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Old 01-24-08, 05:20 PM   #1
Turboem1
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What doctor to see?

**Cliff notes on bottom for the lazy **

Hey guys I am looking for some advice. For awhile now I have been seeing a colorectal surgeon about some issues I have been having. I had a couple of minor surgeries and I had to have one major surgery. Before the surgery I had to get a full blood test done.

When I received the results back there were some abnormalities. I tested...

High for K (Potassium)
The normal range in MEQ/L (milliequivalents of solute per litre) is from 3.7 - 5.2
I tested 5.4

Low for CL (Chloride)
Normal is 103 - 112
I tested 102

High for Ca (Calcium)
Normal is 8.6 - 10.0
I tested 10.4

Before anyone says dont look to the internet for medical advice, I see a doctor weekly now. My primary care physician also knows of this as before the surgery he had to check me out and go over the blood work and make sure I was ok.

Anyway he seemed concerned with the potassium levels but said most likely it was an error in how it was taken. Right before surgery I had to get retested for potassium. They did the test, I didn't hear anything else and I went into surgery so I am assuming it tested fine the second time?

He also said that because of the elevated calcium he wanted to see me back when I was done with the colorectal surgeon.

Now here are my questions. Is there some sort of specialist who would deal with this? I always prefer a specialist to a doctor who treats many different things as I dont have much faith in primary care physicians. Is there such a thing as a blood doctor? Who would be best to see about this? I did some minor research on elevated calcium levels and found some info. A lot of it saying you should NEVER test high and that most doctors say okay, lets do a blood test again and then you test fine and they think nothing happened when in reality it fluctuates and an underlying problem is still there. Most things lead to it being described as hyperparathyroidism.

Has anyone else experienced any of these results?

Anyway I realize this is long so here are cliff notes:


Cliffs:
Got blood test done
Some abnormal results
What doctor is best to see about this?

Last edited by Turboem1; 01-24-08 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 01-24-08, 05:47 PM   #2
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Nephrologists are blood electrolyte specialists. However, your GP and your surgeon are plenty qualified to follow up on these test results.

Do you have other test values available? Blood pressure, Creatinine and BUN would be interesting to see.
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Old 01-24-08, 06:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
Do you have other test values available? Blood pressure, Creatinine and BUN would be interesting to see.
I have the entire blood test they did. Here is what it said for what you ask for...

BUN mg/dL
Normal 8 - 21
My test 16

CREAT mg/dL
Normal .6 - 1.2
My test .9

My blood pressure has been tested hundreds of times and is always right around 118/75. Also if it matters I am a 20 year old male. 6' 230lbs.

If you want I can post the full blood test.

Last edited by Turboem1; 01-24-08 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 01-24-08, 07:00 PM   #4
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Don't bother seeing additional doctors, just discuss your concerns with your GP. It sounds like your GP intends on getting to the bottom of this anyways.

Be well.
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Old 01-26-08, 10:08 AM   #5
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To quote Shakespeare: Much ado about nothing. Really none of these
minor variants has any significance, in particular the potassium is the
least worry. Red blood cells are chock full of potassium and the act of
drawing blood can rupture the cell membranes of small numbers of red
cells artificially elevating the potassium. Chloride levels are so far down
on the radar of what can go wrong that physicians pay attention only when
it gets down to the low 90s. Chloride levels fluctuate mostly in relation to
your level of hydration and are NEVER treated by themselves.
Calcium levels are a trifle more concerning, but my lab max is 10.6 I see
levels in the low 11 range periodically and just repeat at 3-6mo intervals
to see if there is a trend assuming nothing else is going on in the patients
health. Closer to 12 and up indicates a more timely investigation. You are
a biological organism, if you had the luxury of repeating the same tests on
a weekly basis you would be amazed at the week to week variances.
You are not a stone tablet.
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