Oh how I appreciate the NHS but sometimes, they’re unable to deliver what you need when you need it. Last year, I felt all the symptoms of anaemia and after waiting a couple of weeks for the next available doctors appointment I was sent off with a blood test form for a clinic that wasn’t in the best location, with limited times.
An opportunity then came up for me to receive an IV Iron Vitamin Injection almost immediately so rather than spend more time waiting (and feeling worse) I had the vitamin injection and within 1-2 weeks I was feeling heaps better.
If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll also know that I’ve been battling cystic acne since coming off the contraceptive pill (it’s one of the side effects) so have been focused on balancing my hormones and looking after my body from the inside out.
When I saw Medichecks launched a Health & Fitness Check Plus last month that sits under their Sports & Performance Category it seemed like the perfect fit. With more than 31 tests included, such as iron status, cholesterol, testosterone, oestradiol, cortisol and more it would give me a clear insight into what was happening in my body. And boy, did it do that… Here are the 5 main areas that were brought to my attention:
My Oestradiol was reported as very high which instantly had me worried. After actively making a decision to stop taking the contraceptive pill and try to balance my hormones I thought everything I was doing had been failing.
However, chatting with the Doctor we figured out that it was actually the Agnus Cactus herbal remedy that I had been taking… maybe working a little too well. That was a relief for me to know that the supplement was making a difference and a simple reduction in the amount I take should reduce my Oestradiol levels soon.
It was no surprise to learn that my Ferritin levels were toward the lower end of normal, in-fact it was a relief. It always felt like no-one believed me when I said I felt like I had low iron levels and would always ask if I had my bloods done. So now we all know!
My report recommended increasing my dietary iron intake (green leafy vegetables). Orange juice also helps you to absorb dietary iron better and over the counter lysine supplements can also help with this.
My results showed that I have high levels of vitamin B12 and recommended that if I am taking a B12 supplement I should decrease my dose. I actually am not taking any B12 supplements but chatting to the Doctor, again, it seems this may be as result of the IV Iron Vitamin Injection that I had back in October which topped up my stores.
My vitamin D levels are bordering on insufficient which is not much of a surprise as a large proportion of the population are in this situation. This may progress to vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency so I have been recommended to take steps to increase my vitamin D levels now. I was actually taking a supplement until I ran out about a month ago and couldn’t find it in stock the one time I managed to make it to the store so I’ll be looking to repurchase that asap.
Low levels of vitamin D can cause fatigue, bodily aches, poor memory and difficulties concentrating. This can affect your sporting performance as well.
My report informed me that… “Outside of the winter months there is enough sun for your skin to make at least part of your daily requirement of vitamin D, so it is worth trying to get 15-20 minutes of midday sun when the sun is out. Vitamin D can also be found in fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, tofu (I have a awesome recipe coming up to share with y’all) and some fruit juices.”
‘The only reliable natural source of vitamin D is in oily fish, although it can also be found in some mushrooms (portobello, maitake, morel, button, and shiitake are particularly good), you can improve this by leaving the mushrooms in the sun before cooking them. We recommend supplementing with 400 – 800 iu of vitamin D per day for twelve weeks.”
My CK level was reported as high, indicating either having high muscle mass, or engaging in heavy exercise or a protein rich meal prior to testing. Mine is only slightly increased at this time so is not a cause for concern. The Doctor informed me that this kind of result was common in those who are active and only when levels are considerably higher do they look for an underlying cause / issue.
I’m happy to report that all my other results came back as normal and I’ll be implementing all the above strategies sooner rather than later. I have a full post coming up soon about a new supplement regime I’ve just started to work on improving my skin and my energy levels!
If you have any questions for me, please leave them in the comments below or get in touch via my social channels!
Notes: The Medichecks Health & Fitness Check Plus test retails for £99, the Essential Heath & Fitness Check is £79. There is also an advanced test for £119.