Today, I'd like to work on my blood tests and what they actually  mean. It's certainly been interesting learning about all these little  markers we use for health, and it's even more amazing the way our bodies  use this organic information to keep ourselves in tip-top shape!

Before  I begin I'd just like to mention an email I received this morning. I  was asked by the company that did my blood tests how in the hell I have  kept my Cholesterol, Vitamin D and B12 at healthy levels. According to  the email this morning they suggested only 17% of their customers have  those 3 in healthy ranges. Which, to think in this modern day of health  is somewhat shocking! I replied back just basically telling them what I  had been doing which was bacon and eggs for breakfast, fried in lard,  then pretty much whatever through the day. I'd started that over 5 years  ago and an unexpected outcome of that was a reduction in my anterior  uveitis. This is where the uveal tract, which is a layer of tissue  between the outer white layer (sclera) and the inner layer (retina),  get's inflamed. Before that diet change, I use to get an outbreak about  once or twice a year. It's awful, and my heart goes out to anyone  suffering from it. It's like a pin being jabbed in your eye! I've no  idea at the moment if the two were related, at the time anyway I was  more than happy to not have that discomfort in my life. An observation  that's worth noting is when I've had a reoccurrence of the inflammation  recently, it's been at a time when I haven't been having a very good  diet, so processed foods and high sugar intake.

Anyways, On to the results!

B12

B12  Is one of the 8 B vitamins. It's linked to brain function and the  formation of blood. It's also known as cobalamin and is a water-soluble  vitamin. It's involved in the metabolism of every cell in the body,  affecting DNA synthesis, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. So pretty  important stuff then!

Most people have 1 or at least a few of the following symptoms below during a B12 deficiency:

  • Weakness, Fatigue or low energy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Digestive issues such as diarrhoea or constipation
  • Frequent bruising or bleeding
  • Anemia
  • Depression or mood issues
  • Numbness and tingling in hands or feet
  • Brain fog, Memory loss, confusion or dementia

I generally don't get any of those, unless my paranoia  could be considered a mood issue. Which I don't think it is. I do find  it funny, a deficiency can cause either diarrhoea or constipation  though. Basically, a dodgy stomach! Anemia could be something I have,  due to how tired I get at times, that could also be very much linked to  my folate deficiency.

Folate

Another  B group vitamin, B9. This vitamin is vital for the formation of red  blood cells which transport oxygen around the body. Helped along by B12  and iron, it also plays an essential role in cell replication all over  the body. Similar to B12, these two go hand in hand as there are some  similar deficiency symptoms. Which are:

  • Tiredness
  • Lack of energy
  • A sore red tongue
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Pins and needles
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Disturbed Vision
  • Mood changes
  • Memory problem

Check, Check, Check! I have a fair few of these and have  always gotten mouth ulcers, and pins and needles. Along with the  tiredness I mentioned before, I guess this important vitamin is  something I will have to look into improving. The month before my test I  wasn't eating as much bacon as I usually do and I wonder if this had  any effect as pork is quite a folate-rich food and I don't eat many  green vegetables. From my searches, leafy green vegetables are better,  but I'm interested to see the effect on this after a month of just meat.  Brocolli will be the first vegetable I reintroduce if these levels  don't budge. Seems like this might be the key to at least some of my  issues!


HbA1c

The  abbreviated term for 'glycated haemoglobin'. It refers to the levels of  glucose (sugar) is attached to the haemoglobin protein found in red  blood cells. This is generally used as a way of measuring the average  blood sugar levels from over the past 12 weeks. This blood test is used  as a way to test for diabetes, so it refers to how well my body is  producing and using insulin.

I still consider this  result quite high! even though I'm 10 nmol/mol away from 42.  Pre-diabetes is usually regarded around 42-47 nmol/mol and diabetes is  above 48 nmol/mol. I guess I still have some blood sugar hanging around,  so my insulin to me isn't perfect, I can't really tell without having  previous test results. Maybe this range has been getting higher, or  maybe it's actually starting to fall. With my high sugar and carbs diet  though I sincerely doubt that being the case.

I've read  some reports this "higher" level of blood glucose could be linked to  tinnitus, as between 84 and 92% of tinnitus patients were shown to have a  metabolic disorder called hyperinsulinemia. Where there is an elevated  level of insulin in the bloodstream. It's a direct consequence of a  metabolic disorder known as insulin resistance.

Souce - Hyperinsulinemia and tinnitus: a historical cohort.


Lipid Profile

Ahh,  cholesterol something from my cursory searches that I've found to be  most contradictory in today's modern, fat makes you fat ethos. LDL or  Low-density lipoprotein is produced by the liver and forms a part of  your total cholesterol, it's generally referred to as 'bad cholesterol'  as it apparently is the stuff that clogs your arteries and causes  arterial plaque. LDL is actually our friend, and whilst my level  borderlines on the 'higher' end I consider this a good result. Lower  levels of LDL might well be associated with comprised brain tissue, and  it's generally coming to light it plays an important role in brain  health and function! So I'll happily keep my borderline 'high' levels.

Source - https://www.drperlmutter.com/study/plasma-lipids-cerebral-small-vessel-disease/

Triglycerides  are a form of fat found in certain foods, like meat and dairy. Higher  levels of the hormone insulin can increase the absorption of fat uptake  by cells, from the liver. This is why higher levels of triglycerides are  associated with heart disease and stroke. However it's not fatty foods  that stimulate the liver's production of triglycerides, it's sugars and  starches. Having a high sugar and starch diet would cause the  triglycerides level to rise, added to the high insulin levels this could  be very bad for one's health. Although in reading this, I'm surprised  my levels aren't much higher, although I wonder if that's the interplay  with insulin somehow, as I don't put on weight at all. I once, one  Christmas many moons ago ate a whopping 5000 calories, of Bacon, Sweets,  Bread, and pretty much anything I could get my hands on, a day! The  result... I lost weight! That was for the full month of December as  well, so there is certainly something wrong with how my body handles and  processes food.

Source - Triglycerides as vascular risk factors: new epidemiologic insights.

HDL  Cholesterol or High-density lipoprotein is produced again by the liver  making up the total cholesterol in your body with LDL and Triglycerides.  It's often referred to as 'good cholesterol' as it helps protect the  arteries from diseases. From my searches, a lower HDL level is  associated with high risk of developing heart disease, so my results in  this regard are very poor! Still in the 'good' range but I'm finding  some mixed information currently about the generally accepted levels of  what is actually good for us. It contradicts a lot of the 'good  cholesterol' remarks I generally hear, so I will be doing a lot more  studying on this beast called Cholesterol.

I consider  my current ranges as nothing to worry about, I am certainly interested  to see the effects this diet has on them though and how my levels alter  within a month. Cholesterol for now though, for me... is something I  need to return to the drawing board and research with.


Liver Function

Gamma  GT is an enzyme found mainly in the liver, but also all over the body  in other tissues. It's presence in the blood increases when there is  liver damage, and raised levels have been shown to indicate a higher  risk of ill-health. Its main function is to break down toxins in the  body. With your liver been the main detoxing unit of your body, leaking  this stuff into the bloodstream isn't very good for your health.

Alkaline  Phosphatase is an enzyme again produced mainly in the liver, but it's  also in bones, intestines and for pregnant women, the placenta. It can  exist in different forms depending on the location in the body. It plays  quite a complex role in the body, but it's an essential process for  breaking down proteins. High levels of this can be caused by damage to  the liver, gallbladder, or diseases affecting bones.

Albumin  is a very common protein, produced by the liver but found everywhere in  the body. It has various roles, like transporting nutrients and  hormones, and providing your body with the proteins it requires for  growth and repair of tissue. Mines in the higher safe range which would  suggest my liver and kidneys are functioning correctly. If it was lower  it could indicate inflammation, kidney disease or chronic pancreatitis,  it's also a good indicator to see if your diet is too right in protein.

Globulins  are a group of proteins produced by the liver and immune system. Along  with Albumin, they make up the total protein in the blood. There are  four main groups, Alpha 1, Alpha 2, beta and gamma. These all have  varying roles in the body including protection against infection. Having  a low albumin and high globulin could suggest liver disease or damage.

Alanine  Transaminase or ALT is an enzyme which occurs naturally in the body but  found mainly in the liver. ALT is one of two enzymes that help to  transfer amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. It is  essential for the production of glucose so I wonder what will happen to  my levels whilst I remove all sugars and carbs from my diet.

Bilirubin  is a waste product with apparently no vital function. It's left after  the red pigment, haemoglobin in older blood cells degrades. It get's  combined with bile and removed from the body in the stool and urine.  Levels increasing could suggest a blockage in the bile duct or higher  destruction of red blood cells.

Protein total is the  sum of albumin and various globulins, it's just to get a total picture  of the health of the liver. All of my results seem to be within the  normal ranges for a healthy liver function. Which is grand because it  means I'm processing toxins in my body and metabolizing fats, proteins  and carbohydrates.


Vitamin D

Manufactured  by the body and stored in the liver it's the only vitamin converted  into a hormone when activated into use. It's essential for bone health  because of its use in the absorption of calcium, but the entire body  uses it and low levels have been linked to heart disease, lung  infections and a myriad of other diseases. I eat a lot of red meat so I  actually expected my levels to be higher, especially with just coming  from Brazil for a month. It is winter in the UK though, so my best  source of Vitamin D hides behind clouds most of this time of year.


Ferritin

A  protein found in most parts of the body, which stores iron for later  use by your body. This can provide a good picture of iron status. If I  wasn't getting enough iron in my diet then my ferritin levels would dip,  due to my body resorting to using my stores instead of my current  intake. This would pretty much suggest I don't have anaemia caused by  iron deficiency which is the most common type. I could, however, as  already suggest have an anaemic reaction due to lower B9 levels.

In  conclusion, my blood levels were not that bad, apart from the low  Folate levels. This is the main indicator I'm looking at considering my  issues with fatigue. If my HbA1c levels have previously been rising to  reach the level they are at now and were still on the rise to  pre-diabetic levels it could explain the recent increase in tinnitus.  It's certainly louder than I've ever had it before, and my body seems to  be able to handle large increases in food fine so trying to take all  available facts into consideration I must be missing something. What  does actually cause tinnitus, is it as that research suggests, higher  insulin levels. Why does nobody else seem to suffer from it as bad as  others? Maybe some parts fail in some people before others, one thing I  know for sure is we are all different and I will be returning to look  into more of these factoring points coming up.