Blood Test Options

Hello FasCater’s,

So I have found my GP doctor to be less than helpful, not surprised. He is really nice but more and more I find GP’s to be not as needed and have found more success with naturopaths when I need help fixing a problem I have. However I have been an endurance athlete for almost two decades now either running or cycling. With that I have low blood pressure, typically before coffee around 85 or 90 over 50 or 55, had issues with light headedness, have passed out due to blood pressure, but seemed to have had things under control for a while. Then over the last few months a few things have popped up that made my radar sort of go off but my GP doesn’t seem concerned. I have had more issues with dizziness and light headedness, sometimes even while riding the trainer, I donated blood and my hemoglobin on one hand was almost too low to donate, I have been exhausted more often than not, increased cramping/muscle fatigue while riding and more often than not GI issues.

I just went in and he seemed less than concerned, just asked if I drink enough water and maybe try Flonase to see if clearing my sinuses more would help. I asked for a blood test and it was just that, no metabolic panel, vitamin leves, etc. Has anyone ever used one of the test from athletebloodtests or another service to get a more comprehensive view of what is going on? I just want to make sure it is strictly me just being punch drunk from the stress of 2020 on top of increased training load versus something else. I tend to feel that because I am deemed healthy compared to most people who are in with a GP that it isn’t that big of a deal.

Wluld.lpve to get your input before pulling that $400 trigger. Thanks!


There was a Whoop podcast a while back where the guest talked some about annual labs useful to athletes. I’m guessing it’s this one but I’m not 100% sure

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Hey @pam.power !

So as an RD, the red flag went up when you said that your hemoglobin was low. All of the symptoms you describe, including the GI issues are symptoms of iron deficiency anemia – and ones that people generally just shrug off as being caused by a busy lifestyle. Moreover, female athletes are much more prone to iron deficiency than men (menstruation + iron losses through exercised induced mechanisms). With that said, I would highly recommend going and getting a full blood count so that they can look at your ferritin levels.
If it is iron deficiency, that is an area that a dietitian can help you in, especially if you are vegetarian or vegan.

If nothing comes back from that, I would look into a naturopath and/or getting thyroid tests done. Remember, you know your body better than anyone else – dont let a doctor convince you everything is fine if you do not feel like yourself. In the end it will be worth the money you spend to get yourself back to normal :hugs:


Thank you @Lacey_Rivette for sort of confirming my concerns. I called the office back to request additional workups. And actually Friday I had an eye doctor check up and some other things came up and she wants to check on potential for Sjogren’s. I have had chronic dry eyes for probably 12-13 years and just want to rule out any AI issues to find a way to get my eyeballs tearing up more normally. :slight_smile: Getting older is so much fun…


Funny enough, I have Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) which includes sjogrens. If you ever want to reach out to talk about that kind of stuff, I am more than happy to share my experience with it all!

Hey to close the loop for others and a huge shout out to @Lacey_Rivette but thanks to her feedback and some prodding from my opthomalogist I did go and get additional blood work done. I came back as deficient in my iron absorbtion (though my iron and ferritin levels were fine) and some sort of autoimmune issue. I now have an appointment with a rheumatologist for June, the soonest I could get in, so we can figure out what is going on.

Thank you everyone and Lacey for the push to advocate for more than what my GP thought.


I am so glad I was able to help @pam.power!

It is not surprising to me that your ferritin levels are normal because in the presence of autoimmune issues, inflammation is often present as well. When there is inflammation, the body often increases the production of a protein called hepcidin. Hepcidin reduces the amount of iron released from your cells into circulation and also decreases the amount of iron you absorb from your diet (which very likely may be the reason your absorption is low). As a result, iron stores (such as ferritin) are normal and GP’s often write this off as “nothing being wrong” when in fact, something is definitely wrong.

I know the frustration with getting into the rheumatologist, it took me over a year to get into one after I moved to Colorado. My best advice is just to start writing down any symptoms, no matter how small they may be, so that when you get in with them you can share those with them. You’d be surprised at how many little things can be connected to autoimmune conditions.

Also per your comment about inadequate absorption, did they happen to tell you what your TIBC was?

So here is my iron breakdown which my GP still considers to be normal.

Am wondering how this issue combined with the now AI finding will determine how I do with SS part 3 I start rolling next week. I know when I did the big volume week in SS part 2that was like 650 TSS I felt pretty wrecked and VERY sluggish on the bike. However I did FTFP and have finished the entirety of SS part 2 as of this week.

So finally going to stop feeling over stressed, under trained, and start FTFPing. I have a 12 hour MTB relay this summer with a new MTB friend, a 6 hour MTB relay with my hubby in 4 weeks and then CX, which is a MAJOR thing here in PDX in three months. And I finally meet with a rheumatologist on Thursday so should get some answers ot some AI potential issues. So starting to get a miniscule amount of mojo back i hope.


Relay’s are so fun! I am doing on here in a few weeks and that has been my motivation to keep showing up as well.

Excited to hear that you finally got into a rhuemetologist too! That is the first big step in sorting things out. Fingers crossed they give you good news :crossed_fingers:t4: