Blood Work Explained

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  • By Susan "The Wife" Bartley
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Blood Work Explained

Okay, so I have written a ton about the thyroid, estrogen, progesterone and what you can eat and shouldn’t eat to optimize each of these.  It is a TON of information and I am sure got to be a bit tedious and maybe even boring.  The end result, or the final question then is “does it all work”.  Can I show you concrete prove that making these changes will affect not only the way you feel, but what your body is actually doing underneath your skin.  And, I can.  I have compiled my last 4 blood tests and made a nifty little chart to show you just how things have changed.


I have just put the information from the blood work that is the most informative to what we are trying to accomplish.  When you get blood work done you get so much more information than this, but I wanted to make it easier to understand.  This is a chart of 4 blood tests.  The first was last October when we first started doing the salt protocol and eating carrots.  The second blood work in December was taken to send to Andrew Murray, the certified herbalist that I am working with.  The third was a routine blood work for my doctor and the fourth, and most recent is a follow up to see how things have changed since I have doing all of the protocols in earnest.




  1. Glucose: Mine doesn’t vary that much but I do like to keep an eye on it. This is an important marker for how you are eating.
  2. AST: this is a marker for liver damage.  If you liver is healthy the numbers are low, if your liver is damaged then your numbers will be higher.
  3. ALT: another marker of a healthy or damaged liver. Mine are usually very good, but they did get a little elevated.
  4. Cholesterol: My total cholesterol was good on the first test because I was taking a statin at that time. I stopped shortly after that because I finally believed how wretched they are for your body.  The next blood test my cholesterol shot up and stayed elevated.   High cholesterol levels go hand in hand with high estrogen, low progesterone.  As I have started to get these under control you can see that my cholesterol dropped back down to normal levels.  Remember:  I am eating more cheese, drinking 2% milk, drinking OJ and eating honey and my cholesterol dropped.
  5. Testosterone: My test looks weird because I have that one really high test.  I am not sure why it was that high.  9 and 11 have been typical for me over the years.  I was excited for the 25 on my l last test.  The high end is 49 so 25 is moving in the right direction. 
  6. T4 and T3: these numbers are always right in the middle or high.  If you were just looking at my blood test you would think I had the healthiest thyroid.  You might even think it was over active.  But these numbers are deceiving.  They can be in the “normal” range but if you still have clinical signs of low thyroid then you are obviously not “normal”.  Based on these numbers my doctor was going to refuse to prescribe me more of the armor thyroid product but I asked him to let me stay on it and he agreed.   Having knowledge of your symptoms and how you feel can helpyou express this to your doctor.  Knowledge is power.
  7. DHEA: Two of the blood tests didn’t check my DHEA, but the other two showed an increase. It is still not optimal so I may begin supplementing with it but will probably wait for a few more blood tests to see if the improvement continues.
  8. TSH: This is the one where you can REALLY see your progress.  If you notice the range is 0.45 – 4.5.  TSH is what most doctors go on to tell if you are hypothyroid or not.  If your TSH is in this normal range then they say you are okay.  In actuality (according to Ray Peat) a “normal” TSH is something close to 0.0 and anything OVER .45 is a “diseased” state.  So look at my numbers.  All of them are high, except my last one.  Once I finally started to move my temperatures up (thyroid level increase), decrease my estrogen and increase my progesterone that TSH number plummeted.
  9. Vitamin D: My last test has me at 95 which is a little to high.  For optimum health you want your Vitamin D to be between 60 – 70 ish.  I have cut back on my supplementation and take 10,000 IU every 3 days.
  10. Estrogen: these numbers are all over the place.  The only one that I know was taken at a time during the month when I can tell the correlation to my cycle is the last one.  It was taken 21 days into my cycle.  If you look at the charts my estrogen is right in line for that time of the month.  The troubling part is that ratio of estrogen to progesterone.  You should have 1 estrogen to every 50 progesterone. 
  11. Progesterone: See above in the relationship to estrogen.  The 20th/21st day of your cycle is when your progesterone should be at its peak.   So this blood test does show a remarkable improvement (19 progesterone to 1 estrogen) but I still need to improve it.  We aren’t even halfway where I want to be.
  12. The ratio: This is super important to keep your eye on and to mark your progress.


Learning to read your blood work helps to put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to your health.   For years we have been taught that only a doctor can read these results, but with the age of GOOGLE comes the references we need to make sense of what we see.  I hope this helps you start to understand your own labs.  As always, if you have any questions please email me at [email protected]


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