A new doctor

December 29, 2009

I mentioned a few posts back that I was going to see a new doctor, but I didn’t elaborate on the events that led up to that decision. If you’ve been reading since the summer you’ll know that I’ve not just been dealing with what are typical SIBO symtpoms for me lately, bloating, diarrhea and body aches; in fact, although I have been dealing with these symptoms, I would say that they have not been at their worst lately. Rather what I have been experiencing is crushing fatigue, crazy nightmare monthly periods, a heightened frequency of syncope, muscle weakness, and between August and October I packed on 20 lbs (14 of those by the end of September) and this weight isn’t going anywhere.

In October I had gone to see my regular doc at the health center, to see if she had any suggestions on the fatigue. It is important to note that I recently requested my entire medical record from the center and one of the many things I was surprised to see is that there is no mention of SIBO in there at all, outside of doctors writing things like “Patient says she has “S.I.B.O”” or “She says she has bacterial infections in her digestive tract…” This is because the health center never has offered the breath test for SIBO, so I had to go outside the facilities to find a doctor in NYC who did. Even my gastro who offers me Xifaxan mentions the SIBO by proxy in his files on me, since he isn’t the one who diagnosed me with it. So really I was starting kind of fresh with this doctor’s visit, and that was fine by me. Turns out I had an even fresher start than I imagined, as my own doc was out sick that day and I saw someone entirely new. I told her I was fatigued and that I had gained weight. She put in a few tests for me – a Comprehensive Blood Panel (CBC) and a TSH test (one of the thyroid? hormones.) I also had a standing order for a B12 test from my gastroenterologist.

Of course everything came back within range. Some noteworthy figures – my cholesterol has gone down again and now sits at 169. My HDL has increased from 75 to 85. My blood pressure that day was 98/64. And I had a TSH of 1.9.

I am no thyroid expert, so I’ve been doing quite a lot of research lately and from what I can tell this is a great number. In fact, even in the world of lower ranges, healthy people, and thyroid patients doing well on the right medication, 1.9 seems to be a number where many people feel great, although some need to be as low as 1 to feel good. Historically, however, it is somewhat high for me. Back in July of 2007, at a weight of 177, before I started eating meat and exercising and dieting, my TSH was 2.06. A year later I was 20 lbs lighter and it was down to 1.72. This June, at my lightest (and most energetic) it was down to 1.32. Now 6 months later its at 1.9. Its funny having to get into a brand new field of research; I really don’t know if this type of fluctuation is considered negligible or if it is actually important. All I do know is that I felt very differently at each of these times.

And of course I am completely aware of the TSH is worthless theory, and I don’t say I knock it, but I always try and give conventional medicine the benefit of the doubt to start with anyway. More on this later.

So all the test results were good, everything was within range and only one indicator – the G-GTP, or Gamma-Glutamyltranserase, was at the bottom of the normal range (normal being 7 – 51, my result was 8.) I believe that G-GTP is a bilary enzyme. My B12 blood levels were actually high: 996, where my lab’s top number is 948. So the doctor gave me a clean bill of health and then stared at me blankly. Of course I was upset. Why in the world am I feeling so fatigued? She told me I was probably getting too much sleep and to get out of bed earlier. I asked her about the weight gain and she said nothing at all and kept writing in her book. I asked what I should do about the painful periods and she scheduled me for a transvaginal ultrasound and a chest x-ray.  

So much for a fresh start. We called the new doc, scheduled an appointment and started saving up for his consultation fee. And I’ll discuss his initial findings and the tests he ordered for me in the next post.



  1. […] eating low carb I was able to lose over 30 lbs. I maintained my loss too, until this summer when I began to come down with symptoms of something I suspect I’ve been fighting off all my life &#8… (more on this […]

  2. […] So back to the story of the new doctor. After getting next to nowhere with my health center doc (or her replacement) I went ahead and found a new doctor. I looked around for an M.D. with a holistic practice, willing […]

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