I’m happy to report that I finally have an actual direction to pursue regarding my current health problems. A simple blood test showed that my ferritin iron levels were low, and that some iron supplementation should fix me right up. My original doctor didn’t think the iron was an issue as my iron serum levels were a-okay; but the new doctor explained that ferritin iron (the iron stored in your body) and serum iron (the stuff in your blood) are two different things, and you can indeed be low on the ferritin and normal on the serum.
I wasn’t as low as I could be, most likely due to our usage of cast iron pans and consumption of red meat. But, most likely due to these wonderful children; the iron basically has been sucked out of me and never really bounced back to where it should. The new doctor also knew darn near everything there is to know about MTHFR. Mine is the 1298 mutation, which I always understood as “no big deal” vs the more intense 677 mutation. Apparently the 1298 mutation can mess around with homocysteine levels, so he had that checked to ensure it was where it should be (it is). He also said I may need a different kind of methylfolate, as my current stuff doesn’t always play well with the 1298 mutation. Bottom line: any MTHFR mutation should be addressed.
We discussed in detail my Factor V Leiden and discovered that I am clotting more than I did in the past (aka I used to clot only when pregnant, now I’m clotting regularly and I’m definitely not pregnant). I absolutely need to stay on top of the low-dose aspirin all the time (I had been slacking on it, forgetting here and there. Don’t do that, self.)
So that’s the scoop. It’s disheartening that my original doctor, the one who had I had been seeing for years was 1000000% convinced that I was depressed and was more than happy to throw an anti-depressant (and birth control pills) at me. I’m definitely not against anti-depressants – been on them in the past with smashing success – but I knew this wasn’t depression. Even when I told original doctor so; he just ignored me.
I’m making the new doctor my new primary care doctor, as he obviously is better versed in MTHFR and FVL alone; and was very interested in why I felt so yucky and how to fix it. Rather than saying “you have five kids, OF COURSE, you’re tired” he recognized that the number of kids you have doesn’t always correlate to exhaustion levels. I feel like he took everything I told him seriously and didn’t brush me off as a ‘hysterical woman’, which was definitely how I felt when interacting with original doctor. I’m debating whether or not to write a complaint to the clinic where original doctor works, because I feel he diagnosed me based on my history and not my symptoms, and he completely blew off actually listening to me. Anti-depressants are powerful meds, but not every case of fatigue and joint pain is depression (especially coupled with all the other symptoms I have been experiencing). Anyways.
The plan is to treat the iron with iron pills, revamp my diet – new doctor wants me to go back to some form of a ketogenic lifestyle (not super hard-core but definitely lower carb than what I’m doing now) in order to treat my OCD (which had been flaring up since that pesky earthquake in July), and a couple other supplements. If I still feel junky in December (and if my ferritin levels show improvement), he will start investigating autoimmune disorders. Hopefully we won’t get to that point, but God’s will be done.