I had to go to the Surgery today to pick up my Famotidine prescription, so while I was at reception I asked if my recent blood results had come back. They had, so I requested a print-out and there is some great news and some mildly not-as-great news.
The good news:
- I only have a 1.3% change of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. You can do your own QRISK test online here.
- My inflammatory markers (Serum C reactive protein) are low at <2mg/L (normal is anything under 5mg/L). Bizarre being as though I have chronic gastritis (an inflammatory stomach disease), MCAD (which causes chronic inflammation) and am permanently injured due to my EDS (injuries cause inflammation). My C reactive protein levels have always been low, which is great if not a true predictor of what’s actually going on inflammation-wise!
- Liver normal.
- Urea and electrolytes normal.
- Blood sugar is fine. HbA1c level is 32, which equates to an actual blood sugar level of 5.5% (anything under 48/6.5% is normal).
- Folate levels are good at 4.7ug/L (anything above 2.5ug/L is normal).
- B12 levels are good at 378ng/L (normal levels are between 197-771ng/L). Obviously as a pesco-vegetarian it’s important to monitor B12.
- Full blood count is normal.
The not as good news:
- My Vitamin D levels are normal but at the low end of normal. I live in the northern hemisphere and we’re at the end of winter, so this is to be expected. I do try to keep my Vit D levels up by eating dairy products daily and getting outside for at least 30 minutes every day of my life with Bertie, but we don’t have much sunshine here in the north of England so it’s easy for Vit D levels to be low. It’s not something I worry about in any way and I don’t usually feel any worse in winter than I do in summer.
- I have low iron, which again comes as no surprise and is the reason I went for a blood test in the first place. My serum ferritin is 18ug/L (normal is 17-291ug/L) and, coupled with my 5 risk factors, I need to see my GP re iron deficiency anaemia. Sadly I can’t get an appointment with my GP until 22nd March (!) so in the meantime I’ll buy some liquid iron from the supermarket and try that (liquid iron has less iron in it than most of the tablets, so tends not to cause constipation though it does take longer for iron stores to increase).
- The biggest shock was that my kidney function is lower than it should be for my age at 73 (between the ages of 40 and 59 it should be in the 90s). A GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) of 73 is classed as stage 2 chronic kidney disease, although doesn’t require any treatment. I would have completely freaked out when I read this if my best mate, who is 8 years younger than me, hadn’t had the exact same result recently. Her GP said it was nothing to worry about, though you do wonder why we both have reduced kidney function! My Mum has a GFR of 45 but her GP isn’t bothered and says no treatment is needed, so it seems unless your GFR is 1/3 of normal it’s not something to be concerned about?!
In a way I’m glad my iron has come back low because it explains the symptoms I’ve been having for the past few months and hopefully I can do something about it (makes a change!). Having been pesco-vegetarian for nearly 30 years this is the first time my ferritin levels have ever been below normal, so it just shows the impact a reduced diet or taking certain medications can have and also the extra burdens placed on our bodies during Menopause.