Project 22 – Chapter 19
Chapter 19 – My August Blood Test Results
I went back for my next round of blood tests in August 2022. Almost everything was on the improve, with my iron moving up again to 19 – I was super excited about that. However, Ferritin had gone down to 15, but given the iron in my blood was up, there could have been a flow on effect to my iron stores, so it wasn’t something to be worried about, just something to be aware of.
My CRP (short term inflammation) was also down to 5, this was HUGE for me given I’d been up at 36 in January. 5 is still on the ‘high’ side but it’s at the top of GP range, so I was really happy with that.
Vitamin B12 had jumped to 1194. Now this was a big jump, rising from 874 in April, and given it had been on the rise since I’d started this work I followed up with both Brooke and Christine. Generally speaking, there are no, current, known side effects to having high Vitamin B12 levels. The GP recommends it being higher than 150 and I was definitely achieving that.
Also, given I didn’t have any other symptoms that could be linked to high Vitamin B12, we agreed to just monitor things and see if anything happened – but nothing has.
The biggest concern I had was my ESR (long term inflammation). It had risen from 30 in March to 40. I’d been focusing on doing things to minimise inflammation including continuing to be gluten free, not eat processed sugars, exercise, drink more water etc. plus I was taking supplements to help reduce inflammation.
My GP wasn’t worried, he’d seen people with ESR up in the 80’s and beyond. Whilst I wanted the inflammation to go down, this helped me slow things down and have deeper conversations. Brooke suggested I take a natural supplement to help reduce inflammation, so I did. The previous supplement was a synthetic one, which can still be bioavailable to the body, but perhaps it wasn’t bioavailable to my body. I continued to slow down life, embracing sleep ins and down time, continuing to exercise and eat clean, all things that support reducing inflammation.
My copper dropped to 21.2. That was the lowest it had been and was now within the range my GP was happy with.
My calcium levels had dropped back to 2.39, this wasn’t an issue, the aim is 2.4, but given I wasn’t taking a calcium supplement any more it was interesting to see.
My Vitamin D had dropped significantly over the year, going from 107 (excellent) in January, to 95 (still good) in March and now it was 67. We put it down to me not going outside a lot, so I committed to spending a few intentional minutes outside in the sun each day (thank you Christine, my Nutritionist), it was literally that simple, and yes my Vitamin D rose to 82 by the time I had my next blood test in November.
All my other results were normal, including my blood count, thyroid and routine chemistry e.g. calcium, potassium, phosphate etc.
Once I had my results I booked in to see Brooke, my naturopath. We were on the right track and with my energy levels now higher than they were, my period pain basically non-existent, my stress levels were lower and life was good, we just tweaked the edges.
I continued to take an iron supplement and probiotic, we were nourishing my gut with a supportive supplement, we added in the natural anti-inflammatory supplements, I continued to take the magnesium, NAC and Herbal liquid.
She recommended that I:
- Increase sea vegetables to increase my iodine (this isn’t easy for me because I hate sea-tasting things, I don’t eat seafood)
- Increase selenium through eating Brazil nuts, this was easy.
- Increase salt & potassium. I increased my salt through adding salt to my meals, something I never did.
- Increase my Vitamin D by getting out into the sun and putting mushrooms in the sun before I ate them. Putting mushrooms in the sun helps synthesis the Vitamin D in our body (a tip from Brooke)
- Increase rosemary, oregano, garlic and polyphenols like blueberries
- Add in soda water and lemon (I’ll explain why in the next chapter), and
- Increase calcium through eating Tahini, I have the bottle and I did make a tahini bread but I didn’t like it, so I haven’t done anything with it but I could make falafels with on a tahini sauce…
I also saw Christine and whilst I was doing well with rotating different breakfasts, exercise and self-care practices, we identified a few tweaks, again aligned with my goals of reducing inflammation, increasing Vitamin D levels and increasing foods that contain zinc, like sun-dried tomatoes, to optimise my copper levels.
The simple shifts we made were including walnuts in my morning oats, adding pumpkin seeds, wholegrains, like quinoa, and sun-dried tomatoes to my salad at lunch. Alternating my herbal teas to include a turmeric blend to help reduce inflammation and replacing my chocolate brownie (which I wasn’t eating at the time) with a sweet potato brownie or chocolate bliss balls.
This last recommendation was interesting, and not something I was focused on. Like life we go through seasons, and whilst I wasn’t interested in sweet foods at the time I’m sure Christine knew that wasn’t forever, so she wanted me to have back ups when I was ready.
My next step
There were two events that happen during August and September that impacted my health and directly impacted how my Project 22 ended. It was interesting to watch and explore so I’ll share those events with you in the next chapter.
Share with me
Are you going on your own journey in 2022? Then tag me and use #project22 so we can connect xo
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