I've been having some strange blood tests and I'm trying to find the root cause. I mentioned this problem a few months ago in another thread but I'm still chasing it and trying to figure it out, so I thought I'd put it out there and see if anyone knows about it around here... I do doubt it's celiac related though.
In the spring, a doctor I went to discovered I have a high IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) which shows the overall trend of the amount of growth hormone (GH) in your body. A high result is very weird in a celiac; we tend to be on the low end of the range or below. So many celiac kids have delayed growth because malnutrition will lower GH in the body (and IGF-1 comes down as a result).
I had it tested again a month later to check it and it was at the very top of the normal range. The testing doctor declared me normal and refused to re-test or pursue it. I asked my family doctor to re-test or look into further tests and he refused and told me to find another doctor. I finally found another family doctor, Dr D, and she retested my IGF-1 for me and it was slightly above normal this time. She is looking into further testing for me.
The normal reference range for IGF-1 is 109-284. These are my results:
- May = 401 (H)
- June = 283
- Oct = 297 (H)
I'm concerned because elevated IGF-1 causes acromegaly and can lead to a shorter lifespan as well as increased risks of cancer (where excesive growth is bad). Elevated IGF-1 is usually caused by a benign adenoma on the pituitary gland which is just in front of the brain. My results aren't crazy high like some acromegaly patients get, but I'm guessing it's like celiac disease and we don't all test similarly. Anyway, if anyone has experience in this, I'd LOVE to hear about it!
At the moment, my new doctor, Dr D, is looking into trying to get me the oral glucose tolerance test for growth hormone suppression (OGTT for GH). That should tell us a lot - if I don't suppess, then I have a problem. My worry is that the endos will tell her to ignore it because my labs are not "abnormal" enough. Doctors did that to me for 15 years with my hypothyroidism, and I don't want it to happen again. I lost a LOT of years of good health to that...
There is a slim chance that the T4 or T3 hormones in the natural desiccated thyroid I am taking has messed with my GH levels. I found artlcles touching on it here and here too, but it's hard to find anything not related to the livestock industry.
My plan in the meantime:
I am cutting carbs and starches, trying to stay in ketosis, and dabbling in fasting in an effort to see if I can affect my labs. I eat pretty well so it shouldn't alter things too much. I won't change my thyroid meds from NDT - I feel good on it so I won't test that theory.... I'm out of ideas after that.
Any ideas? I don't expect this is a common worry in these boards. Most of us will deal with growth hormone deficiency, not excesses.