I found myself in an awkward situation recently which resulted in me ordering a comprehensive set of blood tests. If you don’t care about my little drama of ordering the tests, skip ahead 2 paragraphs.
See I had just quit my job and on my last day they let me know that all the money I had contributed to my FSA (Flexible Spending Account) would be forfeited to my soon to be ex-employer. As I wracked my brain to think of a way to use my my FSA in 1 day, I hit upon direct blood tests. You can go online and directly order pretty much any blood test, they will have their in-state doctor review your information and order the test. So I loaded up my cart with “goodies” and tried to checkout. Lucky me, even though my FSA coverage didn’t end until the next day, my employer had cancelled my FSA early… boo I called up the FSA company and they gave me the news that I could pay for the tests myself and then submit a claim to be reimbursed. My bill was for $1,200 so after a bit of nail biting (would they really reimburse me?!) I went ahead and ordered the tests on my own dime. Wonder of wonders, the check just arrived in the mail. I feel like I won the lottery. :)
Okay! Back to the tests. I had ordered some tests that I had heard were critical for diagnosing some of my issues but could never get a doctor to care enough about to order the test for me. Here is what I ended up getting:
I had been diagnosed with Type 2, based on my weight but I had always been concerned that I may be a Type 1.5. So these test would be helpful in finally answering that question.
Tells me how well I have been managing my blood sugar, I know I had not been doing well so it seemed like a good idea to get a baseline of how bad I had let things get.
Tells me how much insulin I am still making and if I have insulin resistance
Indicates insulin production See Blood Sugar 101’s explanation
- GAD-65 Antibodies
Tests for Type 1 / Type 1.5, where your body’s immune system is attacking your pancreas
When I learned that gluten is what has been causing me such extreme pain, chronic diarrhea and other bathroom fun, I removed it from my life and am a happier person. However I had heard that if one has Celiac, then it is important to avoid gluten beyond just for the benefits of a happy pooper. If one is regularly getting small doses of it, but not enough to send you do the throne, it can still lead to long term health issues down the road, like cancer. Plus I was tired of people asking if I was just following a “fad diet” or if I had “a real allergy”… grrr
It was a Celiac Disease Comprehensive Antibody Profile, but here are all the items the test for:
- Deamidated Gliadin Abs, IgA
- Deamidated Gliadin Abs, IgG
- t-Transglutaminase (tTG) IgA
- t-Transglutaminase (tTG) IgG
- Endomysial Antibody IgA
- Immunoglobulin A, Qn, Serum
I continue to have issues with weight gain, very cold hands and feet (they turn white), dry skin and hair loss. I also have an enlarged thyroid. My doctors have only ever tested for TSH and total T4, which I have read is not enough to identify all possible thyroid problems, just the most obvious.
Is your pituitary gland screaming at your pancreas for more thyroid hormones?
- Total T4
Inactive thyroid hormone
- T4 - Free
- Free T4 Index
- Total T3
Active thyroid hormone
- T3 Uptake
- T3 - Free
- Reverse T3
Identifies leptin resistance, an issue with most overweight people
- NMR Lipid Profile
Measures the size of the lipoproteins
I just got the results today and am not familiar enough with some of the tests to interpret the results just yet. However a few jumped out at me:
- My A1C has gone up from 5.0 to 5.8. Plus my fasting insulin has gone up from 4 to 24. Hello insulin resistance! Proof once again to myself that my diet is not a cure, it is control. Hop back on that wagon silly pants!
- I came back positive for a few of the Celiac antibodies. Considering I have been strictly gluten-free for 6 months (stupid Christmas…), I do not plan on the standard course of action of eating gluten for weeks then taking a bowel biopsy for a conclusive diagnosis. This is enough for me to say yes I have Celiac and I should never again let myself have “just a bit” during holidays.
- My GAD-65 (pancreas antibodies) came back as ”< 1.0", hurray for a somewhat working pancreas and a solid Type2 diagnosis!
That’s all I know for now and will report back later when I have figured out the other test results. This has served as the well-deserved kick in the pants go back to my original ketogenic diet and stop listening to all those silly doctors, nurses and blogs out there suggesting that anything other than very low-carb is healthier for me.