Finally got an appointment with my doctor this week. My doctor, whom I LOVE, is the total non-alarmist type. Which, for any health fanatic, is a God-send. We started by first discussing the results of my DXA scan. While he agreed that the lumbar spine results in particular were somewhat concerning, he was not alarmed. He reminded me that first of all, DXA scan are NOT a predictor of fragility risk. Meaning, just because you have lower bone density, does not mean that your bones are currently fragile and at risk of fracture.
In fact, most women my size (5'3 and just over 100lbs) are going to have less dense bones by the sheer nature of the fact that we elicit less impact on our frames! That said, my change in bone density is where we are most concerned. The other piece of the pie was that I was scanned not only at a different facility, but in a different position. In previous scans, my legs were resting on a big block with my knees bent to 90 degrees. This time, I was in the new appropriate position with my legs extended but internally rotated about 15-20 degrees on a wedge. That alone could account for some of the differences.
When we looked at my blood work and urinalysis, he originally wanted to increase my thyroid dosage. I was really confused about my results on my thyroid. While my TSH was really low (meaning in the hyperthyroid range), my other thyroid markers were are really underwhelming (in the hypothyroid range). I know that thyroid function can negatively impact bone health, but this left me quite confused. He told me that TSH was clinically insignificant when medicated, and that considering how low all my numbers were, he thinks there is actually some sort of signalling issue with my thyroid receptors. Very interesting!! I'll have to do a little more research on all this! That said, I asked that we NOT increase my dosage, as I am convinced that just a few more pounds and I'll get my period back!
That led to the next topic: my hormones. I'm only 42, and the last time I got my hormones checked (blood serum), I was not close to perimenopause. So that leads me to believe that my lower body fat (20%) is just not enough for me to be cycling. On top of this, my total cholesterol is actually quite low! Only 138 total!! Considering I eat eggs and bacon about 3 days a week, and have about a 50-60% fat diet, I'd say that's strong evidence that cholesterol levels are NOT particularly affected by diet. Oh, and my vitamin D was not low at all. In fact, I historically have higher levels, even when I'm not supplementing. This time, I was at 97.
We decided I'd continue to keep my goal of gaining a few pounds by putting in a few more healthy carbs. I'd also add Strontium to my mineral intake (I'm on all the right stuff: Ca, Mg, K2, etc). And we'll wait a couple months to see if I get my period back naturally. Regardless, he wants me to do the DUTCH test in the next couple of months to see what my estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol, etc are doing. I have access to this test already through my FDN program, so I'm totally on board. He said we can consider some HRT later if necessary.
I left the doctor's office feeling so much less depressed. In fact, maybe optimistic. I've been good about doing more weights and weight-bearing exercise. I've gained 3.5 pounds so far. I'm rather enjoying a little more carbs here and there (namely sweet potato fries).
I actually feel like I can do this!!!!