Thursday, February 26, 2009

Becoming a student

After meeting with Dr. Jones, my new naturopath, the next important task in a full evaluation and diagnosis of my health condition was a blood draw. The results of the blood panel translated into "you are over-worked, under-paid and over-tired." Both Dr. Jones and I had a good laugh... because, yes, that is obvious and requires little knowledge of medicine to identify.

Some of the specifics:

  • Blood sugar, white blood cells, calcium, thyroid all are within acceptable levels.
  • Vitamin D fit into the lab's acceptable levels, but Dr. Jones and her colleagues have higher standards. Considering the angle of the sun in Portland, we are only able to get optimal vitamin D from the sun between July 5 and August 5. My level was 42. The local docs hope for 50 or higher.
  • The level for B12 is right at the level of sufficient.
  • I am lacking in Zinc.
  • My adrenals are in a hyper state. This means that I am working on pure adrenaline all the time. She said that this helps to explain why I tend to be snappy. If adrenals were lacking, I just wouldn't care!

I am amazed at how the report from my blood tests can already paint a picture of what I am experiencing. I don't know that I have ever really trusted myself to understand myself and my body, that is a job for those who have spent years in medical school.

I am becoming a student. I can understand my own body and I can do something to change as needed.

Dr. Jones is coming along side me and teaching me, and I am eager to learn.

She has a blog where she posted some interesting information about how to find the right vitamins and supplements. She helped me to identify that the multi-vitamin I was taking had a less potent form of Vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol), and a less potent form of Vitamin D (ergocalciferol ), and Calcium Carbonate and Zinc Oxide are difficult for the body to absorb.

She also shared with me about how the standard Anti-depressants work ( Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, etc) in a way that we should all know about! In our brains, we have the chemical, serotonin, that helps us process and deal with stress. The serotonin sits in store houses and is released into the brain, one dose at a time. A general dose of serotonin lasts about 15 minutes. The prescription anti-depressants stretch out the serotonin and make it last longer, like 60 minutes, but does not actually give you any more serotonin. The supplement that I have been taking, 5-HTP, is an amino acid, which the body uses to convert into additional serotonin for those storehouses. Do you see the difference? I took an anti-depressant in the past and was under the assumption that it was increasing the serotonin, which does not necessarily happen.

I feel smarter today than I was yesterday. I am more aware of the workings of my body. I know what I need to do to improve.

*Just in case there is any question, I am not a medical expert, and all of my references to Dr. Carrie Jones are general, and not-exact quotes. I hope from these posts you will be encouraged to become informed and empowered to learn more about your own body, and find a great naturopath to be a teacher.


  1. Thank you Sarah! Keep updating us on and good to learn.

  2. Good for you Sarah! I am glad your D is okay, my deficiency has sure caused some serious problems. The docs I have "learned from" have shared that the majority of people who live in the NW are low in it. I am so glad you are finding answers!

  3. Sarah, thanks for the Christmas card!! It found me in Texas. I can appreciate your current blog. I was really sick last year. My Naturopath saved my life. I was low on vit. D, Zinc, Iron, and my adrenals were shot. They are the only Dr.s that find out underlying causes of illness. I was relieved that I wasn't dying of some dread disease. Take care of yourself, missy. Health is a very precious gift!! Love ya!!!

  4. BTW, I wasn't sure if I should use my name or a different user name....So I put hill country mom....

    Michelle Lawrence


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