Blood count advice

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Blood count advice

Postby keaedmondson » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:00 am

I hope it is okay to post this question in this forum.

I know you guys are not doctors, but today I am not feeling the medical profession! Sorry to say. I had blood tests done last week, really because I haven't had any done since I was diagnosed two years ago, also to see if there might be any other reason for my increase in tiredness, such as thyroid problems ETC.

I rang for the results today. I hate the way my surgery works, it is the receptionist that give you the results over the phone. I mean what do they know? She said there was a problem with my blood count. I don't know what"problem" Means though. She Preceded to tell me that she was sure it wasn't something I needed to worry about and it wasn't anything urgent that I should just discuss it with my doctor at my next appointment. I have no appointments planned, so I suggested that I make one since that was the case.

I have one on Thursday morning, where I guess I will ask my doctor about the full blood test results and what that means. And if I need to do anything. But I feel a bit like I might be wasting my doctor's time if I go on Thursday. I wanted to know, from peoples experience, when you have blood tests, does FM mean your blood count is funny in any way? I'm not asking for a particular diagnosis but does anybody have any ideas/reasons why there may be a problem?

I would have thought that if there was a major problem, they would have called me themselves. But with them, I really do not know. I had another fight with them today about a new prescription which I was promised but did not get. The receptionist told me that she was sure my painkillers would be working.… I will leave you with that thought…

I feel like I live in the doctor's surgery at the moment and do not want to go there if I do not need to, however, I do not want to miss something which might be wrong either. I am planning on not overreacting But I'm not very good at that… Which is why I thought I'd send a message on here, as I'm sure I'll get rational advice!

Thank you very much!
Kirsten.
Last edited by FluppyPuffy on Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Made paragraphs clearer for easier reading.
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Re: Blood count advice

Postby deanna dimech » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:21 am

We all feel that we live at the doctors so don't worry about that, your blood count I had the same thing and I have very low vitamin D. when I have read about fibro it is something that most of us have in common , The doctor gave me some calcium and vitamin D tablets which I still have a problem taking ,I now just take the vitamin D and am less tied . Good luck
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Re: Blood count advice

Postby anonymouse » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:41 am

Hi Kirsten,

I don't see a problem with your question at all. I can only comment on usual practice and can't take into account any local variations but the system I understand in this. When your bloods are sent to the lab they contain instructions about what the doctor wants analysing etc and any existing conditions that could screw with results as you probably know. When the results for each test are put on the computer the result is compared to normal range for each individual test.the computer will highlight any results that are out of range, then will print what the normal range is, how far over or under your result is (sometimes an urgency factor if a result is way off, which could trigger a retest in the lab anyway) and any factors that would vary result range such as ethnicity, sex, lifestyle, time of year etc. When the results come into the surgery I believe they are entered onto the surgery system (if not done automaticly) and I "believe" these are then looked at by a doctor at the surgery and the computer logs his/her ID any any notes/actions. If you ring up the receptionist simply goes down the list and reads any over/unders and any notes/instructions from the lab/surgery doctor. Normal practice is to request the patient books an appointment if any results are out of range. So for a standard diagnostic test its fairly safe for a receptionist to read them to you.

However if its specific things you would normally have a follow up appointment booked in advance to look at the results. This is because perhaps something abnormal for you would be within the normal range so therefore not flagged, they could be comparing variance/trend from previous results etc or it could be a specialist test. Personally I always go in and ask for a print so I have them for my records. Also it can be helpful to have with you if your visiting specialists outside of the NHS trust area as they can't always look at your results and sometimes there are cock ups where the results should have gone to the specialist but didn't, in which case the appointment would be a complete waste of time and pain in the bum if you didn't happen to have a paper copy. This has happened in the majority of my out of trust appointments so a little tip I like to share. You can also keep an eye on your "normal" and your variance over a number of tests.

As for Fibromyalgia there is nothing that would show up on a blood test as abnormal that would mean Fibromyalgia. However there are things like you say that could point to a missdiagnosis for example a high rheumatoid factor would indicate your symptoms could be due to an inflammatory condition, a form of arthritis instead of Fibromyalgia where the symptoms are very similar. Now there are things in your blood that can be off due to say chronic pain that would be a concern if you didn't have a chronic pain diagnosis but would be perfectly understandable with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis for instance. There are also other things that could show as a result of Fibromyalgia and similar conditions such as indicators of muscle breakdown if you have become suddenly immobile due to Fibro. Also I would be extremely sceptical about a Fibromyalgia diagnosis without thorough blood tests as the symptoms of Fibro could present be due to 101 different conditions that are not Fibro some of these are less concerning but some of them could be fatal if missed by a doctor jumping to a Fibro diagnosis without proper testing and monitoring. Be cautious also if you have Fibro for a while and your symptoms suddenly get worse, some doctors come out with "its Fibromyalgia" to every symptom under the sun after a diagnosis and I have seen some horrendous things missed because of this attitude.

Another one to watch for is Vitamin D as the other post mentioned. Now there are several links with Fibromyalgia and Vitamin D. Firstly problems that cause Vitamin D difficency can often be misdiagnosed as Fibromyalgia as the symptoms are very similar. Secondly some research shows a link between low vitamin D and Fibromyalgia. Thirdly because of the impact Fibromyalgia can have on lifestyle you may not be getting enough Vitamin D as you spend most of your time in bed, indoors, find heat hard to cope with, find you burn more easily after Fibro as your general sun exposure is low leading to you applying more sunscreen etc etc etc. For vitamin D my advice to everyone with Fibro is to make sure your Vit D has been tested as part of your diagnostic path AND have your vitamin D levels monitored regularly. Most of our Vit D comes from the sun, Fibro can make us sun shy AND the symptoms of Vit D difficency are almost identical to they symptoms of Fibromyalgia until you reach the more severe difficency levels, hence why difficency could be missed. As the other user mentioned Calcium is also closely linked with Vit D but I won't go into detail as I've already rambled enough.

So to conclude there isn't anything in a test that indicates Fibro, but things in test that could be because of Fibro. However there isn't too much to worry about when it comes to receptionists reading blood results but if your at all concerned or have had a distinct or sudden change in your symptoms then ask for a second opinion. Hope all that helps and I haven't rambled too much, I'm not known for my short posts! ;-)

Take good care
Anonymouse
P.S. this is my opinion/experience and I hold no medical qualifications.
Fibro, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Psoriasis, Migraines, Light & Hyper Sensitivity & Joint Subluxation but apart from that I am perfectly healthy & battling for ESA & DLA. - Twitter: my_fibromyalgia - Facebook: myfibromyalgia
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Re: Blood count advice

Postby *Lisa* » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:19 am

From experience please do not take on board what the receptionists say! it can be very mis leading and also dangerous to patients the receptionist giving there *views* as they are not medicaly trained nor know your personal and medical history.

At my GP surgery the receptionists also give you the results, thus meaning if the GP puts on the blood tests results *needs to see patient* then there is a problem that needs addressing.

I fell into the receptionusts trap so to speak and ended up really ill with stress until i saw my GP which in the end was unessacary.

I called up for my results and receptionist went ... *Oh... blood tests say you have boredaline Lupus* well i nearly fainted! i couldnt see my GP for a week and in that week i had already made my coffin :shock: :yikes: my anxiety flew out the window :shock: couldnt sleep and was teary and much more.

My mum came with me for support on day of appointment and we got into the room. GP asked *how can i help you today*... i nearly burst into tears, mum took over as i was too choked and said were here about the blood results.

He had a look and looked puzzled :-? :-? i cant see anything wrong he says and iv not put a request on to see you :?: :?: so i explained that the receptionist says i may have Lupus and his face fell!!! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Works out that i have always had raised CRP levals (inflammation can be related to lupus) and iv known that and my GP's for years and years. So the receptionist read the CRP results as i have boredaline Lupus where as she dont know my history :-? :-? so to my GP it was not out of the ordinary for ME and my health history :roll: :roll: so nothing to worry about and although my CRP is very high unless im getting blood results that show a change that relates to Lupus then i am ok and to plod on as before!! :roll: :roll:

GP was not impressed yet couldnt tell him name of receptionist as i was so shocked i just didnt think!! :crazy: so now am more cautious.

You are best of asking your GP for the results if anything shows up and hope the results are ok and not too bad :fingerscrossed:
As a Public Moderator & Admin of this forum my opinions/views expressed are personal and are no more valid than those of other members and not necessarily those of UKFibromyalgia...Lisa
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Re: Blood count advice

Postby anonymouse » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:30 pm

Blooming heck Lisa,

Sorry to hear about your story. Yea if the Receptionist starts making a diagnosis take it with a pinch of salt and book an appointment. When writing my post it was very much about what should happen, needless to say if you get any information suggesting the system isn't working get into your GP. Its always worth getting copies of all your tests and reports. However careful googling it all unless your the type of person who can take it with a pinch of salt until you see your GP. In Lisa's example it was CRP and I bet the receptionist didn't ask about acute infection an any injuries etcetera as these can all be things that elivated CRP could be from, even though she (receptionist) was playing GP which is totally out of order. Once again sorry to hear about your experience there, that should never happen and is so dangerous, it sounds like something that would happen with my old GP surgery. Never follow advice from anyone without checking with someone who is qualified to give the advice as well, it can be usefull to gauge if you need a second opinion but it should never count at the second opinion. (If that makes sense)
Fibro, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Psoriasis, Migraines, Light & Hyper Sensitivity & Joint Subluxation but apart from that I am perfectly healthy & battling for ESA & DLA. - Twitter: my_fibromyalgia - Facebook: myfibromyalgia
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Re: Blood count advice

Postby FluppyPuffy » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:17 pm

I've moved you onto this board Kirsten as it's a bit more suitable for what your topic relates to. And there's absolutely no problem with posting about a subject such as this one, esp as it's something that the majority of us experience at some point or another along the way :cow-wave: :cow-wave: :cow-wave:

Lots of us feel like the docs is our second home, and please try not to think/feel that you are wasting your GPs time when you go, not just on Thursday, but at any time. You have been told something that has left you feeling :scream-1: :scream-1: :scream-1: :scream-1: :scream-1: :scream-1: :scream-1: :scream-1: :scream-1: and probably wanting to :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: the person who has made you feel like it :waiting: :waiting: :waiting: :waiting: :waiting: :waiting:

Receptionists, well the majority of them, always seem to be from a different planet :alien: :alien: :alien: :alien: :alien: :alien: The ones at my surgery seem to be much better compared to a lot of places, but even they have their moments :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm: For test results, calls are put thru to a different extn where they can be discussed with staff who are familiar with what different results may indicate, but there are no comments like what has been mentioned on here. If there are any anomalies, they tend to have been looked at by the GP who requested the tests, who will make some notes if needed to be passed on to the patient. Mine have included things like I need to make an appt to discuss the results, or if something is just slightly out of range, then I need to make an appt for a repeat test in however many days/weeks time to see if there is any change.

Just a little more professionalism and forethought would make such a difference :teddy-bear: :teddy-bear: :teddy-bear: :teddy-bear: :teddy-bear: :teddy-bear:
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Blood count advice

Postby keaedmondson » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:54 pm

Thank you everyone! I'm glad to hear (sadly) That others have had similar experiences.
Thank you for all the support, I know this is a good forum and it's good to know there are so many people around who have had similar things.



Kirsten
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Re: Blood count advice

Postby Tracie » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:59 am

At my drs receptionists are not allowed to discuss bloods all they can say is that they normal or need to see gp,my blood is not right at moment especially because I am on iron tablets and inflammation shows either due to a med I am on or dr said could have had infection time of bloods,it could be really nothing to worry about good luck.
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Re: Blood count advice

Postby keaedmondson » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:43 pm

So I went to see the doctor today to get my blood results. It seems that my esr is raised. Probably, you all know that that is your inflamatory markers. Apparently, the figure should be about 25 and mine is 31. My doctor wasn't worried because although this is higher than it should be, she doesn't think there is any problem. It's not like if I had arthritis where it would be around a hundred. She asked me if I had a cold at the time I had the tests done, but I didn't.

I have heard of others with fm whose IM are higher than they should be, but I wasn't sure whether that was to do with fm really or not.
What are people's experiences with this?

She had also tested thyroid bud she says that had come back ok. I know that often, thyroid doesn't come up in blood tests, so I wasn't surprised. I'm not saying I do have an issue there, but I know it is comorbid and so I wouldn't be surprised if it were there hiding away.
Doctor said that when I have another set of blood tests done, then we should check my esr again.

I think I might ask for another set in six months or so. I guess it wouldn't do any harm to monitor things like that and my thyroid. Don't know what she'll say when I ask though. Their was two years nearly between my last set and this one, as they were done at diagnosis.
What are people's thoughts?
Thanks as always!


Kirsten
Last edited by FluppyPuffy on Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Split into clearer paragraphs for easier reading.
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