After my first visit with my Functional Medicine practitioner it took me roughly two months to complete the tests and get the final results back. Though bits and pieces of results were returned to me I made sure not to change anything about my lifestyle until I spoke with my doctor. After all I’m not a doctor I didn’t want to make choices that could conflict with her recommendations. I want to break this post down test by test to hopefully be as clear as possible. I’d like to remind everyone these are my results and my experiences and by no means if you have the same symptoms does it automatically infer your results will be the same, as always consult an actual doctor (reference above: I am not a doctor).
Routine Blood Panel
My blood work came back relatively normal. The only two items that stood out were my Vitamin D levels (low) and my Calcium levels (high) everything else was in the proper range, no thyroid issues or anything else of concern which was great. Many people in the world today have low Vitamin D levels so I wasn’t too concerned about this number and at the time of testing I was chewing up Tums like they were candy. Tums are sometimes used as a Calcium supplement so we (my Dr and I) both agreed this could be the cause and we should retest after I lay off the Tums for a while just to verify there were no underlying issues. Check that one off the list! No issues but no helpful results either.
Reading all these stories on the internet of the evil gluten world, you can imagine why one would be concerned that Celiac was an issue. Since my digestive troubles had been going on for years the doctor wanted to make sure we had crossed our T’s and dotted our I’s but I had a good feeling this would come back negative. I’m Italian I’m pretty sure I bleed Pene and Ziti. Once again results came back normal, another item to successfully check off the list with no actual guide as to what I should be changing.
Here’s where the results get a little lively. Up until this point I was getting very worried. Worried that none of this was physically linked. Worried that my brain had caused me to feel awful almost all day every day. Thankfully as soon as I saw this test I knew that was not the case. Going through the results my doctor explained to me that I had a bit of inflammation, insufficiency with my digestions, and an awful imbalance of my gut bacteria (boo!). What does this mean? In short, there was enough bacteria in my gut, but not enough different types. Check out my clipping from my results at the right, that little circle with the red dots, is supposed to be at the top of that column, not the bottom. Whomp. Whomp.
She was quite alarmed at this result and finally stated out loud that there was something we could work on. I took this information two ways. One, the way I should have, “Okay great now I have a starting point we can fix this”. Two, the way the monster in my head reacted, “I’m going to be sick everyday of my life if I don’t fix this, how have I not been sick already?”. Pushing number two aside for now I at least had a direction, silver lining.
IgG Food Sensitivity Panel
Here’s where she dropped the bomb. This test result is the main reason I’m even doing this blog. First it’s important to know the difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity. An allergy is an immediate reaction, think about someones throat swelling if they eat a peanut. A sensitivity is a delayed immune response to the food, sometimes even 24-48 hours later, an example might be eating an egg and having heart burn or a headache or some type of ache and pain in the days following. Food sensitivities are very hard to pin down because of their possible time-frame. It takes a lot of time and work to discover culprit foods through elimination diets. Some people take these IgG panels to try and identify foods that could be affecting them to help jump start the elimination diet process. I had been asking around to my fellow gut healers to see out of the 154 items this particular test looks for how many were they really sensitive to. I got a mixed range of numbers, 10-30, I assumed I would also be in that range. Nope. My results came back 50 out of 154 foods. I imagine my blood lighting up like a Christmas tree on some super computer somewhere, I’m sure it was less exciting than that for the lab, and even less exciting for me. Every food I loved to eat was on there. Beans, gone, dairy, gone, what felt like every vegetable known to man, gone. I’ve attached my results but don’t worry there will be an entire post about this particular result. Even though i still had 104 foods open to me the prospects seemed very daunting.
What’s our course Captain?
The results were in. Since I was relatively healthy in all other areas except my digestion I was diagnosed with leaky gut. I was to embark on a 90 day elimination diet were I would completely eliminate the foods listed above in red. While adding in supplements to my regimen to help speed heal my gut and make life tasty again. Let the journey begin.