blood work

Mar. 9th, 2014 03:55 pm
mellowtigger: (dna)
[personal profile] mellowtigger
I had some blood tests run recently, and the results were... interesting.  I wish the USA had a first-world healthcare system.  I'd pay cash right now for another brain MRI if I could get a fee schedule like this Canadian company, but here it's impossible to even get a straight answer about how much the procedure costs.  Go, Team America!  But... I'll leave behind the politics for now.

White blood cells develop into 1 of 5 main types. (I found this wikipedia image helpful.) Three related kinds are called basophils, neutrophils, and eosinophils. Together, they are the polymorphonuclear (or PMN) cell family. Their near-cousin is the monocyte. Their distant-cousin is the leukocyte (natural killer cell, T-cells, and B-cells).

I have to mention that background because my latest blood tests muddle the issue slightly.  Automated machinery can stain the cells in a blood sample and count the various kinds of these 5 white blood cells. Not-so-good machines are unable to distinguish between all 5, so they end up with only 3 groups: PMN, leukocyte, and monocyte (as a mid-range size cell). My recent blood results use this less-advanced machinery. Here are some blood results over the years.  I started complaining of neuropathy in 2006 (I think?) and muscle twitches in 2009.

Expected Range
24 (or 20)-48 %
0-12 %
40-75 %
0-2 %
0-6 %
0.2-1.3 (or 1.0) mg/dL
0.05-0.24 mg/dL
211-911 pg/dL
3-16 ng/dL
2/28/201420.412.0 "MID %"67.6 "PMN %"1.60.2745218
5/20/2010361147060.6 33411.9
2/2/2010        16.5
2007 ?       285 ? 
6/6/2003     1.0   

I see a few trends here.  First, the good news is that my B12 climbed significantly after my gut infection was finally cured in 2012.  I thought my first blood test in 2007 showed B12 at 285, so it's improved a lot. I appear to be absorbing B12 properly again.  Yay!  I do periodically show high levels of Bilirubin and Folate.  I'm not sure what they mean.  My genetic testing with 23andMe shows that I have a predisposition for primary biliary cirrhosis, and the bilirubin could be related to it. 

The troublesome data trend is the decreasing leukocyte percentage.  The usual culprits are either HIV-infection or leukemia, but I don't think either of those conditions are in my future.  (edit 3/17/2014: Blood tests for neuron-related infections show that I do not have Lyme disease, HIV, or syphilis.)  A common theme that can tie together the leukocytes, bilirubin, genetic risk, and symptom history, however, is my usual favorite... multiple sclerosis.

My current doctor is in a new healthcare network for me, so he doesn't have any of this history.  He wants to wait a month and test me again to see if results hold the same.  I'm trying to withhold my impatience and let the American healthcare system work its slow bureaucratic process.  What I really want right now is a new brain MRI.  I may give up and just self-diagnose myself with MS then see what diet and lifestyle changes I could make that would improve my long-term outcome.

More news next month, I guess.
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


If you are unable to use this captcha for any reason, please contact us by email at

Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


mellowtigger: (Default)

August 2017

2021222324 2526

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 19th, 2017 03:08 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios