"Hey Cuz, can you look at my bloodwork, I'm feeling tired and I want to feel better."
My cousin (technically in law) is an amazing person. She (and her whole family really) are givers.
She is a nurse and her family is heavily involved in the ministry. They really help people. Sometimes we focus so much on others (family, co workers, community etc.) that there is little time (if any) left to care for ourselves. Sometimes it takes a catastrophe before we address our health.
Don't let it get that far...It is easier to keep your health than it is to regain it.
So back to my cousin... She emailed me a couple weeks ago and wanted me to look at her bloodwork and steer her in the right direction...the following are my initial thoughts after looking at her bloodwork. Mind you, we really need a formal consultation, but, sometimes family gets shortchanged, especially when they are 2000 miles away.
Heres my email back to her and a copy of her bloodwork (last name removed to protect the innocent of course)
It amazes me that you can work, run a household and do so much....
Your iron metabolism is way off.
Ferritin is stored iron = 5! I like it over 50 (is your hair falling out?)
Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, MCV, MCH, MCHC all low - iron metabolism is not right....the question is why (most docs never ask why, they just give iron). I believe you said that you were taking iron supplements and we're still really low. We can talk about some strategies to improve the absorption of the iron you're taking.
But back to the why...the problem. Your monocytes, eosinophils and basophils are functionally high as well, which can point to infection. Infection is a likely cause/contributor to anemia. Parasites love iron and B vitamins. How is your gut health? Bowels movements, bloating etc?
The other consideration is the bone marrow which is a common "storehouse" of toxins, heavy metals etc. It's also the originator of RBCs and WBC's (your WBC's are also functionally low as well).
This could be the "upstream" reason for the UTI's that are apparent from the urine culture.
Thyroid levels look good.
We need to look at inflammation with a HS C-reactive protein test.
So, we have some work to do, but blood work can tell us a lot, EVEN IF YOUR DOCTOR SAYS IT'S ALL NORMAL.
Don't wait for a catastrophy to address your health, do what Kim did. Give us a shout and say, "Hey Doc, can you look at my bloodwork, I want to be the best I can be!"