Thursday, 9 October 2014

Interesting results

So I've been complaining about my pace a lot recently and in real life I complain about being tired a lot. Yesterday I got my blood panel tests back from my preventative health screen and after a few minutes of 'what the hell does this mean'/panic, I was fascinated. The results might explain my drop in running performance and tiredness.

I got two abnormal results, and when I say abnormal I mean very slightly outside normal limits...nothing to panic about folks. I'm not going to post actual result numbers because while I might feel comfortable calling the shots about my own health I don't want anyone following my lead......go see your doctor.

 1.) Low Platelet Count (Cells that help Blood clot)
This can be a sign of all sorts of nasty stuff like lymphoma (which would have made some of my other results abnormal but they aren't) but it can also be associated with dietary shortfalls, most commonly B vitamins, protein and zinc. 

2.) Low alkaline phosphatase (an enzyme)
High alkaline phosphatase is bad news for your liver but mine was low.
Low levels are associated with malnutrition, I scoffed when I read that little titbit but again its not malnutrition in general but for particular nutrients. Again associated with zinc, B vitamins, protein and iron. Anything more serious associated with a low result causes some pretty obvious effect so I don't think I need worry about this.

Everything else checks out; tests for kidney, liver, gall bladder and thyroid function check out and all my other blood cell counts, electrolytes etc. are well within normal range. Since everything else is normal, the results are only slightly off and there is such a common link between the two results that I can attribute them to two things;

1.) Being a vegetarian

  • I'm probably not getting enough B vitamins; diet and my sporadic supplement taking is not cutting it. 

2.) Long distance running

  • Runners can fall short on zinc because we sweat so much more....and I've sweated a lot this summer. 
  • I've been looking at my protein intake recently, before receiving these results, and I've already established (and trying to correct) that my protein intake while perfectly good for a normal person is not enough for the number of miles I'm running. Apparently I should be consuming >80g per day (when I'm working out) but I'm only taking in approx. 40g.
  • I ran 16 miles 3 days before the test and then another 4 the day beforehand---that could also throw results off a little.

Like I said my results are only marginally outside normal ranges but I've been debating following up with a doctor to make sure its not more than that. 

My game plan for now is to:
  • supplement everyday (for B vitamins, iron and zinc) but also make sure I'm getting these vitamins from real foods too. 
  • I'm going to eat more protein too and this might have the advantage of helping me get a bit leaner.

Then maybe in 3 months I'll get the blood work repeated....and follow up further if there is still abnormalities.

Is it really weird that I'd love to get some of my own blood so I could have a look at the cells to investigate further??


  1. One of my friends was just experiencing something very similar to this. She was very low in iron and zinc, didn't eat a lot of protein. As her training continued, she became more tired and fatigued. Like you, she is now taking supplements and working on her nutrition. I hope these things help you too!