Thursday, July 6, 2017

Iron Panel Results and Reaction

Here are the numbers that I was shooting for:
Serum Iron- 110
Saturation Percentage- 33

Previous Results:
Serum Iron-119
Saturation Percentage-41

Current Results:
Serum Iron-108
Saturation Percentage-37

Both the serum Iron and the Saturation Percentage look pretty darn good but that damn Ferritin (stored Iron) remains stubbornly high EVEN AFTER THE BLOOD DONATION!
What is especially puzzling is the changes in how I feel and how I am reacting to the pills despite the fact that my numbers look very similar across the board:
-B6, IP-6 and Curcumin were tolerated before the donation.  Not so now.
-Whole Food C was NOT tolerated prior to the donation.  Now, it appears to be necessary.
-Jury is still out on the Liver Beef but even if it’s tolerated, I will be very careful with it.

UPDATE: So far so good on the Liver Beef.  I was 24 seconds faster with it than without.  Again, I cannot predict whether or not I will tolerate it 2-3 weeks from now much less 2-3 months.

There's another pill called Livatone that may be worth a shot.  It does have a couple questionable ingredients and will be used in addition to the blood donation rather than a substitute for it.

I would probably feel better now if I had focused solely on methylation for my sensitivity issues starting in the Fall of 2014.  That was a long and difficult fight but since around March of this year, this area is much improved as is the sulfur tolerance.  According to the runworks calculator, my 1:45:31 performance at Teton and its 6300 foot altitude was the equivalent of a 1:39:36 at sea level.  I believe if I had not messed with Iron and Ceruloplasmin, I might still be capable of 1:35 on a good day.   Some people might say that I should have left well enough alone and accepted the high Ferritin level.

In any event, it’s too late to turn back now.  I made the decision to go through with the blood donation and I cannot undo it.  Why not leave well enough alone?  Several reasons.

1-      I’m not sure that I would ever stabilize on a specific formula.  The intolerance to B6 that flared up in the days prior to the epic road trip was both sudden and scary.  If my history is any indication, it will happen again.  If my system ever rejects my adrenal supplement, I am DOOMED.

2-      Although this is no current danger of having a Ferritin level in the 200 range, conservative treatments were not effective and it could continue to creep up.  Suppose it rises by just 1 point per month.  I’m pushing 300 by age 45, which leaves me at higher risk for cancer and heart disease.

3-      IF there is a treatment option out there that provides a chance of a better life for me, I’m going to take it.  There are many success stories out there with very few cases of people who end up worse off than they had been before the donation.   

4. I've also heard that Ferritin lab values could underestimate the damage to organs.  There could be more hidden in tissues that could take time to come out.

Explanation for the Results:
I thought perhaps the blood work is a lagging indicator.  That is, symptoms of low serum Iron will show up before it is reflected in the lab values.  Also. Ferritin might drop only after serum Iron has been low for quite some time.  Morley chimed in when I posed these questions.  The gist of it was that my system is in a state of flux after losing a substantial amount of Iron from the blood loss and the body is still under stress.  I should not have expected much improvement so early.  Rather, the system will stabilize within 2-3 months and THEN, I can expect my Ferritin to drop BIGLY!  Will the Whole Food C and Liver be tolerated in 3 months?  I really don’t know but I would not be shocked if I see another sudden intolerance.  He also added something that I really did not want to hear.  It could take up to 18 months to see the full benefits.

My Reaction:
After the initial shock and disappointment, I feel a little better about it now.  A 10 point drop is barely above the 5% threshold to be considered significant but it’s better than a gain or unchanged result.  I am allowed to donate again in 40 days (August 16).  I’ll probably wait on it a little bit but as of now, I plan to donate again.  I’ve made the commitment to follow this course and I want to see it through for better or worse.  18 months?  I can’t wait that long.  2-3 months away from sustained and steady improvements? Yes, I can live with that.  All I want out of this is stable chemistry and that’s hardly an unreasonable demand.  I will be devastated if this fails after all I’ve been through with the false hopes. 

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