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Could someone help me understand my below range results please?

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by mermaid, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    I am being investigated for intermittent but chronic stomach issues/pain over a very long time. I have self treated for years having had gastritis around 10 yrs ago and took PPIs for a couple of years. So far tests have turned up a small hiatus hernia, and a 'fair sized' gallstone, though much of the pain I have had has not been along the lines of normal gallstone pain (except once a couple of months ago when I woke in the night with pain after a meal that was too heavy in fat so have now reduced that). No gastritis or inflammation this time round. Gastro thought I had Non Ulcer Dyspepsia before the tests were done.

    I am waiting for the gastroenterologist to come back to me, but I also had some blood tests which I asked them to send me. As this is the NHS UK I don't often get blood tests done so I always look to see if there is anything of interest re the ME stuff. As they are not very much below range I am expecting them to do nothing but I wanted to know what a below range result might mean if it continued in that direction.

    For the past 3 years I have had low platelets below range, but as I had low platelets in pregnancy some 30 yrs ago, I am not surprised by this, and it's supposed to be autoimmune in pregnancy (ITP). The latest one is still below range but no lower than last time

    The other 2 results that were below range are these....
    Low IgA is 0.70 (range 0.8 - 4.0), the IgG and IgM are in normal range. I don't think I have ever had this tested before and I see they did another test due to this (for bone cancer I think) which was negative (I googled it).
    Liver Function Test and under Globulin on the list also low below range at 19 (range 20 - 35). This is one point lower than about 2 yrs ago which I think is the only time I have had it tested.

    I did a Google and found this re the IgA ......(I am not taking any of the drugs mentioned)

    'Abnormal test results typically indicate that there is something affecting the immune system and suggest the need for further testing.
    Low levels
    The most common causes of decreased immunoglobulins are acquired underlying (secondary) conditions that either affect the body's ability to produce immunoglobulins or that increase the loss of protein from the body. Deficiencies may also be due to drugs such as immunosuppressants, corticosteroids, phenytoin, and carbamazepine or due to toxins.'

    and this below re the low result for Globulin....all looks rather scary, though as my other results are fine hopefully not what it suggests! I cut out gluten from my diet about 3 yrs ago. I eat a v clean diet with virtually no sugar other than a little fruit, low grains, lowish carbs, low fat now! Lots of veg, but I do eat meat/fish etc.

    'Low Globulin Levels.
    Low serum globulin levels typically indicate liver disease, an inability to digest or absorb dietary protein, inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease, some sort of cancer, hemolytic anemia or kidney disease.'
     
  2. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member

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    Low IgA is common in healthy people - sometimes very low. It does not seem to matter most of the time. A level of 0.7 is healthy.

    'Globulins' are more or less all the serum proteins except albumin and prealbumin, grouped together. 19 is only just below the reference range and I would not regard it as unhealthy or likely to be a sign of disease unless it is going down significantly or specific globulin proteins like IgG are going down.
     
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  3. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @mermaid - I'm wondering if you are low in stomach acid. This is very common with CFS and this will cause an inability to digest or absorb protein and other nutrients. The fact that you took PPIs for a couple of years would only exacerbate the problem. If you took them for acid reflux, if you do a little research you'll find that most acid reflux is actually caused by low stomach acid, not too high.

    Also, B6 is very important for protein utilization. My B6 was very low and I'm now taking 150 mg. of P-5-P in divided doses. The regular B6 did nothing for me. I titrated up slowly, it's pretty powerful stuff, but it's crucial for so many processes in the body.

    There's something called the baking soda burp test to check stomach acid (from Richvank and elsewhere):
    For those who haven't heard of the baking soda--burp test, it goes like this: On an empty stomach, drink a glass of water (about 8 oz.) into which you have mixed one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). See how long it takes you to burp. If you haven't burped in two minutes, your stomach acid production is low.

    I take betaine HCL with pepsin and it really helps my digestion a lot. A doctor told me to take sufficient HCL until I feel "acidy" and then back off by one capsule. So for a heavy protein meal which is the hardest to digest, I generally will take 4 capsules, and then 3 with lighter meals. But if it's just a salad or piece of fruit I don't bother.
     
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  4. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    @Jonathan Edwards thank you very much for your reply. That is all very reassuring!

    I see that they did do an extra test Serum Protein Electrophoresis, I think because of the low IgA as it was mentioned in a note. However it says No Monoclonal Band Detected which Mr Google tells me is the right result!
     
  5. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    Thank you @Mary for taking the time to reply. I appreciate it.

    I didn't explain in the above, that during the years of 'self treating' after the PPIs (was around 8 yrs ago now) I began to use Betaine HCL around 4 years ago on the advice of Dr Myhill. I did persist for several years and it's possible that I had lowish acid, but it didn't solve my problems, neither did adding in Digestive Enzymes on the advice of another private Dr, on the basis of private tests I had (but probably needed anyway).

    So, I have kept in the Digestive Enzymes, but stopped the Betaine HCL last autumn as I was beginning to be aware that I had excess acid that was damaging my back teeth, and also had signs in my stomach that there was too much Betaine HCL rather than not enough. I had been changing my diet and adding in Kefir, so maybe I had done all the right things. On the other hand it might be an idea to add back in the odd HCL Betaine capsule when I am eating a heavy protein meal again, even if just once a day.... I will give it a try now I have had a break.

    Also I am adding in a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar after each meal and that seems to be helping quite a bit so far. I think the acetic acid is supposed to help in some way. I also have lemon juice in warm water first thing.

    If I keep to certain foods then my stomach does settle down for a few weeks now, but I think there is a lot going on there, some of which I don't fully understand. So it's easy to slip up, and now I know about the latest issue re the gallstones, I am trying to cut back on fat a bit as I was a bit gung ho with the grass fed butter and coconut oil having read how good it is for us recently! I have just read that coconut oil does not need bile for digestion, so maybe that is a better fat to choose if you have gallbladder issues.

    Re the B6 - I had various tests done a couple of years ago and added in B vitamins, and have been taking them separately for a while, including the P-5-P, though it took me a while to build up to a decent dose as my body didn't like them initially. I am changing over at the moment to a multi B vitamin, which has active Bs in it, including the same dose of B6.
     
  6. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @mermaid - okay, glad to hear you have worked with HCL. I have heard that ACV is supposed to be very good for digestion (though I seem to react badly to it, have not figured that out yet!) but I'm glad to hear it's helping you.

    A couple more possibilities: several years ago I had trouble with my gallbladder and my chiropractor who does muscle testing gave me something called AF Betafood by Standard Process and it is fabulous stuff. It thins the bile, I think it increases it, it helped so much in resolving gallbladder issues for me, although I eventually learned I needed to take betaine HCL and my gallbladder has been pretty good ever since, except for recently - and - I had slacked off on the HCL for several months thinking I didn't need it. So my new chiro gave me AF Betafood and I started back on betaine HCL and gallbladder issues have again disappeared. I only need to take the AF Betafood when I'm having symptoms, it's not something I take all the time.

    So what I was trying to suggest was maybe looking into AF Betafood, and also maybe someone who does muscle testing - the chiros have helped me so much with digestive issues that the doctors were helpless with. I know there are some in the UK - if you google applied kinesiology UK, or muscle testing UK or something similar, you can find a practitioner. Just an idea -
     
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  7. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    @Mary I had trouble with ACV previously too. I think just a teaspoon after meals may be OK for me now though. It already seems to have helped my digestion to settle.

    I just looked up the AF Betafood as I had not heard of it. It's not v available over here it seems, and is expensive as it has to be imported, but not impossible, though I don't eat gluten and I see it does have some in it. I looked up to see what people think of it, and found some good references in the US including you I think posting in 2008 about it on the ProHealth forum! :)

    Incidentally I have read today that coconut oil is probably better than other fats to use with gallstones as it apparently does not need bile to break it down, so is less likely to cause issues. Even so I won't go overboard with fats now!

    With regard to kinesiology I am less likely to try that as I was not v impressed with one I visited locally a few years ago. I went about 3 times, but just did not get a good feeling about him, and he charged a lot of money for achieving very little with me. I am not saying there are not good ones about, but he didn't seem one of them. I live in a rural place so there is not a lot of choice with who to go to here.
     
  8. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @mermaid - that's very interesting about coconut oil not needing to bile to break down. That's new (and good) information for me.

    That's too bad you had a bad experience with kinesiology. I've seen around 5 different practitioners in the last 20 years, and only one of them really didn't know what he was doing. So I guess I've been very fortunate.

    Best of luck with everything --
     
  9. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    @Mary Just in case it's of help to you, and others, this is where I read the info re coconut oil ....it's quite a long piece, so I will do a copy/paste of the relevant bit below...I have found a limited version of this info on a few other sites too.
    http://www.ofspirit.com/brucefife1.htm

    'Let me briefly describe how the two types of fat are digested. When we eat fats composed of LCTs they travel through the stomach and into the intestinal tract. It is in the intestines where the vast majority of fat digestion occurs. Pancreatic enzymes and bile are necessary for digestion. LCTs are reduced into individual long-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are absorbed into the intestinal wall. Inside the intestinal wall they are repackaged into bundles of fat and protein call lipoproteins. These lipoproteins are then sent into the bloodstream. As they circulate in the bloodstream they release particles of fat. This is the source of the fat that collects in our fat cells and the fat that collects in and clogs up artery walls. As the lipoproteins get smaller they eventually go to the liver. In the liver they are dismantled and used for energy or repackage into new lipoproteins and again sent back into the bloodstream to disperse fat throughout the body.

    MCTs are processed differently. When we eat a fat containing MCTs, such as coconut oil, it travels through the stomach and into the small intestine. But since MCTs digest quickly, by the time they leave the stomach and enter the intestinal tract they are already broken down into individual fatty acids (MCFAs). Therefore, they do not need pancreatic enzymes or bile for digestion. Since they are already reduced to fatty acids as they enter the small intestine, they are immediately absorbed into the portal vein and sent straight to the liver. In the liver they are preferentially used as a source of fuel to produce energy. MCFAs bypass the lipoprotein stage in the intestinal wall and in the liver. They do not circulate in the bloodstream to the degree that other fats do. Therefore, they do not supply the fat that collects in fat cells nor do they supply the fat that collects in artery walls. MCFAs are used to produce energy, not body fat and not arterial plaque.

    The fact that MCTs are easier to digest than other fats is good news for those with digestive concerns. Newborn infants, cystic fibrosis sufferers, those with gallbladder problems, and anyone who has difficulty digesting fats can benefit from using coconut oil. This is particularly true for those who have gallbladder surgery. The surgical removal of the gallbladder makes fat digestion difficult. The gallbladder collects and holds bile secreted by the liver. When we eat a meal containing fat, the gallbladder is emptied into the intestinal tract. Bile emulsifies the fat allowing digestive enzymes to effectively break it down. When the gallbladder has been surgically removed, there no longer is a reservoir of bile. The liver continues to make bile but instead of collecting in the gallbladder it constantly drains into the intestinal tract. Only a small amount of bile is present at any time. If too much fat is eaten at any one time it causes intestinal distress and cramping. So fat consumption needs to be limited.

    Because coconut oil digests without the need of bile, those people who have had gallbladder surgery can consume this fat without fear. I have had people tell me they could only handle a very small amount of fat without it causing them discomfort, but they could eat a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil at one time without problem.'
     
  10. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @mermaid - thanks for the info. I knew that coconut oil was a medium chain fatty acid and more easily digested and readily available for fuel than long chain fatty acids, but I didn't know why that was or that it didn't require bile, etc. for digestion.

    This is good information for all of us! :)
     

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