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sassy~veg 11-11-2007 02:28 PM

I had some bloodwork done last week. I've been full on Vegan for 6 months now after being Vegetarian for over 2 years. My results were good but they did say I had some borderline levels. I'm not a junk food Vegan, I eat very healthy balanced meals and I take a multivitamin everyday which contains B12. I just want to make sure I'm getting everything I need and that I'm doing right for my body and not damaging it.



The ones that were questionable are:



AST --- \t33 \t

10-30 U/L (normal range)

My results were higher than the range. From what I gather this is an enzyme found in the liver and heart.





WHITE BLOOD CELL COUNT
--- \t3.7 \t

3.8-10.8 Thousand/uL (normal range)

My results were flagged as low. I'm worried about this one.



Does anyone know much about these two levels and how I can get them up to par?

Thanks!!



(if this topic needs to exist elsewhere, I apologize. Feel free to move it if need be )

catswym 11-12-2007 10:42 AM

neither of those would seem to have to do with any sort of veg lifestyle. did your doctor talk to you about what these levels may indicate?

HUDDY 11-12-2007 01:45 PM

Like catswym said, maybe you should discuss it with your doctor. To decipher what the AST result is related to, they would need to look at the overall picture to make the assessment. And in regards to the low white cell count, it could indicate a number of things, but then again, considering that it is only slightly under it could be a lab error (that does occur). If you are concerned, it might be an idea to go back to your doctor and get them to do a repeat test on a fasting specimen, and then assess the results again from there. And make sure they are aware of all the medications/supplements that you are taking (incase it can affect the result). Let us know how you are going

Vegmedic 11-12-2007 03:08 PM

I would get the tests done again in a week or two. Most likely the AST will be back to normal, but if the WBC remain low then it is worth investigating what the cause is. Definately discuss it with your doctor as he/she is way smarter than I am, but here are a couple of my thoughts:



Quote:
AST --- \t33 \t

10-30 U/L (normal range)

My results were higher than the range. From what I gather this is an enzyme found in the liver and heart.



I have always considered the normal high to be 35 not 30. I wouldn't be too worried about this one. Normally AST increases after some kind of acute injury - normally a heart attack, acute hepatitis or something similar. If that was the case your AST would be sky high (like 100 - 300). Any chance that you recently slammed your thigh against a table causing a major bruise? Had a seizure in the last couple days? Have been working out really hard? Those, or something similar may cause a small increase. Of course, it might be a testing error. I don't see any way how it could be caused by your diet and whenever AST is elevated it generally returns to normal in a couple days.



Quote:


WHITE BLOOD CELL COUNT
--- \t3.7 \t

3.8-10.8 Thousand/uL (normal range)

My results were flagged as low. I'm worried about this one.



It is not uncommon to have low WBCs due to a deficiency in B12 or iron. However, have another test drawn and if it is still low make sure you get a breakdown of the WBCs. A low WBC count is possibly due to diet, but there are others causes like some drugs, autoimmune diseases, bone marrow problems etc.



Of course, when you have two that are out of normal range (assuming that both are) then normally there is only a single cause (watch House MD). Seeing as they are both just slightly out of range significant physical stress to the body from working out could be the cause. I sure there are other potential causes of both, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.

sassy~veg 11-12-2007 07:51 PM

I appreciate the feedback. Thank you all.

I definitely will follow up with my doctor to see what they stem from.

The WBC was the one I was the most concerned about and I will surely follow up on that one especially since it might be related to B12 and Iron.



Thanks again everyone!

Vegan Joe 11-12-2007 08:06 PM

Leukopenia



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leukopenia



How about your folates, or common medications?

RunsWithFoxes 11-12-2007 09:16 PM

We vegans are in a difficult situation: it's not necessarily good to be normal if normal means emulating the disease-promoting standard American diet (SAD). It would be great to have a blood profile standard that applies for vegans following a whole foods diet (i.e., not junk-food vegans). Unfortunately, we don't have the data to support such a standard, so we don't know how or even if a healthy whole-food vegan's blood profile can be expected to differ from a carnie's. So, what to do? My own approach is the middle way between ignoring the carnie blood profile standard completely and running around screaming because I measure low-normal in one or more blood components. Vigilance is definitely worthwhile.



Good luck!

grapico 11-13-2007 09:20 AM

As far as I know vegans will have less white blood cell counts by default as they have less bad stuff to deal with going into their body. On the other end too much white blood cells probably means your body is fighting something you know? You are still producing them...



As for b12... I also take a multi, but would recommend taking a form of methyl b12 every 3-4 days. The cyanacobalamin isn't absorbed near as well.



Your AST is normal... normal range by my blood test looking back on them was 0-40...

mine was 23.



do you drink often? on any prescriptions?



this was my white blood cell though...



WBC 5.3 x10E3/uL 4.0-10.5 CB

Thalia 11-13-2007 09:55 AM

first, I recommend www.labtestsonline.org it is certified by honcode as reliable health info and I use it at work.



I read lab results, and usually out of range are considered not clinically significant or normal if they are only a little bit out of range. Labs vary tremendously even in what ranges they use. If the doctor is concerned, get a repeat. That's standard.



As for b12, I wouldn't rely on what is in a multi alone. Often other vitamins can affect absorbtion.



http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/vitaminb12 is an excellent source of scientifically based and sound info.



I had slightly low white blood cells too, and the doctor was unconcerned. Don't read too much into the labs since the numbers aren't super precise. Think of them as a general estimate. These number can vary from day to day, lab to lab, for various reasons.

evelinadatta 11-13-2007 10:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sassy~veg View Post

The WBC was the one I was the most concerned about and I will surely follow up on that one especially since it might be related to B12 and Iron.





Why don't you ask your doctor to test you for everything? I had mine test me for B12, iron, protein, calcium, vit D, folate, etc. etc. - the whole gamut. And by the way, I just got my results a week ago and I was within range on all! No vitamin deficiencies and my blood cell count was perfect. I've been vegan for a year and vegetarian before that for six years. I eat pretty healthy but am not a health nut.

sassy~veg 11-15-2007 07:03 PM

Thanks for that Lab Test link. It's very helpful!



I did have a total comprehensive metabolic panel and I am in range for everything else which make me very happy! Especially the protein. It was fun seeing that one and having those numbers to defend myself when people say I'm not getting enough protein.

I didn't see my Folates listed anywhere though or B12 per se. Is that in a separate test? My research shows that it should have been in the CMP but unless it is under a different name I don't see it listed



I don't drink often. Perhaps a glass of wine every now and then and I don't get sick! (knocking on wood) I do take 'the pill' and I do have pollen allergies but I'm not taking anything for it. I FEEL and look healthy. I mean, everyone around me gets sick or feels lethargic all the time and I stay pretty energized and immune to what 'goes around'. (Yoga 3 times a week also helps)

So I guess being right below the range on just those two out of a complete blood analysis is pretty good.



Now I want to know the Folate/B12 stuff!

evelinadatta 11-16-2007 10:59 AM

My doctor did have B12 and folate included on my test, but he could have requested those additional because he knows I'm vegan. I am not sure if they are part of the standard test. Anyway, folate is found in tons plant-based foods such as leaf vegetables, dried beans, seeds and other vegetables and fruits. So if you eat a well-balanced diet, I doubt you have a problem with that. One thing to watch out for though is that I think being on the pill can negatively impact your folate level. You can ask your doctor about adding the folate and B12 to your next blood test and in the meantime just take a supplement to cover your bases? I don't think you can "overdose" on folate.

cryptoveggie 11-16-2007 11:57 AM

I just got my test results from my physical. My cholesterol is good, the HDL is 57 and the LDL is 91. My blood count, kidney enzymes, electrolytes, urinalysis, thyroid studies, liver enzymes, iron, and B12 are all normal. I'm doing way better than my carnist father so I'm putting my results up on the fridge.



Everything was good except my triglycerides. Drats. Well, I guess I'm going for a bike ride today and in the foreseeable future.

LucidAnne 11-16-2007 08:57 PM

i agree that your bloodwork is marginally out of range,nothing i would personally be oveerly worried about. i would be concerned however, if in the future, those numbers continued to be out of range.





what do you all say to your doc to convince them to give you a complete vitamin/mineral blood workup? i simply asked last year for a vit. a and d test...my doc refused, saying it was unnecessary. since i knew all i had done to my body (diabulemia, anorexia, bad diet, etc) through all the years, i felt it was a good idea. not 3 months later, i spontaneously broke my heel ...and THEN she thought it was a good idea.



i am going for a bone density test, but i would like to get a real comprehensive mineral/vit. workup...what do you say to your doc to convince them you arent crazy for wanting it done? i know insurance demands a reason.... has anyone ever had to pay out of pocket for this?

mag8198 04-21-2012 09:50 AM

I have been a vegan for over a year now and before then had cut back on meat for many years. I recently had blood work done and my doctor says I have leukopenia which is a low white blood cell count 2.46 to be exact. I am very worried because I have not been taking B12 the only suppliments I have been taking have been Spirulina, Chlorella, probiotics, and magnesium. I go back to redo the lab work but I read a statement below about the norm that the doctor has may not be the norm for vegan's. That was the first thing I thought of, however I will ask my doctor about this upon my next blood work visit next week to see if this could be the case. I have immediately started with B12 suppliments and folate. Although I am one of the extremist when it comes to healthly eating my meals consist of moslty leafy green veges whole grains all organic. So we will have to see if the B12 supp, changes my blood work results.

Bohom 04-21-2012 10:01 AM

Hope you're next blood-work is normal, mag8198.

I had bloodwork done just before I became veggie again (2 years ago) and I had too much protein, high blood sugar, high cholesterol.

Had another set done last week, after being veggie for 2 years. All normal My doctor, who is avidly against vegetarians, was shocked and didn't really know what to say.

Wednesday_12 04-22-2012 12:36 AM

Sassy-Veg- those blood results are fine I wouldn't be worried at all about them being slightly out of range.

For the record- your WBC count can fluctuate very rapidly, within a matter of minutes... so unless your blood work shows a trend of the WBC count decreasing, its really nothing to worry about. As for the B12/folate levels- I would expect that you are more likely to see deficiency in the red blood cells rather than in the white blood cells. So if your RBC indices are normal, again, nothing to worry about.

Mag- your WBC count is on the low side, and would be worth monitoring. Again it could just be a temporary fluctuation and so it would be worth having it retested in the near future to check. Some viral illnesses can cause a drop in WBCs, and some people just have a naturally low WBC count. Speak your doctor

greenie25 08-24-2012 01:37 AM

I'm gonna jump on this thread and try to put my mind at ease over the fact that I just googled ( don't do it! ever! ) my own wbc that I was just told was low at 2.2 . It's always been 2.2. For about 15 years. Just. Low. My grandmother and sister told me a while ago that theirs were low as well ( although how low I don't know ) so maybe it's just a hereditary thing and totally fine? 
 I don't wanna be first wiped out if there's a plague or something! Nor have cancer etc. :I But surely the doctor would've flagged it more drastically if that were a risk?


greenie25 08-24-2012 01:38 AM

my iron and b12 are rad :) 


runnerveggie 08-25-2012 10:46 AM

Nevermind. Just realized the original post is a bit old.


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