Illogical advice from GP

Further to the recent saga over my blood test results, I have just had a follow-up appointment with my GP. The tests for celiac and serum cortisol came back within range - they were tested in case my low in-range folate levels* were due to malabsorption or overt stress - and she commented that my bloods are, quote, 'all very good'.

'So why am I feeling so awful?' I asked her. (The only time of day I feel remotely 'human' is around 7pm after my main meal.)

Her conclusion is that I am experiencing an ME flare-up as a result of mild concussion from a freak blow to the head last November, which also sent my pulsatile tinnitus into orbit. I asked her for her definition of ME, which she could not answer. She just related a list of symptoms and stated that different people experience ME in different ways. I told her I was trying to get to the root cause of so-called 'ME'.

*I had the BH thyroid 12 + test which showed folate levels of 10.9 (10.4-42). Seeing this as a Eureka! moment, I went to the GP armed with this information, thinking that she would link symptoms to low folate (fatigue, sensitivity to cold, splitting nails, irritability, cognitive problems, poor memory, digestive problems). NB B12 levels are high: 621 (250-725 pmol/L), which makes the low folate a bit of a mystery.

However, she is sticking to her guns and is adamant (esp now that the other tests are in range) that I don't have a folate problem.

But bizarrely, she is advocating I supplement with ferritin, even though my ferritin levels are fine: 109.8 (20-150 ug/L).

How illogical is that?

Should I heed her advice and/or self-medicate with methylfolate (NB I tried B complex from a well known and respected brand but after 10 days I was getting side-effects of itchiness all over the body so had to stop taking them).

I'm thinking of going down the private nutritionalist route (see post earlier today) as I don't think I'm getting anywhere with conventional medicine.

Oh yes, nearly forgot, she has prescribed antidepressants... enough said!

PS I'll be attending the B12 conference in June (www.b12deficiency.info/conference-2016/) so will be learning about the genetic links.

So very grateful to all who have been giving me advice and support via this forum as I trudge through the muddy minefield - a bit like how my brain is feeling at the moment!

7 Replies

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  • Just start supplementing.

    Bonkers. Just Bonkers.

  • OMG! it's hard not to despair x

  • Doctors are illogical, because they have no idea how to interpret blood tests.

    Especially Thyroid tests

    I got so disillusioned with many of them them that I began collecting websites for Lab tests and reference values.

    Some are simple and some are a wee bit intricate !!----

    REFERENCE RANGES----

    pathlabs.rlbuht.nhs.uk/over...

    im2016.acponline.org/sites/...

    stedmansonline.com/webFiles...

    emedicine.medscape.com/arti...

    msdmanuals.com/en-gb/profes...

    msdmanuals.com/en-gb/profes...

    labmed.ucsf.edu/sfghlab/tes...

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refer...

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refer...

  • Many thanks Ellismay, that's quite an archive - I thought I'd replied yesterday, but there's no trace of the response. Hey ho! I've had a look through all the websites and noticed that the US TSH range cited in 0.5 to 5.00 - I though they had reduced this quite substantially.

    My husband and I be travelling to Germany in the summer and staying with my husband's cousin - her OH is a GP so I'm tempted to discuss German TFT lab ranges with him. My understanding is that their upper TSH value is 3.0 but I'd like to check this. I'll report back!

  • Don't collect the antidepressants.

    Definitely DON'T supplement with iron.

    Definitely START supplementing with the folate immediately.

    Your B12 isn't high. It can easily be above range with no side effects simply because not all B12 that is measured is actually active.

    I would wait 8-12 weeks of supplementing before seeing the nutritionalist. And if you haven't had your vitamin D level checked in the last 8 months get that tested as well before you go.

    Oh and it's clear your doctor has never heard of iron overload....

  • Thanks Bluebug - interestingly, my B12 levels when tested via the NHS are always through the proverbial roof - 914 ng/L (191-663) back in December - and GPs always comment on it, stating I must have a very good diet (so why don't they make the mental leap and question why the folate levels are on the floor?). I've had active B12 tested and this is ok too: 154 pmol/L (25.1-165)

    Vit D is fine, now that I'm supplementing: 119 (50-175 nmol/L)

    When Vit D levels were rock bottom (51) the very same doctor suggested it was too low (even though in range) and advised me to supplement. So I can't understand why she isn't applying the same logic to the folate.

  • Your B12 level is not 'through the roof' at 914, because optimal is 1000. :)

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