My First Bloodtest as a Vegan

Becoming Vegan and following a plant-based diet is not something anyone should decide lightly. Both my girlfriend and I researched it and tried it for a number of nights a week before we said we’d “try it” for a month. We haven’t gone back to a typical western diet and we are nearly 6 months in.

We attended a number of talks in Dublin (there are lots of groups out there) and we were lucky enough that the VegFest in Dublin happened in our that trial month last year. Lots of amazing speakers and all confirmed that you need to get your blood tested regularly to monitor your levels especially B12 (which is normally found in animal products). See safe sources of B12 here.

Now, I have to hold my hands up. I should have gotten my blood testes before we started our plant-based diet. I have no baseline of what I was like before but I didn’t so I will have to take it from here. What we know for sure is that I was a 37 year old male, a smoker for 20 years (I had given up 3.5 months before turning vegan), no exercise and a pretty poor diet. This blood test was taken 3 months in. The results are below with the doctor’s recommendations after that.

  • WCC (White Cell Count) – Ideal Range 4 to 11. Mine 3.8
  • Urea (Kidney Function) – Ideal Range 2.50 to 7.80. Mine 2.0
  • UIBC (1 of 4 Iron Tests) – Ideal Range 20.00 to 66.00. Mine 41.00
  • tTG (Checking for Celiac Disease) – Ideal Range 0.00 to 6.99. Mine 1.20
  • TSH (Checking Thyroid Function) – Ideal Range 0.27 to 4.20. Mine 0.72
  • Triglycerides (Type of fat in the blood) – Ideal Range 0.50 to 1.70. Mine 0.78
  • Transferrin SAT (2 of 4 Iron Tests) – Ideal Range 30.00 to 40.00.  Mine 31
  • HDL Cholesterol (Good Cholesterol) – Ideal Range 2.00  to 5.00. Mine 2.7
  • Total Protein – Ideal range 66 to 87. Mine 71
  • Total Cholesterol – Ideal Range 2.5 to 5. Mine 3.4 
  • Total Bilirubin (Liver function) – Ideal Range 0 to 21. Mine 8 
  • Sodium – Ideal Range 136 to 145.  Mine 145
  • Serum Ferritin (3 of 4 Iron Test) -Ideal Range 23 to 393. Mine 123.7
  • RDW (Red cell distribution width) – Ideal Range 11 to 15. Mine 12.6 
  • RCC (Red Cell Count) – Ideal Range 4.6 to 5.7. Mine 5.01
  • Potassium – Ideal Range 3.5 to 5.3. Mine 5.1
  • PLAT – Ideal Range 140 to 450. Mine 244
  • NON HDL Cholesterol -Ideal Range 1.8 to 3.8. Mine 2.15
  • NEUT (Type of White Blood Cell) – Ideal Range 2 to 7.5. Mine 1.9
  • MONO (To fight Infection) – Ideal Range 0.2 to 0.8. Mine 0.4
  • MCV (Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is the average volume of red cells in a specimen) – Ideal Range 83 to 99. Mine 91
  • MCHC (the average amount of hemoglobin inside a single red blood cell) – Ideal Range 30.8 to 34.6. Mine 33.1
  • MHC (test for anaemia) – Ideal Range 26.7 to 32.5. Mine 30.1
  • LYMP (a type of white blood cell) – Ideal Range 1.5 to 3.5. Mine 1.4
  • LDL Cholesterol – Ideal Range 1 to 3. Mine 1.79
  • Iron – Ideal Range 14 to 31. Mine 18
  • In. Phosphate – Ideal Range 0.81 to 1.45. Mine 0.93
  • HDL Cholesterol – Ideal Range 1 to 2. Mine 1.25
  • HCT (% of red blood cells in the blood) – Ideal Range 0.43 to 0.51. Mine 0.456
  • Hb (Hemoglobin) – Ideal Range 13.5 to 18. Mine 15.1
  • Gamma – GT (Tech for Liver disease or a bone disorder) – Ideal Range 10 to 71. Mine 12
  • Free T4 (test for Thyroid function) – Ideal Range 12 to 22. Mine 18.89
  • Folate Immunoassay (Anemia Test) – Ideal Range 4.5 to 20. Mine 10.1
  • Fasting Glucose (Diabetes Test) – Ideal Range 3.5 to 5.5. Mine 4.2
  • Eosin (a type of white blood cell) – Ideal Range 0 to 0.41. Mine 0.1
  • Creatinine (kidney test) – Ideal Range 59 to 104. Mine 77
  • Corrected Calcium – Ideal Range 2.15 to 2.50. Mine 2.17
  • Calculate TIBC (4 of 4 Iron Test) – Ideal Range 50 to 80. Mine 59
  • Calcium – Ideal Range 2.15 to 2.50. Mine 2.21
  • BASO (Type of White Blood Cell) – Ideal Range 0.00 to 0.10. Mine 0.1
  • B12 – Ideal Range 206 to 1000. Mine 374 
  • AST (Testing for liver damage) – Ideal Range 0 to 40. Mine 20
  • Alkaline Phosphatase (Test for Liver, Gallbladder and Bones) – Ideal Range 40 to 129. Mine 72
  • Albumin – Ideal Range 35 to 50. Mine 47
  • Alanine Transferase (Liver Test) – Ideal Range 0 to 41. Mine 18
  • Vitamin D – Ideal Range 30 to 50. Mine 19

Not the most exciting of blogs but my doctor was overall happy. She asked me to start taking Vitamin D supplement (I’ve been taking Calcichew D3 Forte twice a day since). She jokingly said that half of the Irish population suffers because of our lack of exposure to the sun and our skin hasn’t a chance to make Vitamin D.

The only concern she has was my white blood cells were a little low but she again settled my concerns as it was the middle of winter and everyone is fighting off colds and flu. I’m due to go back again this week as white blood cells take a while to build back up. I am looking forward to seeing what difference another 3 months of veganism has resulted in.

Personally, I am delighted with my total cholesterol number of 3.4. I can only imagine what it was like before but I guess we’ll never know.

Whether you are vegan or not, I would highly recommend a blood test as often as your GP recommends. Neither the Vitamin D or white blood cell issue was because of my change in lifestyle but what you measure you can improve. If you have any comments, advice or guidance on this subject, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Measure and Manage

 

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