Over the past few years I have been struggling with certain worsening symptoms. If you have been following my posts at all, you will know that I don’t tolerate sugar. I think I’ve finally found the reason. But I don’t want to spill the beans too soon. Here is a list of symptoms I was experiencing, that had been getting worse in spite of all of my best efforts:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Heavy and painful periods
  • Eye pain/worsening eyesight
  • Joint and muscle pain (especially neck, right hand pointer knuckle, left shoulder, calves, and left hip)
  • Food sensitivities (recently I realized I can’t eat dairy anymore at all)
  • Disrupted sleep (waking at 2 or 3AM or *EEP* before 12 AM and not being able to get back to sleep)
  • Pelvic pain (aching left ovary)
  • Increased intolerance to alcohol (can’t I just have one drink without a terrible hangover?!?)

And I‘m sure there are more I’m not thinking of right now. But suffice it to say these symptoms have been very frustrating for me. BECAUSE:

  1. I don’t eat sugar, as a general rule.
  2. I eat mostly a Paleo diet.
  3. I keep my carbs relatively low.
  4. I exercise by walking almost daily and lifting weights about 2x/week.
  5. I meditate and pray on a daily basis.
  6. I take supplements (oh Lord do I take supplements)
  7. I use my little sauna and practice physical detoxification regularly.

SO, back in October, I got a comprehensive blood panel done. Here are the tests that were out (from a functional perspective, never mind lab reference values):

Test My # Laboratory Reference range Funcional Range
TIBC 232 250-450ug/dL 275-425 ug/dL
UIBC 123 131-425 ug/dL 175-350 ug/dL
Iron 109 27-159 ug/dL 40-135 ug/dL
Iron Saturation 47 15-55% 17-45%
Ferritin, Serum 47 15-150 ng/mL 15-150 ng/mL

So, as you can see, the TIBC and UIBC were out of the laboratory reference range, and the % Iron Saturation was outside the functional range. It came as quite a shock! I did not expect any issues with my iron levels.

If your numbers are within the normal “lab” reference range but outside the functional range, you have more of a nutritional situation or imbalance, or perhaps the disease process has begun but hasn’t progressed to the point that medical science can treat it. It you’re the forward-thinking sort, It’s better to catch problems in these ranges, than to wait until they develop into serious problems.

I did some research and thought back to an iron course I had taken about three years ago with Chris Kresser. He discussed iron overload and deficiency in detail. I reviewed this information and learned that the best treatment for iron overload is therapeutic phlebotomy…in other words…give blood!

I was off the blood drive within two days. Not an extremely fun experience (can you say LARGE needles), but I felt like I was helping my own health and getting to help others in the process. Especially since my blood type is O-, the universal donor. To my delight, I felt so much better after giving a unit of blood.

My body pains reduced about 70%. My mood lifted. My sleep has improved. My pelvic pain went away. Tiredness also improved greatly. My food sensitivities were still there, as was my alcohol intolerance (rats).

But…after about 2 weeks…these problems started to creep back in.

Tune in next week for part II; find out what happened next!

I hope you’re enjoying the ebook!

Yours in superlative health,