Friday, September 16, 2011

When I said I liked Heavy Metal, this isn't what I meant

My grand experiment is over... I had read something that made me think my protein issues were related to endurance exercise-induced anemia. In other words, maybe I have low protein because I'm not getting enough iron.

Now, nothing in my labs screamed anemia. All my iron and anemia related labs were in range.

BUT

-My iron was trending down

-My hemoglobin was the lowest it's ever been and only average when before it had been excellent

-My hematocrit was still pretty good, but also lower than it used to be

-My ferritin was slightly trending down (only a few points a year, but still) and was near the bottom of the range

Maybe, I thought, I'm not getting enough iron for me and that for me these results are borderline anemic.

So I started supplementing with more iron. Instead of relying on the iron in my Centrum multivitamin, I switched to the Celebrate Multivitamin with no iron and I started taking a separate iron supplement that I was sure would be absorbed. (I had some doubts about the iron in the Centrum.)

As a result, the following happened:

-My hair stopped falling out if I had a few days of protein under 100 g (good)

-My hematocrit and hemoglobin are back where they used to be (good)

-My ferritin went up 10 points and is the highest it's ever been (good, still could be better)

-My iron is now over the high end of the range (not good)

-My protein is still low (not good?)

There goes my theory that my serum protein is low because I wasn't getting enough iron. I'm not sure what's up with the protein. Dr. PCP and Dr. Awesome have both said not to worry about it because I clearly don't have any signs or symptoms of any of the problem that low protein is associated with, but it bugs me.

I do have to supplement with less iron. It's a heavy metal and you can get heavy metal poisoning if you aren't careful. I'm only a few points above the upper range so I'm probably fine (the ranges often have some slop built into them), but I was taking Proferrin twice a day for a while there and then Proferrin in the AM and Celebrate's Iron+C in the PM and then the Celebrate Iron twice a day when I ran out of Proferrin.

So I think I'll cut back to an iron supplement 1x a day. (Right now I'm not taking anything since I ran out, but I have some more Proferrin on order.)

Oh and I had a couple of other lab results the last time that were H or L that Dr. Awesome said were most likely due to being a bit dehydrated when I got my test done. (Things like Neutrophil and Eosinophil.)

Normally, I do my tests first thing in the AM and I don't eat or drink anything beforehand. However, you are allowed to drink clear fluids and it's still considered a "fasting" test so this time I drank a bottle of Vitamin Water on the way to get my labs done and everyone of those items was right in range. So he was right!

Not that I thought he wasn't, but I decided I wanted to get rid of all the noise in my lab results so that I could get a true picture of what was going on with me.

I still have some results to get back such as Vitamin D, PTH and Zinc.

But these are the ones I cared the most about as these were the ones with issues.

Now if only I could figure out what was going on with my protein, I'd be completely happy with my labs.
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