So I have previously covered my seemingly last resort approach with energetic medicine. This is the primary treatment I have received in the past year from a naturopath as well as frequent GP checkups. My local GP still doesn’t get the fact that what I am suffering from is real. Why do I see him? Blood tests and a cheap price! I have had to become my own doctor in a way and basically go into the docs with certain demands and requests for tests. The thing is though that when I get back these tests, my doctor doesn’t know how to interpret them. There is no point in getting tests if there are no implications for management. So after about 16 months I have returned to the doctor who originally diagnosed me. He is a brain and keeps completely up to date with current CFS research and treatment. I felt it was time to do further tests and could trust him to interpret them. When I initially saw this doctor I had no knowledge of CFS and felt quite powerless. This time round I feel educated and more in control. The problem with standard pathology tests is that the normal ranges are based on sick people’s results. No the labs do not go out and test healthy people for healthy ranges they rely solely on the pathology results of people feeling unwell and getting tests done. Check this presentation out by Dr Byron Walsh. Most integrative doctors will understand this and also realise pathology results are never 100% accurate and that we are more than just numbers on a piece of paper.
I myself have found most macro-pathology tests to be of no help to me and my condition. One of the reasons being because in CFS the primary dysfunction is in the immune system and is mostly on a micro-pathological level. Macroscopical tests are designed to pick up primary organ failure but miss minor organ failure such as partial thyroid gland failure, partial adrenal gland failure, mild liver damage, poor ability to detox etc. So it seems there are only limited tests that are worth doing when it comes to standard pathology which is why I am choosing to get more accurate and sophisticated tests done, which are not covered my medicare and are rather expensive. I tried to avoid these because of the cost, but when you have been primarily house bound for over 2 years, really cost is the last thing on my mind.
So on returning to this doctor I have done the following
Standard pathological tests which I feel have helped with pinpointing problematic areas are:
- IgE test for IgE antibodies in the blood
Typically this can point to non specific allergies but it can also suggest gut inflammation, permeability and parasites. A doctor I saw years ago used the results as part of diagnosing leaky gut. Mine are skyhigh.
- Thyroid testing
I am not just talking TSH which is actually a pituitary hormone, it is important to asses the Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, Thyroidglobulin antibodies and TPO thyroid peroxidase. You can have a normal TSH, FT4 and even FT3 but still have significant thyroid problems. In Australia if your TSH is in range they will not test your FT3 or FT4 unless it is specified you will pay as it is not covered by medicare.
I have discovered I have high reverse FT3 and low FT3, basically hypothyroid. A high RT3 can be caused by lots of stress on the body and hormonal problems (adrenal, sex hormones etc.) RT3 looks the same as FT3 but is actually an inactive hormone which cannot be utilised meaning thyroid symptoms may be present. Here is an article on this here. It is not a cure for CFS but it may be of some help.
- The obvious iron studies, vitamin D, B-12. Mine are always in the normal range but my doctor says the results should be in the high normal range for optimal wellbeing. Always ask for a copy of test results from your doc so you can check them out yourself.
- It seems appropriate to test C Reactive proteins CRP and Erythrocyte sedimentation rate ESR to look for inflammation and ANA Antinuclear antibody just to rule autoimmunity out.
- I found a urine test for Iodine beneficial which stated I was very deficient.
- Another cheap/free test worth doing is your homocysteine levels. High levels have been linked with the MHTFR gene which has been linked with CFS amongst many other health conditions. This gene can affect methylation, neurotransmitters etc, check out this blog post here. If your levels are high or high normal you may benefit from active folate, B6 and B12 to break down the homocysteine.
- Now for tests that I am doing which are not free but are accurate and helpful
- Salivary hormone tests
- Sex hormones
- Heavy Metal Testing
- Complete Digestive Analysis