from a very young age. I remember running my hands through my hair in middle school and wondering if it was normal for so much hair to come out. It wasn't dramatic, but I am fairly certain most people didn't experience this. I might be wrong.

I don't crave it, but I'll put some in water and down it a couple of times per day. Usually like 1/2 tsp of sea salt (with 1/4 tsp of potassium chloride) in 2 cups of water, 3 times per day. Salt has always been confusing to me, I never noticed feeling better with or without. I even went a month with no salt intake at all on carnivore (obviously some sodium from meat) and couldn't tell a difference. I also think that there might be a difference between drinking salt and eating it with food, but I'm not completely sure.

Gotcha.

I do take agmatine, as some people said it is good for circulation by vasodilation. I also lift weights so agmatine kind of gives a pump. I haven't heard of inosine. I'll look into it.

Yea. I'd definitely say that I have had digestive issues. In fact just last night I had acid reflux (another thing that seemed to be resolved by the carnivore diet).

So I could have too little copper, or I could have too much... lovely.

Ignoring the presence of spots on the skin, is the quality of the skin itself good? As in well hydrated (not dry), or is it poor?

Copper is important for skin quality but most people will not have low copper unless they have eaten strange diets that are low in it in the past or take too much zinc for long periods of time or are iron overloaded. And if you ate carnivore and ate lots of liver thats another indication copper is probably not low and could even be high. Liver is not a good source of zinc or selenium btw.

Zinc is generally helpful for eczema and skin health and is anti-inflammatory. More red meat which provides zinc and iron while avoiding copper foods may improve inflammation and your skin. Dairy is decent for zinc but if you cant consume dairy red meat works and should be a significant portion of the diet to increase zinc. Also if you can eat oysters they are extremely effective for the skin as it is rich in many minerals, especially zinc.
 
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username

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Ignoring the presence of spots on the skin, is the quality of the skin itself good? As in well hydrated (not dry), or is it poor?
Aside from less than ideal complexion and minor lifelong eczema, I think it is fine. Though, my face flushes like crazy when exercising, and my chest is almost always flushed. If I place my fingers on my upper chest for just a moment and pull back there are temporary big white prints left behind like you'd see with sunburn.
Copper is important for skin quality but most people will not have low copper unless they have eaten strange diets that are low in it in the past or take too much zinc for long periods of time or are iron overloaded. And if you ate carnivore and ate lots of liver thats another indication copper is probably not low and could even be high.
I see. Thanks for the information. Is there a reliable copper test that I should consider? Or is it really a priority?
Liver is not a good source of zinc or selenium btw.
Liver might not be, but I ate ~1 kg of 80:20 ground beef a day and subbed in some organ meats (kidney, spleen, heart, liver, and marrow mostly). According to nutritiondata.self.com, I would have been getting around 280% of the RDA for Zinc and 210% of the RDA for Selenium.
Zinc is generally helpful for eczema and skin health and is anti-inflammatory. More red meat which provides zinc and iron while avoiding copper foods may improve inflammation and your skin. Dairy is decent for zinc but if you cant consume dairy red meat works and should be a significant portion of the diet to increase zinc. Also if you can eat oysters they are extremely effective for the skin as it is rich in many minerals, especially zinc.
I wish I could get ahold of oysters where I live, but they are just not available. Not fresh or canned. I wonder if even more zinc would benefit me, as I feel like I have read some people who were on the carnivore diet and clearly getting a lot of zinc supplemented and noticed benefits. Maybe there is a great need for zinc, or there is an absorption issue? Idk.

In regards to milk, I just stopped because I was sick of the bloat and gas. I also was a little lethargic after consuming significant quantities, and I'd rather not go through the hassle of acquiring it if I only tolerate a little. BUT... I am probably going to be making kefir from the milk, as I have done this in the past and the digestion was way easier. I know that some people are concerned about the lactic acid byproduct of fermentation. What are your thoughts on this? Could the lactic acid be a downside, but the consumption of the end product outweighs the downside?
 

Cloudhands

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Either i got too confused while reading the article/didnt read my results correctly, or my results dont match any of the combination profiles in the article, does anyone have any interpretive opinions? Screenshot_20210402-202007_Drive.jpg
 
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