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Old 01-20-2014, 09:12 AM   #1
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Fasting for labs

So I went to the dr last weds. I had a laundry list of things to discuss with my new dr and several issues to address. As a new patient and a person that hasn't been to an actual dr in almost 15 years, we had a hour long discussion. The head cold I've had since jan 1st addressed first. He put me on the antibiotics (biaxan?) and said let's get the cold cleared up first. I left there confident with the things discussed and how it all went.

So also I have fasting lab work to get done, tomorrow or weds.. It's up to me as it's a walk in lab setting. He didn't recommend the lab work until I mentioned it first. Because it's something I've always wanted to do. To see my numbers and so forth, especially since my woe has changed, so dramatically.

On the orders it has this:

COMPREHENSIVE METABOLIC PANEL
CBC w/ auto diff
TSH
LIPID PANEL
VIT D LEVEL
Hemoglobin A1C
Urinalysis, dipstick

So with limited knowledge, what is all that lol. I know the vit d, I specifically asked for that to be added, the TSH is thyroid, and the rest will tell what?

I also have to be fasting, so if I go say.. Tomorrow about ten am, how late should I eat tonight, I can bear thru the no coffee in the morning, but anything specific I should be doing today and tonight to ensure I get clear readings on the a1c? I don't want food or supplements to throw anything off, ya know? Will any of that tell my magnesium level? Because I do supplement that. I also have been random about the vit d and magnesuim I take. (I know, I should be better about it)

He was extremely supportive about my weight loss and my LC woe. This dr is not a stranger, he treated my mom and knows me and my family very well. So he even said when he walked in the room "so how much have you lost and how, because when I saw you at your moms appt in July you were bigger!"

We talked about the grieving and depression and he did not want to prescribe anything for that yet, he said let's get ya well from the upper resp infection and the double ear infection, then labs, then talk about the BP reading of 155/99... Then we may have a discussion about the depression, with the comment of it's only been 6months, this is normal. And I am ok with that. The last thing I want to do is be on meds.

The BP is a concern because my family history of hypertension. Even with further good eating habits and LC I may still have to deal with blood pressure.

So, that all being said, hopefully I will get some answers to a lot of questions from y'all. I really want to get a clear picture on things at this lab work as I am a self pay and it's spendy.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:48 AM   #2
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Susan, sorry you are still suffering from that cold/flu thingy. I hope it clears for you very soon.

You are having a pretty complete blood panel done but I would hesitate to do it while being sick and on antibiotics. Both those issues can have an impact on at least some of those labs.

Is it possible to buy a blood pressure machine for home? They are pretty reasonably priced and quite accurate. I think I paid $50 for mine. A god investment as the medication that I may have been put on was avoided. I am suggesting this because I have what is know as white coat syndrome (even though my doc doesn't wear a white coat), and I always get an elevated p.b. reading in that environment. When I take my own b.p., it is well within the normal range. The other thing about this is that you knew you had some really stressful things to talk about and that would raise b.p. all by itself. It is true that you don't really want to see elevated numbers but some situations will envoke them no matter. You really want to find out what is your 'norm'.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:59 AM   #3
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You might check into the online labs to see if you can get the same blood work for less. If nothing else, they have a description of the tests and what they are generally used for.

If you are worried about your thyroid the TSH may not tell you anything. Many people with thyroid problems have a normal TSH level. I did. I went in with a cold that I had had for months (they were lovingly calling me "Kennel Cough" at work) and about 27 other classic thyroid symptoms. The doctor told me no one could be sick that long, I must have allergies, but agreed to do "a full thyroid panel." That consisted of two tests and showed nothing. I went to another doctor that actually tested and treated the right things, and my "allergies" and all the other symptoms went away.

This may not be your issue at all, but I like to throw that story out there in case it will help.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:02 AM   #4
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It looks like the only fasting test is the cholesterol. I drink coffee before those. As I understand "fasting" for blood tests, clear liquids are OK and I think they usually say after midnight the night before.

I had my magnesium tested a couple of weeks ago. It was very clearly marked magnesium, so unless it is part of the panel (I don't think it is) then it doesn't look like it is being tested.

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Old 01-21-2014, 06:37 AM   #5
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Coffee is OK only if you drink it black--no sugar.

As for time, most labs say the fast should be 12 hours,

I'm slightly surprised that your doctor would order these tests while you are so ill because that may skew your numbers. I
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:55 AM   #6
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Thanks ladies,

He did want this cold over before I get the labs, but I think he was assuming I'd be better by now also. The only reason I was going to do them is they are far from me location wise, and I wasn't going into Austin except on tues and weds. So I thnk I will wait til next week. After I am done with the anti biotics.

Bummer about the magnesium having to be specifically ordered. It's not on my orders :/

Gina, thanks for the heads up on the thyroid test. I've seen that happen only once before with ppl getting false reports. My daughter obviously had an issue and a goiter at 24yo and her initial panel came back normal. Very frustrating because she also was a self pay and walked out crying when they told her nothing was wrong, as she was pointing to the large hump in her neck. And they wouldn't help her. She has since gotten a job with health coverage and is waiting for it to go into effect so she can schedule with an endo.

I'm not real concerned about my thyroid except that my mother had inactive thyroid and was on synthroid for years and I'd like to avoid that if possible. So, just to check.

The blood pressure is a concern, because I've had high readings for years, even on home machines or the ones like at the dentist and pharmacy waiting room. I do however have a home machine in storage that I got a few years ago and I need to dig it out. Interestingly enough this ringing in my ears didn't start back up til I was about a month back into LC, and I'm wondering if it's sodium related and CO related. However, if it is decided that I do have elevated pressure, I WILL find a way to control it with way of eating or supps. I won't do BP meds right away unless it's an absolute must. It's also reasonable to assume it's partly because I'm a almost lifetime smoker. and once I get my woe under complete control and some other emotional aspects of my life straight, I'm going to attempt to stop smoking. THAT will be a huge battle and right now I'm simply not ready to attack it yet.

Thanks again y'all. I'll update this when I get labs done and back.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:56 AM   #7
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So I have to add this just simply because it's soooo astounding.

Yday I took my son in for his own labs, totally separate issue but same place I will be having mine done.. While waiting I asked the desk if I could give her my lab orders to get an idea of the cost.. So when I am ready, I could be prepared for it, because I am self pay.

Three options

Full price, no sliding scale, billed to insurance if avaliable - 789.00
Sliding scale but billed to me - 605.00
Pay at time service with sliding scale discount - 123.00

She told me those in that order, and by the second price I'm sure she saw my eyes bugging out of my head. I politely said, I'll pay at time of service lol.

What on earth could make those prices so high? She said the vit d was the most expensive one, coming in at a whopping 456.00 part of the 789.00

When I recovered from the pricing, she looked thru the specific panels for me and saw nothing that included magnesium levels, so that will have to be done at a later date. No biggy, I'll continue to supplement because any level now is bound to be better than 6 months ago.

At any rate, I'm halfway then the antibiotics and planning on next week getting them done. And then labs.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:23 AM   #8
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That's nuts. I bet insurance has negotiated rates that will bring it loser to the $123 price.

If someone wants to do something about healthcare, that kind of nonsense is the place to start. Ever read a hospital bill?
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:47 AM   #9
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I just had a full lipid profile done at Walgreen's for $35. I'm sure they don't do all those tests, but they do do some others. Just a thought to check into IF you have a Walgreen's near you and if they do it. Not all in all states do.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:26 PM   #10
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Susan, a magnesium blood test really does not show a deficiency until it is extremely severe so I would not bother about requesting one.

Most of the magnesium in our bodies is stored in other body parts, not the blood. Because magnesium is such an important mineral to every cell in our bodies, when we have a deficiency, magnesium will be taken from the other places it is stored to keep the magnesium in our blood at the right level. So, a magnesium blood test can come back normal even when we are deficient. There are no good & available tests that accurately give magnesium levels in our bodies.

FYI: There is a very long & informative thread on magnesium on the PG.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:29 PM   #11
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If you insist on taking the antibiotics you should also take probiotics. The Antibiotics kill the good bugs as well as the bad ones.
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:41 PM   #12
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Hello Susan 41- Your cbc should include wbc (white bloodcell) rbc (red blood cells) neutrophils, lymphocytes etc. The cbc can detect general illnesses as well as infections so it is always a good start and can detect illnesses that may not be so apparent. A1C and lipid profile is always good when you are on a low carb diet to see what your sugars and cholesterol is like. TSH is always good but sometimes requires fasting and will check your thyroid function. The urine dipstick may pick up ketones in your urine, but will also test for red blood cells, white blood cells, ph balance, protein, biliruben etc and may detect and issues with bladder, kidney's and urinary tract. Sometimes a urinalysis also includes a urine culture which would test for bacteria ( I am actually surprised he added this to the test). I am so glad to hear you are taking magnesium, studies show that is helps with depression, body pain and sleep so you have obviously done some good research about that. I don't think I have ever had my vitamin-D tested but would love to get that done. I don't think it is covered under my canadian health plan but I def want to check into that! Sounds like you found a fantastic doctor that is willing to listen and do proper investigations. I hope all goes well with your labs
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:22 PM   #13
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You do not need to fast for any thyroid tests.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondDeb View Post
Susan, a magnesium blood test really does not show a deficiency until it is extremely severe so I would not bother about requesting one.

Most of the magnesium in our bodies is stored in other body parts, not the blood. Because magnesium is such an important mineral to every cell in our bodies, when we have a deficiency, magnesium will be taken from the other places it is stored to keep the magnesium in our blood at the right level. So, a magnesium blood test can come back normal even when we are deficient. There are no good & available tests that accurately give magnesium levels in our bodies.

FYI: There is a very long & informative thread on magnesium on the PG.

You were not kiddin on that long and informative thread!!! I've been reading it all morning and am SOLD. you're amazing Deb. Thank you so much for pointing me in the direction. Am either purchasing the good state ionic liquid today online, or buying something comparable at vitamin shoppe today when I get out n about. I'm really looking forward to seeing if I benefit from it.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:32 PM   #15
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I hope the magnesium helps you, too, Susan. As I mentioned in the thread, the liquid ionic form of magnesium has made a huge difference in my life. It is amazing! Let us know how it helps you - and start it slowly, then gradually increase if needed.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:46 PM   #16
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I'm so excited lol. (Little things really please me!) I got a bottle of liq magnesuim today at vitamin shoppe locally, for 7.99

It's Trace Minerals brand, Ionic Magnesium 400mg

I am concerned that this particular brand isn't 100% elemental. But it's a start. If I feel benefits from this I will order the Good State brand.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:04 AM   #17
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you do not have to fast for tsh but keep in mind that tsh is lower after eating which can give false readings. So like weighing yourself in the a.m, to get a true reliable reading some doctor's recommend taking test first thing in the a.m.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:06 AM   #18
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I like to combine my magnesium with my calcium and vitamin d.That is my "feel good" blend
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:07 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by emily1 View Post
you do not have to fast for tsh but keep in mind that tsh is lower after eating which can give false readings. So like weighing yourself in the a.m, to get a true reliable reading some doctor's recommend taking test first thing in the a.m.
Thank you for the info!
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