…got some done last Monday, getting old and all. Soon doctors are going to want to start sticking their fingers in my ass, but at that I draw the line. They’ll have blood work to check for whatever fingers check for in assholes before I really need to worry, right?
Anyway, I had some bloodwork done in the summer of 2007, and comparing it to my bloodwork I just had done last week provides a good contrast between a typical American diet and being borderline vegan. The summer of 2007, I was eating a lot of delicious bacon cheeseburgers and deep fried foods at the Tia, drinking like a fish and in general not giving a fuck about what I ate. The past six months or so I’ve been swinging further from the typical American diet and further and further towards being vegan. I still occasionally have some french fries or mozzarella sticks, and very rarely a small amount of animal flesh (a little incidental in say a vegetable dip, also had a serving of Sole a few weeks ago, thanks David it was delicious!). At home, no meat, no eggs, no cheese or dairy…nothing but nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.
So…onto to the tests, results and commentary!
2007: Triglycerides 112, Cholesterol 199, HDL 43, CHOL/HDL 4.6, LDL 134, HDL/LDL .32
2009: Triglycerides 130, Cholesterol 162, HDL 44, CHOL/HDL 3.7, LDL 92, HDL/LDL .47
My triglycerides are higher than ideal because I take in too many calories (including drinking alcohol heh), my cholesterol dropped down to an ideal level, my HDL is still too low but my total cholesterol to HDL ratio is now near optimal (under 3.3 being ideal), and my HDL/LDL ratio is optimal (being well above .4).
My blood pressure is finally no longer borderline hypertensive. It is actually, for the first time ever, actually lower than Kelley’s! Previously, I’ve monitored my blood pressure regularly every month or two, first at Weis and later at home with a small electric blood pressure reader. It has always been +135/85, usually closer to 140/90, for the past decade or so.
Glucose / Metab Panel
2007: Glucose 104, Metab Panel Normal, No B12 data
2009: Glucose 91, Metab Panel Normal, B12 479
My glucose used to be just a hair high above 100, now is considered ideal between 70 and 100. My B12 levels are at 479 (243 to 894 being normal range). This was what I was most concerned about, as a vegan diet significantly restricts your B12 intake. I take a number of supplements, but usually fairly irregularly, and none at all for the week leading up to the blood work.
2007: no data
2009: RBC 4.49, Lymphocytes 43%, Other Values Normal
My Red Blood Cell count was just a hair low (4.49 instead of 4.5 minimum) perhaps because I gave blood the week before the test. I’ve read it takes about two months to fully recover. My RBC size was right in the middle of the normal range, meaning they aren’t over-sized from B12 deficiency, or shrunken from iron deficiency: no anemia. My Lymphocytes were a hair high (43% instead of 42%), whereas the rest of my White Blood Cell counts and ratios were normal. Lymphocytes attack tumors and viruses, so hopefully I don’t have cancer or AIDS…
So, I started eating different around summer of last year, so I’ve been slowly leaning towards being vegetarian and then vegan over the past nine months or so. In that time, in nearly every category I’ve improved my health. In nearly every aspect, with a minimum of effort, I have signifigantly improved my health, and reduced my risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. Dropped my cholesterol by 40 points and my blood pressure by 20 points with no medication, just eating better!
The only thing I haven’t successfully improved is my weight (still around 205) nor my triglycerides. I have to eat fewer calories to knock those numbers down.