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Blood test results. I'm anemic and have low vitamin D.

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  • Blood test results. I'm anemic and have low vitamin D.

    But why?

    I've been supplementing for 7 months about 7,000-25,000 IU vitamin D a week and obviously I eat enough meat and greens that I shouldn't be anemic. The doctor said it was iron deficiency anemia although I haven't seen the test myself but she said I had "very low iron" and my D level is 21. Not good.
    So I'm not absorbing nutrients correctly. She's sending me to a Gastroenterologist and I'm getting a bone density scan since my major complaint is bone pain. Does anyone know what would cause malabsorbtion? I know I was zinc deficient too because I had white spots on my nails all of my life until I started supplementing. Who know what else I'm deficient in. My doctor wouldn't test any other vitmain levels but maybe my GI doc will.
    This is likely why I haven't been feeling better on the PB. I can eat properly until I'm blue in the face but if I can't absorb it... I might as well be eating SAD. Okay, that's not completely true.
    The good is that I used to have higher cholesterol and triglycerides. I think 200 cholesterol and 250 trig but I don't know LDL and HDL since it was over a year ago. Now my trigs are down to 163 and my HDL was 63, LDL 90.

    My TSH was 2.4. She refused to test T3 and T4 and insists that 2.4 is "normal" even though I have every damn symptom of hypothyroidism. I don't know what to do about that yet. I guess I'll see how I feel after getting my iron up.

    So, my questions...

    what iron supplement is good and easily absorbed?
    What could be causing malabsorbtion?
    Is a TSH of 2.4 really okay or should I push for more tests? I don't know how to convince her that the TSH number doesn't really tell the whole story. My doctor is pretty clueless. She also told me 5.7 A1C was normal and 122 fasting blood sugar was good (don't worry, these things are not a result of primal. I normally have them more under control than this)

  • #2
    Just back-stalked you and I have a question: have you been to an endocrinologist? Hormonal disorders such as PCOS often cause anemia. Two other things: zinc decreases iron absorption and vitamin c increases it. If you're supplementing with zinc, that may be a problem.

    Comment


    • #3
      A few recommendations:

      a) Definitely consider taking a good digestive enzyme with meals. It's possible that you're deficient in one or more enzymes, which can result in poor nutrient absorption. Here is a good MDA thread on the topic of enzymes:

      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...p?9514-Enzymes
      _____________________________________

      b) Taking probiotics will also help to improve your gut health, if this is indeed your problem. Here's a good MDA thread:

      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...733-Probiotics
      _____________________________________

      c) Your poor vitamin D absorption might be caused by a magnesium deficiency. Here is one site that discusses this:

      http://www.easy-immune-health.com/vi...bsorption.html

      There is lots of good info on the web about low D and magnesium deficiency, just a google search away, so I won't overwhelm you with links.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Suki View Post
        Just back-stalked you and I have a question: have you been to an endocrinologist? Hormonal disorders such as PCOS often cause anemia. Two other things: zinc decreases iron absorption and vitamin c increases it. If you're supplementing with zinc, that may be a problem.
        lol, thanks for back-stalking. I have not been to an endo, couldn't get my doctor to give me a referal and I need the referal with my insurance. She totally does not get the whole picture thing. I told her I have PCOS and she said "well, you can go to a OB for that" I didn't know that it can cause anemia though. I take zinc to help with D absorbtion and I was deficient in zinc too. I also take vitamin C and eat foods rich in C so I don't think I want to stop the zinc.

        healthseekerkate, I took enzymes and probiotics for a while. The enzymes made me nauseous and gave me heartburn and the probiotics made me feel bloated. I also have been taking magnesium as long as the vitamin D so... wow. Maybe I really do need to see the gastroenterologist after all. This is really messed up.

        the supplements I take are vitamin D, Mag, Zinc,Boron, B complex and vitamin C.

        My main complaints are pain, fatigue, dry skin and dry coarse hair, brain fog, sensitivity to light and eye pain, PCOS, high blood sugars.... there's more but I basically know they are all connnected and have to do with nutrient deficiencies. Eating primal after 5 months I started to realize it wasn't helping in any significant way so I took a step back and had to ask why did I get this way to begin with?. I researched a lot on celiac disease and it's very possible I have that. I started eating gluten again so I could get celiac testing done as well but I don't have the results from that yet and they may be false negative anyway. I'm back on primal now and still just feel like complete crap! Regardless of the Celiac results I am severely gluten intolerant so maybe that has been affecting absorption all along. Then again, I wasn't eating gluten while eating primal but maybe even 5 months wasn't long enough to heal damage to the intestines *if* that's what the problem is. Oh, I'm so confused.
        Last edited by Katie82; 10-07-2010, 07:36 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Katie-

          I spent 5 years with my primary doctor trying to get my hypothroidism diagnosed, but, fortunately, my insurance does not require a referral, so I was able to go to a good endo! So I have some experience with this, and really regret listening to him tell me I was "normal" for all those years when I had progressively severe hypo symptoms.

          TSH does not tell the whole story, as you know. When my TSH was 2.6, I could barely get out of bed in the morning because I was so very fatigued. Most good endos will treat if the TSH is above 2.0 and the patient has symptoms. With thyroid, symptoms are more important than blood values (according to both the endos I've seen), and many hypos present with 'normal' blood values (sub-clinical hypothyroidism), but their symptoms are relieved with meds. Of course, you want someone who will test T4 and T3 as well, which are the important numbers.

          I don't know how to tell you to proceed, since you seem to need a referral, but you might get some info from the internet to present to your primary, and if she still won't test or refer you, you can threaten with a malpractice suit perhaps? I don't know because I've (fortunately) never been in your situation. Good luck with this!

          Comment


          • #6
            Katie,
            Your doctor sounds like a complete A$$hat, and a Quack to boot. Any " Doctor" that refuses to listen to the patient should not practice medicine. Go to and Endo. If you Knowingly have PCOS then you already have alot of your mysteries solved as far as your symptoms go. I would also echo the previous advice of taking probiotics and digestive enzymes. You really need to up your intake of green leafy's too. Also, as far as Iron, the liquid Iron is far more easy to absorb than the pills are, as the liquid reaches the bloodstream much faster. You need answers to your malabsorbtion issues, PRONTO. by a QUALIFIED practioner.

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is a website that tells what thyroid tests are needed:

              http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com
              Rebecca

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              Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
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              Comment


              • #8
                Celiacs have malabsorbtion issues with the presence of gluten. Their stools will often times be oily or fatty from difficulties absorbing fats and fat soluable vitamins. Even if you aren't a celiac, almost everyone is intolerant to gluten in one degree or another. I would definitely recommend removing gluten from your diet immediately to start. A little liver in your diet would probably be pretty helpful as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  can you change your GP?? sounds like this one is doing more harm than good. Your doc needs to LISTEN to you, and if she doesn't want to run a test she better at least be able to talk about why!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RSL View Post
                    Here is a website that tells what thyroid tests are needed:

                    http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com
                    +1 and add

                    www dot realthyroidhelp dot com

                    Read the nutrition and gluten page.
                    Chief cook & bottle washer for one kid, a dog, 6 hens, 2 surprise! roosters, two horses, and a random 'herd' of quail.

                    ~The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something one knows nothing about and refuses to investigate~

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Did you have your calcium levels checked? Bone pain, fatigue, hair issues can be a sign of hyoerparathyroidism. D supplementation will make that worse by unmasking it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Iron deficiency is usually about blood loss, not malabsorption.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by emmie View Post
                          Katie-

                          I spent 5 years with my primary doctor trying to get my hypothroidism diagnosed, but, fortunately, my insurance does not require a referral, so I was able to go to a good endo! So I have some experience with this, and really regret listening to him tell me I was "normal" for all those years when I had progressively severe hypo symptoms.

                          TSH does not tell the whole story, as you know. When my TSH was 2.6, I could barely get out of bed in the morning because I was so very fatigued. Most good endos will treat if the TSH is above 2.0 and the patient has symptoms. With thyroid, symptoms are more important than blood values (according to both the endos I've seen), and many hypos present with 'normal' blood values (sub-clinical hypothyroidism), but their symptoms are relieved with meds. Of course, you want someone who will test T4 and T3 as well, which are the important numbers.

                          I don't know how to tell you to proceed, since you seem to need a referral, but you might get some info from the internet to present to your primary, and if she still won't test or refer you, you can threaten with a malpractice suit perhaps? I don't know because I've (fortunately) never been in your situation. Good luck with this!
                          Yes, I've had these symptoms for atleast 7 years getting worse every year until my pregnancy 2.5 years ago and then everything was 10x worse after that. My doctor is stupid, there's no doubt about that. I told her I have every single symptom of hypo and she just said my TSH is fine and my fatigue could be the anemia and the bone pain could be low vitmain D which is true but that doesn't explain all my other symptoms. I'll be calling her monday for a referral to an endo (again) and if she won't then I'll find a new doctor to get the referral or do the tests.

                          Originally posted by RSL View Post
                          Here is a website that tells what thyroid tests are needed:

                          http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com
                          Thank you, I really do need to read up on these tests. I've read the thyroid series over at the healthy skeptic and I've read some stuff on The heart scan blog. Unfortunately I don't retain much of what I read because my memory is shot (another syptom) or I sit down to read something and my brain just fogs over... I get really tired, lol. So I knew my doctor was crazy to only test TSH, I just couldn't recall why

                          Originally posted by Bisous View Post
                          Did you have your calcium levels checked? Bone pain, fatigue, hair issues can be a sign of hyoerparathyroidism. D supplementation will make that worse by unmasking it.
                          no, she refused to check any other nutrient levels other than D and a CBC. But I've had these issues long before I started taking any supplements and I don't take calcium. I will look into that though.

                          Originally posted by avocado View Post
                          Iron deficiency is usually about blood loss, not malabsorption.
                          That could be part of the problem. I think I've read that too in The Protein Power book and it would make sense since I sometimes get VERY heavy periods. I think that could be a hypothyroid symptom as well.

                          Thanks for all the replies. I feel a bit better now that I know what I need to get my doctor to do. Now just getting her to do it....
                          It does make me mad though. I haven't had insurance for a long time because of money problems but also because doctors are so worthless and have never helped me. I figured I'd rather spend the money on good food and supplements. Unfortunately that didn't get me very far since my problems apparantely cannot be corrected with diet alone. It's a good start and has helped a little but I got so sick of trying to self diagnose and getting nowhere I just want a doctor to figure it all out for me like they SHOULD be able to do. And here I am after seeing a stupid doctor and I'm back to self diagnosing and stressing myself out when I really don't have the freaking energy for this
                          I'm grateful for all the replies, it seems that people here have way more of a clue than most docs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Katie82 View Post
                            But why?

                            I've been supplementing for 7 months about 7,000-25,000 IU vitamin D a week and obviously I eat enough meat and greens that I shouldn't be anemic.
                            This just isn't enough vitamin D.

                            The doctor said it was iron deficiency anemia although I haven't seen the test myself but she said I had "very low iron" and my D level is 21.
                            Definitely find out your numbers for
                            hematocrit (hct)
                            hemaglobin (hgb)
                            serum iron
                            ferritin

                            Does anyone know what would cause malabsorbtion? I know I was zinc deficient too because I had white spots on my nails all of my life until I started supplementing. Who know what else I'm deficient in.

                            My doctor wouldn't test any other vitmain levels but maybe my GI doc will.
                            As I've mentioned before, there just aren't accurate tests for vitamins/minerals for the most part. For example, testing calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium gives some *very* basic information about kidney and adrenal function but doesn't at all indicate that you have good, normal or optimal levels in tissues and cells where those nutrients actually do their work.

                            I strongly suggest you start taking enough D to seriously make a difference: 1000 IU per 25 lbs body, every day, taking missed doses as you remember then retest in three months.

                            Are you taking a multi?

                            Zinc in doses over 50 mg can interfere with copper absorption. Zinc does not interfere with iron absorption afaik, but rather in some cases, the reverse.

                            Of the widely available forms of iron, Albion's Ferrochel (iron bisglycinate) is the best that's available. It's the safest (couldn't kill the rats in the toxicity studies....unheard of amongst iron supplements), has the best absorption, doesn't cause digestive distress or constipation and it absorbs very well even in the presence of zinc and calcium.

                            My favorites are Solgar Hematinic and Nature's Plus Hemaplex. I'd go with the Hemaplex:
                            http://www.iherb.com/Nature-s-Plus-H...&utm_medium=f2
                            http://www.iherb.com/Nature-s-Plus-H...&utm_medium=f2

                            The capsules dose is two per day; the tablet dose is one per day. Note the cofactors present in the formulation (zinc, copper, b complex vitamins) and adjust other supplements accordingly.

                            My TSH was 2.4. She refused to test T3 and T4 and insists that 2.4 is "normal" even though I have every damn symptom of hypothyroidism.
                            And that TSH indicates an issue.

                            What could be causing malabsorbtion?
                            low stomach acid
                            poor gall bladder function
                            previous gut damage that is still healing

                            Nothing you've said so far indicates gut damage - iron deficiency is not uncommon unless eating red meat daily and your D levels aren't at all suprising given the dosing. However, it couldn't hurt to take digestive enzymes with meals....

                            Is a TSH of 2.4 really okay
                            No, it's really not.

                            or should I push for more tests? I don't know how to convince her that the TSH number doesn't really tell the whole story. My doctor is pretty clueless. She also told me 5.7 A1C was normal and 122 fasting blood sugar was good (don't worry, these things are not a result of primal. I normally have them more under control than this)[/QUOTE]

                            Most would consider 5.7 A1C quite good as it's under 7. I'd be interested to hear what really is optimal for A1c - under 5? 4? Less?
                            Last edited by cillakat; 10-09-2010, 10:44 AM.



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                            • #15
                              Ooh! look at this, William Davis indicates in the 'comments' of this post that iron deficiency anemia might confound A1c results:
                              http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/20...igh-hba1c.html



                              iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order

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