If you haven't read PART 1, click HERE to read & then come back to this post...
I got the test results back electronically a few days later with some notes from my doctor.
Before I dig into those results I HIGHLY recommend listening to The Medicin Podcast, Episode 21. Mimi (the host) & Integrative Health Practitioner, Emily Morrow, go through Mimi's bloodwork results LINE by LINE to help her discover potential deficiencies and ways to improve her health.
This is INCREDIBLE because once you get your own bloodwork done, you can go back and listen to the podcast and compare YOUR own bloodwork results. Emily provides VALUABLE information for FREE in the hopes that it helps others.
This doesn't take the place of working 1:1 with a practitioner but it can absolutely help to provide some clarity of some of your symptoms that may have been disregarded by your regular PCP (primary care physician).
I did this with my own bloodwork results prior to my consultation with my FNTP. Some of the chronic symptoms I had been feeling were:
-VERY low energy
-Blood sugar dysregulation
-Body aches & pains
-Bruising like a peach
I knew from previous bloodwork that I was most likely iron deficient and reviewing my bloodwork on my own confirmed it.
However, in the notes from my doctor, he said, "Your iron study labs ( iron, reticulocyte count, ferritin ) levels are all normal." Followed up by, "You are, therefore, not anemic." WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?
I had expressed during my visit to get bloodwork done that I was concerned about my iron levels. After reviewing my bloodwork with my FNTP and confirming that I WAS anemic (other factors played into this as well), his comments blew my mind.
The tone of the comments were patronizing and offensive. I don't understand how our healthcare system got to this point. If I hadn't decided to dig deeper into my own health I would have kept on going thinking I was fine and the symptoms I was experiencing were normal. Which couldn't be further from the truth.
Going through my bloodwork line by line during my FNTP consult brought so much validation for me. She LISTENED when I spoke about my health journey and how I was feeling and completely understood where I was coming from. I can't tell you how RARE this is you guys.
My bloodwork also revealed that I was severely deficient in Vitamin D (SOOO many women, especially, are deficient in Vitamin D and never know it). My doctor recommended that I take 1,000 IU's a day to help.
I had to PUSH my doctor to even test my Vitamin D levels in the first place. Taking 1,000 IU's a day was also not going to move the needle AT ALL. It can barely be described as a band-aid. My FNTP muscle tested me for 9,000 IU's a day. Muscle testing will have to be a totally separate blog post because it's FASCINATING.
Here's the thing...the ranges for 'normal' on bloodwork are HORRENDOUS and non-specific to each person. Hence why my doctor said everything was all fine and dandy. My FNTP looked at my bloodwork from an 'optimal' range viewpoint which means she had much smaller ranges for each test.
For example, the standard healthcare range for Ferritin (iron marker) is 16-154 ng/mL. This is a HUGE range. How the heck would anyone know they have an iron issue until they're in the hospital with severe symptoms??
My FNTP's "optimal" range for Ferritin is 100 ng/mL. Optimal ranges can vary slightly between different practitioners. You can see there's a massive difference between 'standard' and 'optimal' ranges here.
This is why my PCP said I was fine because my Ferritin levels came back at 34 ng/mL, well within 'standard' range. When compared to 'optimal' standards, this is ALARMINGLY low. There's a major disconnect in our healthcare system.
During my consult with my FNTP, using my bloodwork results, symptoms, and muscle testing, we determined what my body was currently asking for and the appropriate dosing. THIS IS WHAT THE STANDARD OF HEALTHCARE SHOULD LOOK LIKE.
Unfortunately, finding root causes is not how our healthcare system works here in America. It's a 'treat the symptoms' approach using medications most often. This is backwards to me.
Using medications can often lead to more symptoms, requiring more medications. You can see how the cycle works. This is not to say that medications are inherently bad. I believe they can absolutely help, I'm simply providing an alternative approach and viewpoint.
I hope this post sparks curiosity in you and challenges you to learn more about your health journey. There are answers, sometimes you just need a little help knowing where to look.
I want to bring light and hope to anyone who reads this. Don't disregard your symptoms because someone else has disregarded them. Fearlessly pursue answers until you're confident you've found the RIGHT answers.
Happy Health + Healing!
Questions/Comments? Reach out to me on IG: Nisizemore