Severe Health Anxiety re: Blood Work

Posted by sophsarg @sophsarg, May 30 7:10pm

Hi all,
I’m new to the forum and just wanted a safe space to talk.
I had some routine blood work done May 8, and my “off levels” were:
8.3 total protein serum (labeled as high)
4.9 albumin (labeled as high)
3.6 Total WBC (labeled as low)
1.7 absolute neutrophils (labeled as low).

This was a fasting blood test at 8a, after a night of drinking and I had taken Tylenol the day before. Was also my first day of menstruation.

I’m a 28 year old otherwise healthy female. I take Sertraline every day as well. No medical history aside from depression and anxiety. No recent history of illnesses in the last year. I’m physically fit and active and have felt my best as of recently after taking up running during quarantine (I swapped running for CrossFit).

My anxiety regarding these results have been absolutely debilitating.

Do you have a favorite physician’s assistant or doc who will discuss your results with you? You sounds like you take good care of yourself with exercise …good for you… 👍
A chat about your test results may make you less anxious?
It sounds like you have a lot to be grateful for…
do you keep a gratitude journal? I just started one and it calms me when I reflect on all the good things that are happening in my life…. instead of the negative!

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Hello @sophsarg and welcome to Mayo Connect.

I can certainly understand your anxiety over the results of the lab work. Whenever I see lab results that are not in the normal range, I wonder what has caused this. You mentioned that the night before the lab work you had been drinking and taking Tylenol. Are drinking and Tylenol usage typical for you?

Have you had an opportunity to talk with your physician or the doctor's nurse about these results to know if follow up is needed?

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@sophsarg Welcome to Mayo Connect! We are not medical professionals, but fellow patients/family members/caregivers who share experiences and strength on this journey of life. How did you find us [not that we are hiding or anything!]?

How often do you have routine bloodwork? Your medical team will usually look at trends in blood values. May 8 was a few weeks ago, and I hope if it was a concern, they would have reached out to you before now. I notice you mentioned taking Sertraline, which can cause an interaction with alcohol. Is this a normal practice for you? There are many causes of blood values to fall out of the normal range! Perhaps a new lab or new machine processing the samples, your hydration level, diet in the previous week, activity before the testing [did you go running in the hours before the test?]

I hope, like @hopeful33250 and @helenfrances have also mentioned, that you can touch base with your medical team and ease your mind. Will you please come back and let me know what they say?
Ginger

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Welcome, you have come to the right place. Just remember we are not doctors. I don't know if the drinking the night before made a difference. I feel you should have it repeated and talk t o you doctor about the blood test were off. I am also have depression and have anxiety. I'm going to be having a big and long surgery on June 9th at Mayo at Rochester MN. It's a fusion on my back. I am excited and having anxiety at the same time, but they tested me and it came out good, They told me the surgery will be successful. I have a surgeon that is well qualified.
Now back to you, sometimes they do come out wrong, depending where they sent it. If you don't get answers from your doctor of what could be wrong with you, I would go to a different doctor. Maybe an intern. I hope you find peace and find out what's wrong, why those tests were off.

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@sophsarg I would like to welcome you to our community also . When I went for a sugar test through the urine it was high I talked with my Dr and told her the night before I had a cake with lots of icing . We attributed it to this . So Im not on meds for it But you should call your Dr and ask to have your labs explained to you I like @hopefull33250 am not sure it the alcohol and Tylenol would cause this .

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@lilypaws

Welcome, you have come to the right place. Just remember we are not doctors. I don't know if the drinking the night before made a difference. I feel you should have it repeated and talk t o you doctor about the blood test were off. I am also have depression and have anxiety. I'm going to be having a big and long surgery on June 9th at Mayo at Rochester MN. It's a fusion on my back. I am excited and having anxiety at the same time, but they tested me and it came out good, They told me the surgery will be successful. I have a surgeon that is well qualified.
Now back to you, sometimes they do come out wrong, depending where they sent it. If you don't get answers from your doctor of what could be wrong with you, I would go to a different doctor. Maybe an intern. I hope you find peace and find out what's wrong, why those tests were off.

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@lilypaws I think your reply was for @sophsarg so I am tagging her here.
Ginger

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Thank you everyone for your responses.
I should have clarified I had already discussed these results with my health care provider, who wasn’t worried at all and didn’t suggest a retest. She said that she believed the lower counts were due to inflammation from IBS-D, as well as being deficient in vitamin D.
Even though we spoke, I still am anxious over it.
I have a hard time trusting what the doctors say unfortunately.

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@sophsarg

Thank you everyone for your responses.
I should have clarified I had already discussed these results with my health care provider, who wasn’t worried at all and didn’t suggest a retest. She said that she believed the lower counts were due to inflammation from IBS-D, as well as being deficient in vitamin D.
Even though we spoke, I still am anxious over it.
I have a hard time trusting what the doctors say unfortunately.

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@sophsarg Yeah, for coming back here! If we have had a disappointment with a doctor, it's hard to trust anyone, isn't it? I hope this person wins you over, and helps you feel better. It seems the stress and anxiety you are experiencing might trigger even more issues from the IBS-D, so by golly, you'll want to find a way to accept and take her word for it. How soon will you see her again? Write down your symptoms, and watch how it all ties into your daily life. Take control over your feelings of being anxious, and work to lessen the side effects of it. Do you think that might work for you?

Here is a podcast that relates to IBS, which I hope helps you. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/podcasts/newsfeed-post/irritable-bowel-syndrome-1/
Ginger

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Hello @sophsarg

As @gingerw said, I'm also glad that you posted again. It's good to know that you did talk with your doctor about the results. If you feel comfortable doing so, why don't you call the doctor and explain your concerns and ask her if the blood work can be repeated in 3 months in order to ease your mind about the abnormal results?

As you didn't address the question as to your regular alcohol use, I want you to know that if you feel that you are using alcohol in order to address stress and other emotional issues, Connect does have an Addiction/Recovery discussion group and the members there would be happy to have you post with them. Here is the link, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/addiction-recovery/.

Alcohol, of course, can interfere with your physical as well as emotional well-being. I hope that if alcohol is a problem for you that you will seek to address it. Worsened depression/anxiety is a side-effect of alcohol.

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I don’t use alcohol regularly, no. But a beer or a glass of wine here or there, yes. Only reason I mentioned it is to say what could have affected any results, but thank you for your concern. I come from a family of addiction so I’m very cautious and mindful of my alcohol consumption.

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@sophsarg Have you though of getting another doctors opinion? An internest would be a good choice or even an endocrinologist. I feel bad for you. I know what it's like to be anxious. My surgery is coming up a Fusion on my spine on the back side only, they usually do the front side too. It is from T-10 to my pelvis. I am somewhat anxious, and excited at the same time. Mental illness runs in our family and I'm depressive/anxiety. When we lived in Sam Diego
and Seattle are they diagnosis of bipolar 2. My poor son Bipolar 1. He's a professor and can't teach, because of the bipolar. His wife is a professor too. She got her tenure at Duke and now are in NYC and she's teaching and doing research at Columbia. So I have many more that fights the mental illness.
So, I understand why you have anxiety. Take care of yourself. I won't be able to send messages since I'm having surgery. Take care of yourself.

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