Iron Pathology

Iron Pathology

Feeling fatigued, pale, inside of bottom eyelids pale? You may be lacking Iron

Iron is needed to make the red blood cell to carry oxygen around the body. Not enough Iron, not enough red blood cells.

Iron is naturally lower in the blood in the afternoon, so you may feel a bit tired.

Iron deficiency can be cause by direct blood loss via menses, pregnancy and abnormal bleeding. Inside the digestive system – stomach by ulcers, NSAIDS, intestines by hookworm, and large bowel by tumors, ulcerative colitis and haemorrhoids. You may not be having enough iron in your diet or unable to absorb it.



Carries the iron around the body.

It can be raised when the body is looking for Iron in cases of iron deficiency, Oestrogens, OCP, pregnancy, hypothyodism, B12 or folate deficiency or acute liver disease.

It’s reduced with chronic inflammatory and liver disease, malabsorption, malignancy, renal disease, thyrotoxicosis, steroid therapy and haemochromatosis



Should be 10-50%. The closer to 50% you are the better.



This is your Iron stores and should be at 100. It also is affected by inflammation.  High levels might be caused from inflammation in iron rich tissues like the liver, gut, spleen and lymph system, so an investigation with a C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test is a good way to check that out.

High levels maybe from Iron overload like genetic haemochromatosis or fatty liver, alcohol, liver disease, malignancy, renal failure, thyroiditis, anorexia or blood infusion.
Low levels maybe from the same as low levels of Iron as they are draining the Iron stores.

Think of Iron in the blood as spending your cash and Transferrin as your cash card, so when you run out of cash you have it and always needing Ferritin as money in the bank with a balance of $100.


Pathocize (exercise for your pathology)

Ensuring you have good levels of Iron, check for anyone with haemochromatosis in your family. This can be masked while still having your menses and is revealed during menopause.


 Iron is found in these foods

Food Serving size Iron content
  Chicken liver 100g 11mg
  Beef 100g 3.5mg
  Kangaroo 100g 3.2mg
  Kidney beans 1 cup 3.1mg
  Green lentils 1 cup 3.0mg
  Tofu 100g 2.96mg
  Chickpeas 1 cup 2.7mg
  Lamb 100g 2.5mg
  Cashew nuts 30g (20 nuts) 1.5mg
  Salmon 100g 1.28mg
  Raw spinach 1 cup 1.2mg
  Tinned tuna 100g 1.07mg
  Rolled oats 30g 1.1mg
  Almonds 30g 1.1mg
  Lamb brains 100g 1.0mg
  Dried apricot 30g (5 dried apricots) 0.93mg
  Broccoli 1 cup 0.86mg
  Pork 100g 0.8mg
  Cooked brown rice 140g (1 cup) 0.7mg
  Chicken 100g 0.4mg
  Snapper 100g 0.3mg


  • eat foods high in vitamin C with foods that contain iron
  • cook your plant foods to improve the amount of available iron
  • avoid having tea, coffee or calcium during or directly after having a source of iron
Inflammatory Pathology

Inflammatory Pathology

There are a couple of different markers that indicate inflammation in the body.

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)

This is non-specific, which means that there is some chronic inflammation in the body, just what or where is an unknown. Basically the blood is shaken up and allowed to sit and it time that is measured as to how long the red blood cell sediment takes to settle. The longer it takes, the more inflammation there is. As this is not a specific measurement reasons can be varied from bacterial infections, to collagen or vascular disease, cancers and lymphoma.

CRP C-Reactive Protein

Good to find acute illness as it rises quickly 4-8 hours after any tissue damage. It becomes it’s highest at 24-72 hours and returns to normal after 2-3 days.
It depends on the result level as to interpret the results. It could be something like an upper respiratory infection, sinusitis, pneumonia, appendicitis or post operative sepsis.

While there are similarities, there are significant differences of ESR to CRP and CRP maybe low when ESR is raised in certain illness.

Basically you want both of these to be 0 because you don’t want any inflammation in the body.


Is your storage of Iron stores and should be at 100. It also is affected by inflammation and may be seen high in Iron rich tissues like the liver, Gut, spleen and lymph system.

Pathocize (exercise for your pathology)

Identify cause of inflammation and address illness
If a specific dis-ease is unknown and there is general inflammation it maybe dietary.
• If you do nothing else, stop eating gluten
• Remove all grains from your diet
• Reduce or cut out dairy
• Eat fresh vegetables daily
• Have fresh fruit – 1 or 2 pieces daily (make one a older variety apple)
• Consume good quality proteins and vary these during the day
• Make sure your bowels are open and you are ‘moving’ everyday
• Drink purified water and lots of it generally 35ml per kg of weight
• Breathe, get outdoors and take in some lovely fresh oxygen
• Exercise, walking, swimming, yoga, if you don’t move it, you lose it
• Stress reduction, taking time out for you, meditation
• Sleep, put in good sleep routine practices
• Supplement with anti-inflammatories like Tumeric, Fish Oil and use Probiotics

White Blood Cell Pathology

White Blood Cell Pathology

This section of Pathology is found in the Haematology below the Haemoglobin section.

White blood cells are your immune defence system. If any results are raised it means some sort of invasion – bacterial, viral, parasites or auto immune responses. There are 5 types to take a look at.


Neutrophils (think bacterial)

Neutropenia is having too little of these white blood cells. That opens you up to bacterial infections. It also maybe because you have just fought off a bacterial or viral attack.

Low neutrophils may be B12 or folate deficiency, hypertension, thyrotoxicosis or malignancy. Some drugs also lower these immune cells including chemotherapy.

Neutrophils may also become high (Neutrophilia). This can be a current bacterial infection, or virus like Chicken pox, a recent injury or burn, heart attack or surgery. Malignancy, smoking and vigorous exercise and some drugs like steroids, epinephrine, heparin and cytokines can raise neutrophils.


Lymphocytes (think viral)

Stress commonly causes low Lymphocytes (Lymphopenia), other causes may be kidney failure, AIDS, drugs or some sort of immunosuppressive therapy.

A high amount of Lymphocytes (Lymphocytosis) may reflect an infection by a virus like epstein barr virus (EBV), hepatitis, herpes and whooping cough. It may also be from smoking, some anti-depressant drugs like SSRI’s and hormone gland diseases like hyperthyroidism and addison’s disease.


Monocytes (think detective)

Are the largest of the White Blood Cells. They are in force when there is bacterial, parasite and Rickettsial infections. Will show high in inflammatory disorders like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and chronic skin conditions like Psoriasis.


Eosinophils (think allergy & parasites)

These are mainly seen as a result of drug reactions, allergy or parasitic infestations of the gut like hookworm, eczema and psoriasis.


Basophils (think allergy & parasites as well)

Not as common as Eosinophils.  High levels may indicate allergic or inflammatory reactions from drugs or food sensitivities, ulcerative colitis or hormonal issues like hypothyroidism and oestrogen supplementation.


Pathocize (exercise for your pathology)

Look after your immune system with Zinc and Vitamin C
Reduce Stress
Look after your gut function with pre and probiotics
Note what is going on with your gut – do you need to do a parasite cleanse?
If you are having allergy type reactions you may need to look at what exposures you are having to histamines. You may need to support the histamine pathways with B3, B12 and folate.


This downloadable PDF from Swiss Interest Group Histamine Intolerance is a great reference for histamine foods.

Lipid Pathology

Lipid Pathology

What is your cholesterol like?

As the major fat going through the arteries it is super important to keep this within range.  Risks of having high cholesterol are a heart and blood vessel disease.  Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the blood vessel walls so they can no longer contract), vascular thrombosis (a blood clot in the vein going back to the heart) or stroke (where there’s a blood clot or blood vessel bursts in the brain) are diseases of the blood vessels. 


LDL Low Density Lipoprotein

LDL usually makes up about 80% of total cholesterol in a normal person. Having high cholesterol is seen as a risk marker for heart and blood vessel disease.  Two main reasons are that a family member has it (hereditary) and diet high in saturated fat.  It is lucky you can change the later within weeks. 

Having a low thyroid function, drinking too much alcohol or a disease of the liver or kidneys can be a reason for high cholesterol.  Also some drugs like steroids, clyclosporin can cause raised LDL levels.


HDL High Density Lipoprotein

I always remember this as the good cholesterol because it has a higher amount (density) of protein.  Because of this it doesn’t have much room to carry cholesterol as it returns to the liver. But the LDL Low Density Lipoprotein has a smaller protein amount and more room to carry cholesterol.  This is often called the ‘bad’ cholesterol and it takes fat into the tissues.



Tri (meaning 3) gly (for glycerol) is the framework on which the fat is stored.  These are made from the fats and  carbohydrates that you eat. They are either used up for energy or stored in the body in fat cells.

If you have on going high triglycerides it is useful to check out the other blood results too. 

Reasons for high triglycerides can be that it is in the family and also that you are overweight.  Not having much physical activity, diabetes, enjoying a lot of fats and carbohydrates in your food and drinking too much alcohol can all cause high Triglycerides.  There maybe some other reasons like Hypothyroidism, liver, kidney and pancreatic  disease.  Pregnancy can also cause raised triglycerides. 

CVD Risk

Finally the Cardio Vascular Risk

This compares the ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) with the “good’ (HDL) cholesterol to give an estimate of your cardio vascular risk.  It is a ratio from fats going to the tissues and the fats back to the liver.


Pathocise (exercise for your pathology)

Your doctor may recommend drugs like Statins, Beta-Blockers or ACE inhibitors. Oestrogens and Selective estrogen receptor modulators like Tamoxifen, Thyroid hormones with neomycin (can result in a 25% fall in cholesterol)

Ideally get onto the right diet and remove trans-fatty acids.  These are high in deep fried/fast foods. Fill yourself with better options:

Saturated fats – are solid at room temperature, like butter and coconut oil, animal fats like lard or tallow.

Good sources of polyunsaturated fats – these stay liquid at room temperature like wild-caught fish, pasture-raised meats and eggs.

Here is a guide from

You may also need to take some CoQ10/Ubiquinol, particularly if you are taking Statins or Beta Blockers.

Keeping the bowels open with good amounts of fibre and stabilising your glucose levels can help.

Liver Pathology

Liver Pathology

You may have had a liver function test come back out of range and the Doctor has asked you to have a repeat test in a month or so. This is because the enzymes maybe raised due to lifestyle choices rather than any significant disease process.


AST Aspartate Transaminase

These enzymes don’t float around in the blood for long and it’s only 16 hours before their amounts are halved. The main cause for raised AST is liver damage. The enzyme can also be found in muscles surrounding the bone, and the heart and in organs like the kidneys, pancreas, spleen and lung. It is useful to know what the AST level is to help work out the most likely cause of the raised result.


ALT Alanine amino transferase 

Most of this enzyme comes from the bone and liver and is seen high in times of growth – childhood, puberty, breast feeding and menopause and when a broken bone is mending.

This enzyme is more likely to be related to bile flow rather than the liver itself.
It takes about 16 – 60 hours for this enzyme to reduce by half


GGT Gamma Glutamyl Transferase

The liver produces most of this enzyme and is the biggest reclyer of Glutathione the most important detoxifier. This liver enzyme result is not too helpful on it’s own as it is in the kidneys, pancreas, heart, brain and prostate as well, so other signs and symptoms need to be checked out before drawing any conclusions.
Reasons why it may be raised are: Alcohol, some drugs like NSAIDS, statins, antibiotics, H2 Receptor blockers, anti-convulsants, antifungal agents, antidepressants and testosterone. It may also mean issues with cholesterol and a fatty liver.


Pathocize (exercise for your pathology)

AST depends of Vitamin B6
AST depends on Vitamin B6
ALP depends on Magnesium and Zinc and good amounts of protein
GGT Minimising alcohol intake and unnecessary medications. Eating a healthy ‘good’ fat diet

Ensuring your bowels are open daily

Liver protective herbs like St Mary’s Thistle, Globe Artichoke, Blupleurum and Andrographis can be helpfu


Vitamin B6 Foods

Food Serving Size Vitamin B6 (mg)
Salmon, wild (cooked) 3 ounces* 0.48-0.80
Potato, Russet, with skin (baked) 1 medium 0.70
Turkey, light meat (cooked) 3 ounces 0.69
Avocado 1 medium 0.52
Chicken, light meat without skin (cooked) 3 ounces 0.51
Spinach (cooked) 1 cup 0.44
Banana 1 medium 0.43
Dried plums, pitted 1 cup 0.36
Hazelnuts (dry roasted) 1 ounce 0.18


*A three-ounce serving of meat or fish is about the size of a deck of cards.


Magnesium Foods

Food Serving Size Magnesium (mg)
Dark Chocolate 100 grams 327
Halibut 1/2 fillet 170
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 157
Seeds, pumpkin and squash 1 oz approx (142 seeds) 151
Beans, black 1 cup 120
Fish: Mackerel, Pollock and Tuna 100 grams 97
Okra, frozen 1 cup 94
Beans and Lentils: White Beans, Kidney Beans, and Garbanzo Beans 100 grams 86
Almonds 1oz 80
Dark Leafy Greens: Spinach, Chard and Kale 100 grams 79
Dried Fruit: Prunes, Apricots, and Dates 100 grams 68
Plantain, raw 1 medium 66
Nuts, peanuts 1 oz 64
Avocado 1 Medium 58
Whole grain cereal, cooked 1 cup 56
Scallop 6 large 55
Rockfish 1 fillet 51
Figs 1/2 cup 50
Oysters 3 oz 49

Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Quinoa

and Bulgur

100 grams 44
Tofu 1/4 block 37
Bananas 100 grams 27
Broccoli, raw 1 cup 22



Zinc Foods

Food Serving Size Zinc (mg)
Oysters (Cooked) 100gm 78.6mg
Wheat Germ (Toasted) 100gm 16.7mg
Beef (Lean, Cooked) 100gm 12.3mg
Veal Liver (Cooked) 100gm 11.9mg
Pumpkin & Squash Seeds (Roasted) 100gm 10.3mg
Sesame Seeds 100gm 10.2mg
Dark Chocolate 100gm 3.3mg
Dried Herbs & Spices (Chervil) 100gm 8.8mg
Lamb (Lean, Cooked) 100gm 8.7mg
Peanuts (Roasted) 100gm 3.3mg


Red Blood Cell Pathology

Red Blood Cell Pathology

Red blood cell pathology is found in the Full Blood Count (FBC) or CBC for Complete Blood Count (CBC)
You may find this under the heading ‘Haematology’

Red blood cells live for 120 days, so the good thing is thy are always renewing, so once you get your nutrients in, you can have a whole new set of blood cells in four months.


What we are looking at here is the amount, size and shape of the red blood cells.


AMOUNT – you need just the right amount in the blood



Is Iron (Haem) attached to a protein (Globulin)

It takes Oxygen around the body from the lungs and to the body and picks up the carbon dioxide in exchange and goes back to the lungs to exhale and collect more oxygen.
That is why breathing clean air is so important
A lower amount can’t carry much oxygen
A higher amount shows that there is not enough nutrients to make the cells, so more cells are needed to supply the oxygen


SIZE – the cells have to be the right size


MCV Mean Cell Volume

Is the average size of the red blood cell
Too small can also mean low Iron
Too many can indicate low B12 and folate to make the cells
Adequate protein intake is essential to make good amounts of Haemoglobulin


SHAPE – the blood cells need to be the right shape so they don’t stick together and flow freely in the blood vessels


RDW – Red Cell Distribution Width

Measures the difference in the sizes of the cells.
You want them all to be about the same size

Your Pathocize (exercise for your pathology)

Eat a good amount of protein to make the RBC
Ensure you have adequate dietary intake of B12, folate and iron


B12 is found in these foods

Food                   Serving Size B12 Content
Beef liver                   1 ounce 20mcg
Sardines                   3 ounce 2.6mcg
Atlantic Mackerel                   3 ounce 7.4mcg
Lamb                   3 ounces 2.7mcg
Wild-Caught Salmon                   3 ounces 2.6mcg
Nutritional Yeast                   1 tblsp 2.4mcg
Feta Cheese                    0.5 Cup 1.25mcg
Grass-Feed beef                    3 ounces 1.2mcg
Cottage Cheese                    1 Cup 0.97mcg
Eggs                    1 large 0.6mcg



Folate is found in these foods

Food Serving Size Folate Content
Spinach raw 100gm 194mcg
Asparagus frozen 100gm 191mcg
Mustard greens raw 100gm 187mcg
Quinoa uncooked 100gm 184mcg
Lentils cooked 100gm 181mcg
Kelp seaweed raw 100gm 180mcg
Collard greens raw 100gm 166mcg
Lima beans cooked 100gm 150mcg
Black beans cooked 100gm 149mcg
Cos or Romaine lettuce raw 100gm 136mcg
Kidney beans cooked 100gm 130mcg


Iron is found in these foods

  Food Serving size Iron content
  Chicken liver 100g 11mg
  Beef 100g 3.5mg
  Kangaroo 100g 3.2mg
  Kidney beans 1 cup 3.1mg
  Green lentils 1 cup 3.0mg
  Tofu 100g 2.96mg
  Chickpeas 1 cup 2.7mg
  Lamb 100g 2.5mg
  Cashew nuts 30g (20 nuts) 1.5mg
  Salmon 100g 1.28mg
  Raw spinach 1 cup 1.2mg
  Tinned tuna 100g 1.07mg
  Rolled oats 30g 1.1mg
  Almonds 30g 1.1mg
  Lamb brains 100g 1.0mg
  Dried apricot


 (5 dried apricots)

  Broccoli 1 cup 0.86mg
  Pork 100g 0.8mg
  Cooked brown rice 140g (1 cup) 0.7mg
  Chicken 100g 0.4mg
  Snapper 100g 0.3mg


  • eat foods high in vitamin C with foods that contain iron
  • cook your plant foods to improve the amount of available iron
  • avoid having tea, coffee or calcium during or directly after having a source of iron

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