Saturday, January 14, 2012

Test Results

I went for my 3 month follow up to take some test to get a status on my progress. I was looking for three specific results to be positive. Good news....bad news...

  1. My hemoglobin was 10.9. I needed it to raise to 12. 12 Is considered normal and not anemic; below 12 is anemic.Great news is that my hemoglobin was 11.9. I'm so close that I'm not concerned. This change occurred without taking iron supplements and by making dietary changes only. This is very good news!!
  2. Due to the difficulty in getting B-12 through a plant based diet, I am taking B-12, and tested this to ensure that what I was doing was sufficient, and it is as this test result was fine.
  3. My sediment rate when checked 3 months ago was 36. Normal is between 0-20. The sediment rate is a judge of the amount of inflammation in the body, and since Crohn's is an inflammatory disease, it is a good indicator of active Crohn's. This is the test that my results did not come back good. In fact it came back very bad, at 100. Now, the sediment rate is an indicator of inflammation in the body, not just Crohn's and many things can cause an elevated sediment rate. 
On a positive note, there are several things that can cause an elevated sediment rate. One thing, for example, is eating foods that are inflammatory. I send my holistic doctor, Dr. Azar, my food log weekly on Mondays. On the evening of the 8th, two days prior to my test, I ate onions. When responding to my food log, she inquired about what type of onions I ate and how much. She informed me that onions are inflammatory and that I shouldn't be eating them at this stage of my healing.

Secondly, I have a little sinus congestion. Nothing significant, but it's definitely there which also has some inflammation. So ultimately, I am hopeful that these are the reasons why my sediment rate was so elevated, and not my Crohn's.

The last time my sediment rate was checked, I was still on medication. I've been off medication now for 2 months. One of the medications I was taking was an anti-inflammatory, so it is possible that I have more inflammation today than when I was taking an anti-inflammatory, but severe inflammation would definitely be a problem and a 100 sediment rate, if it's related solely to my Crohn's, is an issue. Therefore, we need to find out for certain if the high sediment rate is directly related to my Crohn's and not the other issues. 

I return on Tuesday to have two follow up tests completed. These tests are more time consuming to get the results, but they will be a better indicator if there is an issue brewing with my disease.

The two tests that will occur on Monday the 16th is a Stool Hemoccult and C-reactive Protein test. The Stool Hemoccult determines if there is blood in the stool. If there is, than likely it is due to active inflamed Crohn's ulcers. There doesn't appear to be, but sometimes it's such a small amount it cannot be observed.

The C Reactive Protein test determines the amount of C-reactive protein in the body. C-reactive protein is a plasma protein that rises in the blood with the inflammation from certain conditions. It's not normally found in the blood of healthy people. It appears when there is inflammation from certain conditions and disappears when the inflammation goes away. Conditions that commonly lead to increases in C-reactive protein include infection, trauma, surgery, burns, inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's and colitis, and advanced cancer. So as you can see, it simply is a better indicator of inflammation than the sediment rate. 

I'll update you all on the test results once I get them. Stay tuned...


  1. I see some "positive" here! I does sound like the high altitude may have helped bring up your will have to treat yourself to another trip to Colorado!! ;) We will hope that it was the Onions and that your follow-up will show a lower reading in inflamation! Our positive thoughts are heading your way!

  2. Thanks Debbie. You're a sweetheart. I did get the test results. The C-reactive protein test was normal! Yay! However, in spite of that, my medical doctor wants me to return to meds. I have an appointment with my holistic doctor on Tuesday to discuss it. I'll blog the details about the test results but from what I'm learning, I likely won't have to get on the meds. The issue is....what actually caused the sediment rate to go so high....