Last year, 2016, I had several blood tests ordered by both my primary care doctor and my gastroenterologist. This year, I had blood and stool tests run by my functional medicine doctor.
Obviously, I won’t bore you with all the technical details. Let’s just go over the most relevant and out-of-range issues.
Basic bloodwork from Labcorp
- A couple of early tests showed slightly anomalous readings related to liver function. My doctor thought this was probably a sign of systemic inflammation. Later test was fine.
- One test showed positive for ANA (anti nuclear antibodies). My doctor said this often accompanies autoimmune disorders and inflammatory bowel issues.
- The 92 Food Allergy profile came back showing a IgG reaction to ALMOST EVERYTHING! Not terribly surprised, however, I consider the results inconclusive. It shows a high response to foods I had been eating regularly with no reaction and no response to foods that I had eaten recently that made me very sick. So…???
- A later basic test showed elevated kidney values, indicative of kidney failure, or in my case, too much protein intake. This was after I added beef to my diet. I backed off on the meat and should be OK now.
- Vitamin D level is low. Working on that. I’ll write a separate blog on how I deal with vitamin D.
- Thyroid function is marginal according to my doctor, although the test results were all within normal ranges. Under observation for now.
Detailed analysis from Spectracell
This test looks at cellular levels of vitamins and minerals and will better illustrate what you’ve been absorbing from your food and supplements over the past six months.
Most of my vitamin and mineral levels are very good. Even though my diet is very limited on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, apparently chicken, beef, carrots and squash can be very healthy with a few tiny supplements.
- B12 is low. Since the bought of anemia in early 2016, I had been taking 1000 mcg of methylcobalamin every week. Doctor said to increase to daily dosing and that should solve the problem.
- Zinc and chromium is marginally low. I have been unable to take the mineral supplement recommended by the doctor. It makes me sick.
Detailed analysis of lipids and other arterial health indicators from Boston Heart Diagnostics
My overall cholesterol level is considered marginal by current medical standards, but my functional medicine doctor wants it to be higher. She feels that in order to heal and rebuild the cells in my digestive system (fix the leaky gut), I need lots of cholesterol.
The good news is that my body (liver) is not making any excess cholesterol and the type of HDL I have is very good at keeping the arteries clear of lipid deposits. The marginally high total cholesterol is a result of my high meat consumption. If and when I am able to reduce that, my cholesterol will naturally go back down.
This test revealed something no one else had ever told me. I have a genetic disorder called a methylation defect. This means that my body only processes folates with about 20% efficiency compared to someone without the defect. That explains why the Labcorp tests showed circulating levels of B12 were fine, while the Spectracell analysis showed B12 marginally low. Also, this results in elevated homocysteine which leads to a host of problems. I’ll go into more detail in a future blog.
Comprehensive stool analysis and parasitology from Doctor’s Data
No analysis of a digestive problem is complete without a poop test! Nothing unexpected here.
- Minimal or absent good bacteria
- Minimal neutral bacteria
- No bad bacteria
- No yeast
- No giardia or cryptosporidium
- Some indication of inflammation and occult blood
None of this is particularly surprising or inconsistent with previous results. I could tell you that my guts feel inflamed when I have a flare up. And of course most of my good bacteria was wiped out by antibiotics and never quite reestablished.