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Thread: Post-primal blood test results are in... observations and questions page

  1. #1
    nixxy's Avatar
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    Post-primal blood test results are in... observations and questions

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    Hiya. I always find it interesting reading other peoples results and seeing how others go so I thought I'd post mine and also ask a few questions.

    Now, my last bloodwork was done about 6 months ago. I went primal 3 months ago. When my last bloodwork was done I was eating typical SAD and gaining weight at about a rate of 10-15lb a year. I did attempt to restrict calories but found my hunger impossible to control, which I now know was probably due to wildly fluctuating blood glucose/insulin etc because I was eating very high carb and I'm quite sedentary. I was eating low fat, and gave no attention whatsoever to protein but I imagine I was deficient. If I had to guess my calorie ratios, it would've been something like 25:65:10 fat : carbs : protein. I'm now more like 65:10:25.

    Insulin/Diabetes:
    I was told I was prediabetic. I don't have my actual results here for that but it was something like 116 mg/dl for my FPG (supposed to be under 100, over 126 is classified as diabetes). After being told this my eating actually got WORSE so I wouldn't be surprised if I did venture into full blown type 2 diabetes territory sometime after that.

    My result today was 5.6% on the a1c, with under 6% being classified as "safe". The a1c obviously can't be directly compared to the fpg but given that the a1c is more a long term indicator I'm really pleased to be in the safe zone now. Based on some googling I'd compare my result 6 months ago as being roughly equivalent to 6.2% on an a1c (with 6 - 6.5% being prediabetic), so I'm really happy with that improvement.

    Cholesterol:
    Before (3 months before starting primal, 6 months ago from now)
    Total: 215
    Trigs: 135
    HDL: 35
    LDL: 155

    Total/HDL: 6.1 (Supposed to be 4.4 or lower for women)
    Trig/HDL: 3.9 (Supposed to be below 2)
    LDL/HDL: 4.4 (Supposed to be below 4.3)


    Current (After 3 months of eating primal and losing ~38 lb)
    Total: 200
    Trigs: 80
    HDL: 50
    LDL: 140

    Total/HDL: 4.0 (Supposed to be 4.4 or lower for women)
    Trig/HDL: 1.6 (Supposed to be below 2)
    LDL/HDL: 2.8 (Supposed to be below 4.3)


    So, I improved in every single area! Trigs went down, HDL came up, and all my ratios are now acceptable.


    Other
    My iron is still low, my thyroid is sort of at the lower end of the acceptable range, and my white blood cells and platelets are elevated (I'm guessing this is to do with chronic inflammation).
    My doctor said I was looking really great and pointed out that my skin is looking really clear and healthy. He asked if I was finding being healthy difficult (all I told him was that I'm not eating processed foods and he knows I don't eat gluten already) and I said no. When I've done even better and see him again (probably in another 6 months) I'll definitely tell him what I'm REALLY doing if he seems interested. He knows I have struggled with my weight for a long time.

    Questions:
    1) I eat red meat about 4-5 times a week and eat spinach every day. I take vitamin C every day. Why can't I hold onto my iron? My level is 17 micrograms/L, the acceptable range is 15-170. 6 months ago I was 18 micrograms/L and since then I have significantly tried to focus on getting my iron up, and it obviously hasn't worked.
    2) My high white blood cells and platelets worry me. They have gotten better, but are still elevated. I think this is chronic inflammation, I have constant infections and heal really slowly. The main type elevated was eosinophils. What else should I do to improve this further?




    Anyway, I thought it was worth posting because I know a lot of the posts on here show cholesterol going up rather than down, and it's really great and encouraging for me that I have lost the "pre-diabetic" label and have my cholesterol at a more acceptable level (I don't necessarily think high cholesterol is bad, but my ratios were definitely not good so that's what I was more concerned with).
    If anyone has any comments or answers to my question about iron and white blood cells/platelets please let me know

    P.S. Thanks Griff for your post on cholesterol (that's where I got all the ratios from )
    Last edited by nixxy; 06-27-2012 at 08:51 PM.
    Current weight lost: 82.9lb (37.6kg)

    Current PRs:
    Bench: 45kg/99lb
    Squat: 100kg/220lb
    Deadlift: 120kg/265lb

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  2. #2
    palebluedots's Avatar
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    wow, that's really awesome, congrats! I don't have answers to any of your questions, but just wanted to give you a thumbs up. :-)

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    magicmerl's Avatar
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    Good stuff nixxy.

    Regarding your low iron levels, do you drink tea? That is an inhibitor.

    And not sure what to do about the elevated white blood cell other than 'stop eating/doing whatever is causing the inflammation'. Sorry if that's not much help.
    Last edited by magicmerl; 06-27-2012 at 09:20 PM.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

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    Do you eat liver? That is really the best way to bump up your iron.

    I recall reading on the stopthethyroidmadness website that low iron often goes hand in hand with a poorly functioning thyroid. Do you have your thyroid numbers?

    How is your vitamin D3? and your CRP or ESR? Is your doctor concerned about your elevated white blood cell count?
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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    cori93437's Avatar
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    How do you feel about clams?

    HUGE hit of iron in them... a nice big bowl of red clam chowder once a week might give you a good boost.

    Cocoa powder is non-heme, but also BIG on iron.

    Pork and chicken liver is a great way to get some too... both are higher than beef liver, with chicken livers being the mildest.

    Red meat isn't the iron power house we'd sometimes like to think it is... I need to boost with liver and clams regularly to meet my numbers. And of course I hit the cocoa powder a bit on occasion too (aka very dark chocolate) in addition to greens and other more incidental dietary sources.
    Top 10 Foods Highest in Iron
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
    ~Friedrich Nietzsche
    And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


  6. #6
    yodiewan's Avatar
    yodiewan is offline Senior Member
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    Looks like you're getting healthier! Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by cori93437 View Post
    Cocoa powder is non-heme, but also BIG on iron.
    Chocolate can inhibit non-heme iron beacuse (like tea) it is high in tannins. Also, calcium can inhibit heme and non-heme iron absoprtion.

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    nixxy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Tea - Yes I do drink green tea, 1-2 cups a day. It's all I drink besides water
    Dark choc (72 - 85%) - Yes I do eat this. Probably about 100g (3oz ish) a week.
    Liver - No I don't eat it and I am sort of scared to (taste!) but I'll think about it :P

    Thyroid: TSH is 1.24 mU/L, range is 0.3 - 5.0, so I am in range but towards the lower end. They didn't test for reverse T3 or any of that stuff.
    Vit D3: Public healthcare here in NZ means they don't test for D levels unless you have an ongoing health condition where it needs to be monitored (apparently the test is expensive), instead they just give you a prescription (if you query your vit D levels or they suspect you may be low) every 6 months for 300,000 IU that costs $3. So I'm taking that over the next 6 days.

    I just think it's weird that I'm not holding my iron, is what I'm saying. I am definitely consuming similar amounts to most people, probably more, so I don't understand why it's not getting better?
    Current weight lost: 82.9lb (37.6kg)

    Current PRs:
    Bench: 45kg/99lb
    Squat: 100kg/220lb
    Deadlift: 120kg/265lb

    My blog
    My journal

  8. #8
    jammies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nixxy View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Tea - Yes I do drink green tea, 1-2 cups a day. It's all I drink besides water
    Dark choc (72 - 85%) - Yes I do eat this. Probably about 100g (3oz ish) a week.
    Liver - No I don't eat it and I am sort of scared to (taste!) but I'll think about it :P

    Thyroid: TSH is 1.24 mU/L, range is 0.3 - 5.0, so I am in range but towards the lower end. They didn't test for reverse T3 or any of that stuff.
    Vit D3: Public healthcare here in NZ means they don't test for D levels unless you have an ongoing health condition where it needs to be monitored (apparently the test is expensive), instead they just give you a prescription (if you query your vit D levels or they suspect you may be low) every 6 months for 300,000 IU that costs $3. So I'm taking that over the next 6 days.

    I just think it's weird that I'm not holding my iron, is what I'm saying. I am definitely consuming similar amounts to most people, probably more, so I don't understand why it's not getting better?

    One thing to keep in mind, that when it comes to TSH lower end generally means your thryoid is functioning better than higher end. It's still possible that there are issues - but that TSH looks pretty good.

    Yikes! I would not take my vitamin D that way! Is it at least D3 rather than D2? Can you just buy a vitamin D3 supplement and take a reasonable dose every day?
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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    cori93437's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Quote Originally Posted by yodiewan View Post
    Looks like you're getting healthier! Good job!



    Chocolate can inhibit non-heme iron beacuse (like tea) it is high in tannins. Also, calcium can inhibit heme and non-heme iron absoprtion.
    Dutched cocoa... not so high in tannins. It has in fact been alkalized to remove the tannins and has more available iron than regular cocoa powder.
    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened, processed with alkali [Dutch cocoa]
    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened
    If Chocolate is DARK... very LITTLE calcium... and sometimes I just mix some good dark dutched powder with coconut oil and a touch of sweet and chill it... chocolate bark. Yum.

    Also... still eating that stuff cause its tasty.
    And managed to maintain iron levels without issue... after years of testing low.
    I credit the regular additions of clams and livers in my diet... before that it was hit and miss trying to maintain my levels on diet alone. I'd think I was doing fine and the level would suddenly go low again.

    Though I seriously don't recommend depending on cocoa for iron because it's non-heme... and non-heme just generally sucks for absorption.
    For instance only about 2% of the iron in spinach is available for absorption.
    Point being... have your beef with a side of sauteed ripe colored bell peppers (vitamin C) and onions or other veg... the spinach isn't helping.

    I listed some great sources of Heme iron...
    the Cocoa, particularly dutched, is a side bonus... one isn't going to eat LOADS of that anyway, right?
    I mean I love the stuff, and I still don't manage to eat a lot of it.
    Last edited by cori93437; 06-28-2012 at 11:30 PM.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
    ~Friedrich Nietzsche
    And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


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