my hemoglobin went from 11.9 (reference interval 11.5-15.0) in 5/09 to 9.9 today- 8 months into paleo. what's up with that? my periods have been less heavy and i am eating more red meat that i ever have. so guess what ?- i'm making the call to a hematologist tomorrow (i posted about bruising a couple of weeks ago)!!! also my calcium, serum in 5/09 was 9.1 (reference interval 8.5-10.6) to now 8.5. i'm supposed to be absorbing calcium better now that my vitamin d went up (from 24 to 32). so why is my calcium so low? needless to say now i'm taking a calcium supplement. i'm 45. this paleo deal isn't so straightforward for me.
the good news- my c-reactive protein went from an already good 1.48 (Average risk for cardiac event 1.00 - 3.00) to 0.18. rock bottom good.
my hemoglobin A1c improved. in 5/09 i was 5.9 (5.7 - 6.4 is an increased risk for diabetes) to 5.6 now ( normal is 4.8 - 5.6), so i just barely got out of the woods with diabetes, even though i lost a lot of weight going from 143 lb to 127 lb.
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on May 03, 2010
at 11:25 AM
actually i just read that feeling cold is not due to anemia, but may have something to do with the thyroid. anemia and thryroid problems often co-occur supposedly. now i have to read more to find out why.
on April 22, 2010
at 03:29 AM
I read in both Nina Planck's Real Food For Mother and Baby and Wenda Trevathan's Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives that women's bodies often withhold iron to help prevent infection. This page seems to have good information.
I was put on iron supplements a few years ago and I got really sick- too much iron can feed pathological gut bacteria.
I would also check out this post on iron fortification's role in cancer.
on April 22, 2010
at 03:12 AM
Take look at this list of foods high in iron. Chicken livers are highest on this list. We have them 3 times a month pan fried in coconut oil/butter to medium rare.
From a search at Nephropal for calcium: "Beans, soybeans, and wheat contain phytic acid which inhibits the absorption of calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium" http://nephropal.blogspot.com/search?q=calcium
Regarding your serum Vit D level having gone from 24 to 32ng/mL I presume you are using nanograms per milli liter. The Vitamin D Council and many physician blogs that are into the paleo program talk about a Vit D3 level of at least 60ng/mL. 10,000IU per day of D3 for three months will get you there. Purchase gel caps with the carrier as olive oil is best. Don't buy any gel caps that use any other carrier.
After 3 months you can get a home testing kit mailed to you from: http://www.grassrootshealth.net/
You get your D3 level up and you will absorb the calcium.
Check out the Vit D Council website. http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/
on April 22, 2010
at 03:05 AM
Disclaimer: the following should be considered as general information and not as specific medical advice.
The calcium level is not that bothersome, because (1) it's still normal according to your lab, and (2) the difference between 9.1 and 8.5 may not be statistically significant. If you're supplementing with vitamin D, it may increase calcium incorporation into bones, which may temporarily decrease the blood calcium level. Consider getting your bone density checked, if you haven't already, and also follow-up calcium levels.
Anemia is caused either by losing too much blood or by not making enough blood. If you're eating lots of red meat, you should be making enough blood, unless your bone marrow is suppressed. If your menstrual periods are light, the next most likely place to bleed significantly is the gut. This could be caused by blood clotting problems as you noted, or by polyps, tumors, ulcers, infections or food allergies. A series of 3 stool occult blood tests (Hemoccult cards) is a standard screening test for gastro-intestinal bleeding, but it is not an adequate test for colon cancer. Routine colonoscopy is recommended starting at age 50 (earlier if there are risk factors such as positive family history).
The other common way to get anemic is by red cell destruction, known as hemolytic anemia.
Given your history of bruising and anemia, a hematologist may be able to help you sort things out.
on July 26, 2010
at 09:05 PM
Keep in mind that iron levels in women tend to fluctuate rather dramatically depending on time of the month. Right after a menstrual cycle, iron levels will typically be much lower than several weeks later.
on May 01, 2010
at 01:21 PM
I know nothing about iron and health, but first two questions:
What is normal, and how do 'they' measure it?
How do you feel?
Second: Nesse and Williams talk about iron and evolutionary medicine in their book "Why we get sick".
Some info on the topic here:
hope this helps
on May 01, 2010
at 02:01 AM
I forgot to mention that Professor DeVany just felt that the changes were within the error rate of the lab, and so not really changes at all.
i went to the hematologist today. he said i have simple iron deficiency anemia. he had no response for why my iron was lower now than last year, even though i have less blood loss from periods and i'm eating more iron in eggs, seafood, and meat. he had never heard of the body witholding iron to starve out h.pylori infection. he said my blood tests would always show antibodies to h.pylori since i had been exposed to it, and it didn't matter if the number was high or not. so i asked why 2 years ago the gastroenterologist diagnosed me with h.pylori infection and put me on triple antibiotics. he said he didn't know. he said to start supplementing with iron.
i'm going to see a highly recommended gi guy, get endo/colonoscopy done if they want to see if i'm leaking, and then if i don't get good answers to my h.pylori questions, i'm going to start taking iron supplements. i'm going to test whether they make any difference to the way i feel by having my daughter video me sprinting a certain distance and seeing how out of breath i am. every month i'll do the sprint the same distance, time it, and be videoed to see if i'm less out of breath or not and if i get faster or not.
i've been extremely low on ferritin for some time. i would think the h.pylori problems would be gone by now if the body withholding iron was really evolutionarily effective. at the same time, i seem to have some negative effects from the low iron such as feeling cold more than others in the winter and hair thinning. in general i feel much better since i have been on ef, so i can't say i have than anemic, run-down feeling.