My Transition Diary


25 September
It's that time of year again. Here are the results from my blood work eleven days ago.

Standard ranges are all for a male in my age range. LDL is 'bad' cholesterol, which is influenced by diet. HDL is 'good' cholesterol, which is influenced by exercise. SGOT (AST) and SGPT (ALT) are enzymes found in the liver and are commonly measured as a marker for liver health. Estradiol is a type of oestrogen; it's the predominant oestrogen in females during reproductive years (pre-menopause), and in males it's produced as an active metabolic product of testosterone. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) As I have no ovaries, presumably the estradiol in my system is from the T.

PULSE/RESTING HEART RATE: 70 bpm (standard range: 60-100 bpm, lower is healthier)
SpO2: 100% (healthy is between 96% and 99%)

Lipid profile:
CHOLESTEROL: 233 mg/dL. Standard range: 0-199 mg/dL.
LDL DIRECT MEASURE: 157 mg/dL. Standard range: 0-130 mg/dL.
HDL: 60 mg/dL. Standard range: >40 mg/dL.
SGOT (AST): 18 U/L. Standard range: 2-50 U/L.
SGPT (ALT): 13 U/L. Standard range: 2-60 U/L.

Hormone levels:
ALBUMIN (TESTOSTERONE FREE AND TOTAL): 4.4 g/dL. Standard range: 3.5-4.8 g/dL.
TOTAL TESTOSTERONE: 410.3 ng/dL. Standard range: 241-827 ng/dL.
SEX HORMONE BINDING GLOBULIN: 38.8 nmol/L. Standard range: 17.3-65.8 nmol/L.
TESTOSTERONE, FREE: 75 pg/mL. Standard range: 47-244 pg/mL.
TESTOSTERONE, BIOAVAILABLE: 180.0 ng/dL. Standard range: 130-680 ng/dL.
ESTRADIOL 17 BETA SERUM: 19 pg/mL. Standard range: 14-55 pg/mL.

My cholesterol is down! All on its own! This is deeply, deeply odd. I eat very little cheese these days, and still eat very little red meat, but otherwise I haven't modified my diet at all since last year and I certainly take in more unhealthy fats than I should. (I've actually gained a bit of weight and could do with losing at least five pounds, although I'm working out so I know some of that is muscle. But my tummy has expanded a bit and I would very much like to rectify that.) Last year my total cholesterol was 252 mg/dL and my LDL was 167 mg/dL, so that's a significant drop, especially given that I didn't try to eat especially healthy in the weeks right before my blood draw. My HDL is up a bit too, which is nice and is presumably from the increase in working out.

The fact remains, though, that even with this drop, my cholesterol is not going to fix itself. It's genetic and I've always known I'd have to go on medication for it eventually. My doctor and I agreed at our recent appointment that that time has come, so on 17 September, the day after my blood draw, I started taking atorvastatin (Lipitor). Right now I'm taking 10mg a day but we'll probably ramp that up eventually; in six weeks or so I'll have blood work done again to see how my lipids are doing and we'll go from there. I'm hoping this will be the magic bullet that allows me to eat all the rubbish I want, although I still want to drop a bit of weight first!

I'm still injecting 50mg of T subq weekly. I'm glad my hormone levels are all solidly in the healthy male range. No worries there.


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