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Old 12-12-2011, 10:21 AM   #1
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I need a Dr. in Baton Rouge who'll treat me

I've been telling my doctors (prim care and gyno) for years about how I've been feeling - fatigue, inability to lose weight (no matter the diet or the amount of exercise), constantly freezing, head & body aches, etc. They all say "maybe it's your thyroid" and then my tests come back as "normal". The last ones were TSH 1.317 (.5-5.0 scale) and FT4 .8 (.8-2.0 scale). Has anyone on here had similar experience/numbers and if so what doctor do you see for help (in Baton Rouge Area)?
I've been told about Dr. Miller in Hammond but the earliest appt he had was June.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:31 PM   #2
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Hi, Wrkg Mom! I live in Baton Rouge and have seen numerous endocrinologists (and, currently a family medicine doctor) in town in the eight years since being diagnosed with Hashimoto's. I'll be happy to share with you what I know!

First, check out these threads. (On that second link, start at Pam's post #38):
Good endos in Louisiana?
Nap every day.

Next, I highly recommend that you call a few chain pharmacies in town to get an updated list of doctors who are prescribing either natural dessicated thyroid—some common brand names are Armour, Naturethroid, Westhroid—or prescribing T3 medications. (Cytomel is probably the most common brand of synthetic T3.) Then, call the two compounding pharmacies to get an updated list of doctors who are prescribing compounded T4/T3 medications. This will give you a good idea of which doctors are likely to be the most "open-minded" about thyroid diagnosis and treatment in the area.

Know ahead of time that sometimes the more "open-minded" doctors are not, in fact, endocrinologists. Which is why I am now seeing a family medicine doctor after trying four endocrinologists who only prescribed either Synthroid alone, or a combination of synthetic T4/T3, and would not treat me based on my symptoms. In your case, especially, without an overt above-range TSH, you will need to find a doctor who will test both Free T3 (FT3) and Free T4 (FT4) levels along with antibodies; perform an ultrasound on your thyroid to look for enlargement/goiter, nodules and/or signs of autoimmune activity; listen to your symptoms in combination with your test results, and treat accordingly.

Please let me know if you have questions about any specific doctors you come across in your research. Given my record, chances are, I've probably seen him!
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:39 PM   #3
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I live in Baton Rouge and go to Dr. Bhushan at The Metabolic Center. (It's behind OLOL Hospital.) He treats aggressively, but I wouldn't take the Metformin/Byetta that he pushes. Just decline it.

But he will treat your thyroid. He doesn't write for Armour, but will give you Synthroid and Cytomel. He doesn't hold back.

I had to wait 3 months to get seen by him, so call to make an appt. soon!

p.s. I prefer his physician's assistant, Mr. Marrinoux. But for your first appt. they probalby won't let you see him. But you can request him for follow-up appts. The female dr. there, Dr. Flood, is too new and I just didn't feel like she knew what she was talking about.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:05 AM   #4
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Thank y'all so much for the info. I did make an appointment with Dr. Bhushan but it isn't until February. I was also told about Dr. Miller in Hammond (he treats a friend of mine for IR even though her glucose tests have never been "abnormal"), but his first available isn't until June. I went ahead and took the appointment since I don't know what will happen with Bhushan.

I guess what drives me crazy is that when I tell my primary care doctor, cardiologist and my gyno how I'm feeling, etc. they immediately say "Oh let's test your thyroid", but because the TSH is low-normal they say it's just because I have two kids and work full-time. I've only had my FT4 tested once and it was the lowest it could be and still be in the "normal" range, which I've been told given my TSH score could mean I'm hypo and is probably why I feel so bad all the time. I have a hard time swallowing that the reason is just beacuse I work full-time and have kids. I mean lots of women work full-time and have two, three, and four kids. If that were the cause of things none of us would get anything accomplished because we'd been in bed all day from fatigue, body aches, depression, etc.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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Thank y'all so much for the info. I did make an appointment with Dr. Bhushan but it isn't until February. I was also told about Dr. Miller in Hammond (he treats a friend of mine for IR even though her glucose tests have never been "abnormal"), but his first available isn't until June. I went ahead and took the appointment since I don't know what will happen with Bhushan.

I guess what drives me crazy is that when I tell my primary care doctor, cardiologist and my gyno how I'm feeling, etc. they immediately say "Oh let's test your thyroid", but because the TSH is low-normal they say it's just because I have two kids and work full-time. I've only had my FT4 tested once and it was the lowest it could be and still be in the "normal" range, which I've been told given my TSH score could mean I'm hypo and is probably why I feel so bad all the time. I have a hard time swallowing that the reason is just beacuse I work full-time and have kids. I mean lots of women work full-time and have two, three, and four kids. If that were the cause of things none of us would get anything accomplished because we'd been in bed all day from fatigue, body aches, depression, etc.
I feel your frustration.

If you call Dr. Bhushan's office and keep asking if there's a cancellation, you might get in sooner. I got in a week or more sooner than my scheduled appt. (That I had to wait 3 months for, ugh!) by calling every few days and asking if there was a cancellation. I finally lucked out and got one! (Dr. Bhushan doesn't work on Fridays, so don't bother calling on a Friday.) You could probably get in sooner if you saw Dr. Flood, but I just don't think she's experienced enough. But if you were desparate, you could try seeing her the first time and then switching over to Bhushan or Mr. Marrinoux (his P.A.) after your initial appt. At least you'd be 'in' earlier.

Have you asked them if you can get thyroid bloodwork done at their lab BEFORE your first appt? I had some bloodwork from my previous dr. with me to show him and Bhushan increased my dosage on the spot, even though it was only TSH results and no T3 or T4. Bring copies of what you've had done already if they don't want to do a thyroid panel before your appt. (For insurance purposes, they may not be able to write orders for the labs if they haven't seen you yet.)

They have a lab in the back of their office, so for all of your followup appointments you'll go a week - 10 days in advance to the back lab and get your blood drawn. Then they have the lab results already when you show up for your appt.

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Old 12-20-2011, 09:36 AM   #6
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I was actually wondering about getting the lab work done before the appointment too. I recently had lab work through my cardiologist, but he only tested TSh and Vit D 25-hydroxy (which was low). My FT4 hasn't been tested in over a year. I'll send a message on his patient portal to see if that is something that I can do in preparation for the appointment.

I'm also wondering about being IR. I have two friends who have been diagnosed and they were telling me the glucose test they did was the same one that I did when I was pregnant (where you drink that nasty drink and they take several samples at different time intervals). Both times my doctor "tested" me for IR all I did was the fasting blood sugar test. Which test to Bhushan do to make the recommendation for Metformin?
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #7
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I was actually wondering about getting the lab work done before the appointment too. I recently had lab work through my cardiologist, but he only tested TSh and Vit D 25-hydroxy (which was low). My FT4 hasn't been tested in over a year. I'll send a message on his patient portal to see if that is something that I can do in preparation for the appointment.

I'm also wondering about being IR. I have two friends who have been diagnosed and they were telling me the glucose test they did was the same one that I did when I was pregnant (where you drink that nasty drink and they take several samples at different time intervals). Both times my doctor "tested" me for IR all I did was the fasting blood sugar test. Which test to Bhushan do to make the recommendation for Metformin?
All of my bloodwork has just been fasting bloodwork.

If your results are bad I don't know if he'll make you do the drink test. I don't think he would -- he'd just write you an Rx.

If you want to be on Metformin, Bhushan is your man. He'll write it.

Has low carbing helped your blood sugar numbers? Bhushan wanted to put me on Byetta, but I said no. I was able to fix everything through low carb (except my thyroid.)

Bhushan is not pro-low carb. I asked him and he said, "We recommend portion control." Ugh! So I've obviously never made an appointment to meet with his dietician.

After several months Mr. Marinnoux looked at my results and said, "What you have achieved through diet alone is amazing! This is a wonderful thing that you have done!" That gave me a warm fuzzy!
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:01 AM   #8
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I don't know what my glucose numbers are. I've never seen the lab results and have always just been told the standard "you're normal" from the doctors. I only started the low carb in September and lost 15 pounds in 5 weeks. I've stalled out recently, but I'm sure that is because of the holidays and not being as strict as I should be - having cocktails at parties and all. I have been good as far as staying away from all the sweets that are pretty much thrown in my face this time of year though. I'm wondering if drinking the cocktails is why I've been craving like a crazy woman nothing but proteins lately.....hmmmmm. We have no more christmas parties to attend so my drinking will come to an end like it does until this time next year so maybe I'll get a jump start again.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:49 AM   #9
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I got a glucose meter from Amazon and checked myself. I'm in the 80's so I'm great. But it was good to know.

Yes, try to stay strict on plan because they are going to check your cholesterol numbers, too. (Hypothyroidism makes you have high cholesterol if it's not treated properly.)

He'll also check your Vitamind D, B12, and Calcium.

You can call your dr. and ask them to mail you copies of your last blood work results. I've done that before. Having the glucose reading will help him at your first visit.

They also measure your waist. And if you've got dry elbows and skin tags on your neck he's going to tell you that you have metabolic disorder, just by looking at you. Then he'll prescribe Byetta. (But if you are doing well on the low carb, you can make yourself better without the Byetta.)

Congratulations on your weightloss! Keep up the good work!
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:14 PM   #10
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I know that my vitamin D is low. My cardiologist just checked that and put me on D3-2000/day. I've never had the others tested, or if they were no one told me anything about the results.
I just heard back from Dr. Bhushan's office saying that they won't order labs before the appointment because he won't know which tests to order until he sees me. Oh well...it was worth a try.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:58 PM   #11
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:09 PM   #12
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I know that my vitamin D is low. My cardiologist just checked that and put me on D3-2000/day. I've never had the others tested, or if they were no one told me anything about the results.
I just heard back from Dr. Bhushan's office saying that they won't order labs before the appointment because he won't know which tests to order until he sees me. Oh well...it was worth a try.
How low was your Vitamind D? 2000 IU/day is the bare minimum.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:14 AM   #13
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It was 24 and the lab range was 32-50. So low but not crazy low. He gave me an order for followup labs in 6 months to see what the numbers are and if we need to modify the dose.

Beezer - I've seen on some of your other posts that you've been seeing Dr. Flood and at first were unsure about it because she was so new. What are your thoughts now? Would you still recommend seeing Dr. Bhushan for an initial appt? I'm wondering if I switched my appt to Dr. Flood if I could get in earlier than February.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:32 AM   #14
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It was 24 and the lab range was 32-50. So low but not crazy low. He gave me an order for followup labs in 6 months to see what the numbers are and if we need to modify the dose.

Beezer - I've seen on some of your other posts that you've been seeing Dr. Flood and at first were unsure about it because she was so new. What are your thoughts now? Would you still recommend seeing Dr. Bhushan for an initial appt? I'm wondering if I switched my appt to Dr. Flood if I could get in earlier than February.
I still feel the same way about Dr. Flood (I felt like I had to lead her, telling her what to do and she'd agree. But shouldn't she be telling ME what the proper treatment is?) Maybe I'm just a pushy patient?

She's not 'bad' I guess. She's very nice. I just want 'experienced.' But it's probably been a year since I saw her, she's had a year of experience in that very busy clinic, so maybe she's improved.

I'd go ahead and call to see if you could see her for your first appt. I bet you'd get in faster. Then you could switch over. I am sure that she'll prescribe you something.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:39 AM   #15
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I appreciate your insight. I am beginning to believe I am crazy (as has been suggested by those around me).
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:57 AM   #16
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Got an earlier appt with Dr. Flood for Jan. 17th......I am so ready
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:38 AM   #17
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I appreciate your insight. I am beginning to believe I am crazy (as has been suggested by those around me).
Hypothyroid is very difficult to live with. I understand.

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Got an earlier appt with Dr. Flood for Jan. 17th......I am so ready
I'm so glad! That will be here before we know it!

Can you order copies of your labs from your dr so you can bring them to the appt? They should be able to just mail them to you.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:48 AM   #18
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I am so that I can have as much information with me as possible.
Another question I have is it seems like my TSH is on the rise (even thought it is considered normal) - would that be indicative of anything going on?
In June of 2010:
TSH .85/.9 (tested twice) lab range .5-5.0
Free T4 .8 (only tested once) lab range .8-2.0
In November of 2011:
TSH 1.32 lab range .5-5.0

Symtpoms are the same "severity" but it seems like new ones are beginning to come about - notice my hair is thinning and falling out a lot more when I wash it. I've also noticed a tightness in my throat and I cough and cough and cough after eating (but not from heartburn or indigestion - more like because it feels like something is stuck).
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:25 AM   #19
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I am so that I can have as much information with me as possible.
Another question I have is it seems like my TSH is on the rise (even thought it is considered normal) - would that be indicative of anything going on?
In June of 2010:
TSH .85/.9 (tested twice) lab range .5-5.0
Free T4 .8 (only tested once) lab range .8-2.0
In November of 2011:
TSH 1.32 lab range .5-5.0

Symtpoms are the same "severity" but it seems like new ones are beginning to come about - notice my hair is thinning and falling out a lot more when I wash it. I've also noticed a tightness in my throat and I cough and cough and cough after eating (but not from heartburn or indigestion - more like because it feels like something is stuck).
It's good that you have two separate labs for her to look at. I don't know, your TSH doesn't appear to be high. (Mine was at 3.3 when I was diagnosed.) But the Free T4 and Free T3 need to be looked at and your symptoms sound like something is going on with your thyroid. SOmetimes people's thyroid's go up and down before they poop out. Maybe you're a little hyper and on your way to hypo??? But your Free T4 is at the bottom of the range.

I'm looking at my labs that were done this month an my Free T4 is 1.43 (range 0.89 - 1.95) and I'm feeling GREAT. So, your T4 does look very low to me.

She'll also feel your throat and have you swallow.

They should test you for Hashimoto's antibodies, since it will be your first visit. (Make sure you ASK her to test for that. It makes a difference whether or not you've got Hashi's as to whether or not you can take iodine supplements.)



Side note: I'm going next Wednesday to have Dr. Bhushan sonogram my thyroid and possibly biopsy a nodule. I can feel the nodule, it's the size of a cooked green pea and when I mess with it, it hurts. But it was interesting to learn the Dr. Bhushan does that in his office. I thought they'd have to send me to the BR Clinic or something.

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Old 12-21-2011, 10:29 AM   #20
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That's what a couple of people have told me - that my Free T4 is too low and that is probably why I feel so bad. The 17th can't come soon enough.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:37 AM   #21
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That's what a couple of people have told me - that my Free T4 is too low and that is probably why I feel so bad. The 17th can't come soon enough.
I know how you feel.

While you are waiting, try to avoid these foods:
Quote:
Eating Too Many Goitrogenic Foods

Certain foods besides soy can also have what's known as a goitrogenic effect, or the ability to enlarge the thyroid and make it form a goiter. These foods can act like antithyroid drugs in disabling the thyroid, and causing hypothyroidism. If you still have a thyroid, you need to be more concerned about not overconsuming these goitrogens, particularly raw. What foods are goitrogenic? Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, turnips, kohlrabi, radishes, cauliflower, African cassava, millet, babassu (a palm-tree coconut fruit popular in Brazil and Africa) cabbage, and kale are all considered goitrogenic. Some experts believe that the enzymes involved in the formation of goitrogenic materials in plants can be destroyed by cooking, so thorough cooking may minimize some or most goitrogenic potential. Eating reasonable amounts of goitrogenic foods, raw or cooked, are probably not a problem for most people.
I notice that cabbage gives me a definite downswing. I love it, but try to avoid it now.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:47 AM   #22
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I can't feel anything like lumps or nodules, but I get this feeling like someone is pressing in on my throat just below my "adam's apple" and my neck and shoulders have been really sore lately and heaven forbid if I look up because the "choking" feeling gets way worse.
I didn't think this could be related, but could it?
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:29 AM   #23
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I can't feel anything like lumps or nodules, but I get this feeling like someone is pressing in on my throat just below my "adam's apple" and my neck and shoulders have been really sore lately and heaven forbid if I look up because the "choking" feeling gets way worse.
I didn't think this could be related, but could it?
Yes. It most definitely could.

If you call the dr's office and tell them that -- it might get you in to see Dr. Flood quicker. (Worth a try, anyway.)
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:17 AM   #24
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Just left a message about it. I've noticed today too that my voice is sounding rough and I have a very dry cough. I'm not feeling like I have a cold or anything though.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:42 PM   #25
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Has anyone heard of Dr. Hilton with the Baton Rouge Clinic? If so, thoughts?
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:54 PM   #26
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Has anyone heard of Dr. Hilton with the Baton Rouge Clinic? If so, thoughts?
My son went to an endo at the BRClinic (not Dr. Hilton) and I believe that they all there have to follow a specific (conservative) protocol dictated to them by 'higher ups.' (Just my 2 cents.)

I know you want to get seen before Jan 17th, but you will be happier at the Metabolic Center.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:27 AM   #27
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Met. Clinic called back and said I should go to my prim care Dr. If my current symptoms (throat issues) are that bad because they can't see me until the 17th. So I am going to make an appt with my prim care and see if I can get him to run a full thyroid panel with antibodies so atleast I will have recent labs to bring with me to Dr. Flood.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:56 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Wrkg Mom View Post
Met. Clinic called back and said I should go to my prim care Dr. If my current symptoms (throat issues) are that bad because they can't see me until the 17th. So I am going to make an appt with my prim care and see if I can get him to run a full thyroid panel with antibodies so atleast I will have recent labs to bring with me to Dr. Flood.
That's a good idea.

Ask them to check Free T3 and Free T4 while they're doing it.
Also your B12 and Vitamin D.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:52 PM   #29
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I have an appt tomorrow with my gen. pract. He said to bring in my labs from my gyno and that we'd go over them and order anything that might be helpful. So I got my labs faxed to me from my gyno's office. Looking at them - it looks like I am anemic (low RBC and MCH and pretty low/normal WBC). I know my Vitamin D 25-hydroxy is low (my cardio tested for that two months ago) and it came back as a 24 (ref. range started at 32). I've not had B12 tested though.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:06 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Wrkg Mom View Post
I have an appt tomorrow with my gen. pract. He said to bring in my labs from my gyno and that we'd go over them and order anything that might be helpful. So I got my labs faxed to me from my gyno's office. Looking at them - it looks like I am anemic (low RBC and MCH and pretty low/normal WBC). I know my Vitamin D 25-hydroxy is low (my cardio tested for that two months ago) and it came back as a 24 (ref. range started at 32). I've not had B12 tested though.
Maybe something good will come of that. I know the 17th can't get here fast enough!
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