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5 year lab results

Posted Jan 03 2013 12:00pm
Each year after having weight loss surgery, every patient endures the Annual Blood Fest -- also known as labwork. The picture here shows 13 vials of blood, but you can add an extra 3 vials that were taken later in the day.

If you're wondering which labs should be drawn, check with your surgeon's office -- or download the list I have here on my website for easy reference. My list includes more tests than my surgeon's office requests, so I use mine instead so I can track what I feel is important based on the ASMBS recommendations.

This year's labs came back ... mostly good with a few areas of concern. Here's the rundown
  • Vitamin D - 22 - This one is a constant struggle for me and my numbers seem to swing from one extreme to the other. For a little while I was able to maintain a lab result of around 80 (which is ideal) but I had to take two doses of 50,000IU per day in addition to my normal daily 5,000IU - plus spend lots of time in the sun. For whatever stupid reason, I had stopped taking the 50k pills and have just been doing the 5k for the past several months. And now I'm obviously paying for that error in judgement. So I'm back to a double-weekly dose of 50k and maintaining the 5k daily. I'll be retested in 3 months. 
  • Vitamin K - low (waiting for numbers) -- This is a nutrient that the body is able to create itself and assists with blood clotting. When you have Vitamin K deficiency you have problems with bleeding disorders -- and I've noticed that recently when I cut myself it takes a long time for the bleeding to stop. However, when Vitamin K is low you have to be careful with dosing because too much and you could cause blood clot problems. The doctor has recommend one small dose pill per day and a retest in 3 months. 
  • PreAlbumin - 15 - Oddly, my doc didn't order a full protein panel, so the only thing I'm able to go on (for now) is the PreAlbumin. It's low. It dropped from 24 down to 15 which is below the normal range. WLS'ers want to aim for mid-20's. I'm going to request the rest of the protein panel be drawn, but for now I'm increasing my protein intake.
  • Iron - in the toilet - a lot of different tests go into reading your iron levels. Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, transferrin, ferritin, etc. Remember that iron is easiest to understand when you compare it to money. So that means that my 401k is nearly depleted (Ferritin 8: L); my savings account running low on cash (Trans Sat 13%: L); even though my armored truck is shipping lots of money from the 401k  (TIBC 466: H); there's no money in the savings because my cash is being spent too quickly and it's almost gone (Hemacrit and hemaglobin are both 1 point from being deficient)..... and all that means that my iron is in the toilet! What irks me is my PCP said my iron levels were "fine." I'll be consulting my surgeon's office for advice, but in the meantime I've added some more iron to my routine.
I guess overall the numbers don't look so bad for the 5 year report. I'm a bit worried about my iron levels and it makes me wonder how much more energetic I'll feel once those numbers are corrected.  I'll let you know if anything earth shattering happens in 3 months with the retesting.

~Pam


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