1

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The good & the not-so-good. Lab results + ongoing fatigue

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 12, 2012 at 1:02 AM

I finally got a little blood work done. It was my first time, (being uninsured my whole adult life) so there's no "before" to compare to but there was some pretty good news, i think. Like for example my cholesterol:

TC 151
LDL 68
HDL 78
Trigs 41

Not too shabs. Vit D and B-12 are alright. (52/408 respectively). TSH and T4 seem ok too, and I tested negative for autoimmune stuff. So, yay to all of that.

BUT (you knew there would be a but, right?) my RBC count is pretty low. Not crazy low, but rather lowish. It even has a little "L" next to it. Hemoglobin & hematocrit too. And ferritin.. Ferritin is 20. RBC 3.83, HGB 12.4 HCT 37.4.

I eat plenty of red meat, so I find this curious. (I'm not a heavy bleeder, btw.) What does PH make of this?? Nothing? Something? The Dr was predictably blas??. Also - perhaps unremarkably, i honestly don't know - my WBC numbers are not totally normal. Is it normal not to be normal? Low neutrophils, Highish basos and eosins. Shrug?

The thing is.. I'm tired. Reeeeal tired. Fatigued, even. It's like, A Problem. Thee Problem, even.

Comments? thoughts? Experience with low ferritin/RBC? The Dr says these numbers are wholly unrelated to fatigue and that "it's probably psychological". (!) -_-

edit: I have had joint pain/weirdness for many years that i now know is clearly mediated by diet, specifically gluten elimination, and now is greatly reduced, yet persists. I'm really glad to have tested negative to ANA antibodies and RA, but it leaves me continuing to wonder why my joints are so janky. S.I., knees, hips, right shoulder all bothering me today. WHY?

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on May 12, 2012
at 07:55 PM

What happens when you fast? Are you at a healthy weight?

3b38bcc91dbfc6a114f4bdce544103d3

(409)

on May 12, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Many of his fields are alphalfa this year. He's fencing his fields off to allow the cattle to graze on whatever comes up in the fields & fertilize it that way. This video touched & many things my DH & I have been discussing over the last several years with our change to gluten free & it makes perfect sense to us. Thank you for sharing that! Its a step in the right direction, but he's got a ways to go yet.

3b38bcc91dbfc6a114f4bdce544103d3

(409)

on May 12, 2012
at 01:05 PM

WOW! VB I just watched that link you posted. Very interesting & informative, also explains a lot of what my parents families have & still are going through trying to stay afloat as farmers. I do have an Uncle who is rebeling the system though. He is turning his soil & planting with his horses once again. He is aslo trying very hard to not use man made fertilizers & herbicides. It means his fields are not those picture perfect ones you see on TV or in magazines, but have crabgrass & other weeds growing in the fields along with his corn & other grains.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 12, 2012
at 03:31 AM

OMG, it was you who were a vegetarian for a long time? Have you watched the vegetarian myth? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNON5iNf07o Are you okay now?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 12, 2012
at 03:30 AM

And yes, I stopped being tired after starting herbs. That doctors actually solved all my health problems.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 12, 2012
at 03:28 AM

I am on herbal medicine - I wrote about it in one of my posts (Started about 2.5 weeks ago but had one week interruption due to shipping problems (I live overseas).

1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on May 12, 2012
at 03:26 AM

Oh and to answer your question, it's called "intermittent" because usually the fasts don't last very long. It's a cycle: not eating -> eating -> not eating. Fasting would describe much longer periods of not eating, that don't alternate. I fast for 20+ hours daily, and eat in between currently.

1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on May 12, 2012
at 03:25 AM

Hey, I put off trying IF for a long time. Was pretty skeptical at first. But if you search Google Scholar for fasting studies there's lots of them, so I decided to go forth.. God was this the best decision of my life along with deciding to eat only real food. Perhaps add fermented foods and eat some dirty raw local veggies? Perhaps you have an intestinal problem? Then there's always nutrient deficiencies, but damn that would take some work to decipher.. My game plan is usually to cram as much nutrient dense food in my belly as possible night after night.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 12, 2012
at 02:44 AM

why do people call daily fasting "intermittent"? anyway, thank you for your input. i'm not sure if this level of exhaustion could be mediated by eating fewer times/day, but i'm willing to consider anything.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 12, 2012
at 02:40 AM

I'm gluten intolerant in that gluten makes me swell within a few hours of eating it, increases joint pain and if i keep eating it, it eventually makes me depressed. I have no apparent GI probs from it. I don't eat gluten, but I don't sweat cross contamination. I don't think I have low stomach acid, but I don't know. When you say "I was tired all the time" do you mean you are no longer tired all the time? What changed?

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3 Answers

2
886436139cec4c2fbf30d26a40a0fc06

(219)

on May 12, 2012
at 03:23 PM

I don't believe that your fatigue is psychological. Where do they come up with that stuff?

If you were eating a lot of breads and cereals before, you may have been taking in a lot of fortified iron and folate that is now missing from your diet.

Another possibility -- on Eades' site, I read that most people are deficient in magnesium. Adding some to my diet greatly reduced my own persistent fatigue.

If that doesn't ring true, I would have to wonder if you are on any other medications that may cause fatigue. In my experience prescription drugs such as SSRI's, SNRI's, pain medications, blood pressure drugs, and so forth can cause a lot of fatigue over time.

0
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 12, 2012
at 02:22 AM

This is so interesting.

My blood work was spectacular during my celiac days when I was not even aware of the fact I was celiac. I went Paleo in October (right after my blood work was done). Had another blood work done in March.

I had spinach and red meat all the time, yet my doctor told me that the new blood test indicated my iron went down from 18 to 9 and my protein went down as well. How in the world that was possible? And I was tired all the time as well.

This is a mystery that I would love to solve myself.

Just out of curiosity, are you possibly gluten intolerant and your stomach acid is low? Because this is what (I think) happened to me. My doctor has no explanation why my iron went down with me eating more meat than before.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 12, 2012
at 03:31 AM

OMG, it was you who were a vegetarian for a long time? Have you watched the vegetarian myth? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNON5iNf07o Are you okay now?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 12, 2012
at 03:28 AM

I am on herbal medicine - I wrote about it in one of my posts (Started about 2.5 weeks ago but had one week interruption due to shipping problems (I live overseas).

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 12, 2012
at 02:40 AM

I'm gluten intolerant in that gluten makes me swell within a few hours of eating it, increases joint pain and if i keep eating it, it eventually makes me depressed. I have no apparent GI probs from it. I don't eat gluten, but I don't sweat cross contamination. I don't think I have low stomach acid, but I don't know. When you say "I was tired all the time" do you mean you are no longer tired all the time? What changed?

3b38bcc91dbfc6a114f4bdce544103d3

(409)

on May 12, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Many of his fields are alphalfa this year. He's fencing his fields off to allow the cattle to graze on whatever comes up in the fields & fertilize it that way. This video touched & many things my DH & I have been discussing over the last several years with our change to gluten free & it makes perfect sense to us. Thank you for sharing that! Its a step in the right direction, but he's got a ways to go yet.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 12, 2012
at 03:30 AM

And yes, I stopped being tired after starting herbs. That doctors actually solved all my health problems.

3b38bcc91dbfc6a114f4bdce544103d3

(409)

on May 12, 2012
at 01:05 PM

WOW! VB I just watched that link you posted. Very interesting & informative, also explains a lot of what my parents families have & still are going through trying to stay afloat as farmers. I do have an Uncle who is rebeling the system though. He is turning his soil & planting with his horses once again. He is aslo trying very hard to not use man made fertilizers & herbicides. It means his fields are not those picture perfect ones you see on TV or in magazines, but have crabgrass & other weeds growing in the fields along with his corn & other grains.

0
1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on May 12, 2012
at 02:17 AM

Are you eating many meals or frequently through the day? Any snacks?

Since starting a 20 hour/4 hour intermittent fasting cycle daily I don't feel tired or fatigued ever. Not one bit. Not sure why, but it seems to help me a lot that my digestive system is not running actively throughout my day. I feed at night only and for a few hours. This has also tremendously regulated my bowl movements and well, to be honest I feel even better than I did before eating paleo all day.

Worth a shot maybe, though perhaps not for everyone. I thought self control would be difficult not eating 20 hours of my day but the grass was greener and I find it not just easy, but i'll probably do this for the rest of my life because it feels natural and keeps me super-active.

1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on May 12, 2012
at 03:25 AM

Hey, I put off trying IF for a long time. Was pretty skeptical at first. But if you search Google Scholar for fasting studies there's lots of them, so I decided to go forth.. God was this the best decision of my life along with deciding to eat only real food. Perhaps add fermented foods and eat some dirty raw local veggies? Perhaps you have an intestinal problem? Then there's always nutrient deficiencies, but damn that would take some work to decipher.. My game plan is usually to cram as much nutrient dense food in my belly as possible night after night.

1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on May 12, 2012
at 03:26 AM

Oh and to answer your question, it's called "intermittent" because usually the fasts don't last very long. It's a cycle: not eating -> eating -> not eating. Fasting would describe much longer periods of not eating, that don't alternate. I fast for 20+ hours daily, and eat in between currently.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 12, 2012
at 02:44 AM

why do people call daily fasting "intermittent"? anyway, thank you for your input. i'm not sure if this level of exhaustion could be mediated by eating fewer times/day, but i'm willing to consider anything.

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