On Interpreting Your Own Blood Work…

Today (well, yesterday… I fell asleep midpost!)  began with me freaking myself out. (So what else is new?!?) I signed into my online patient portal for my new obgyn and saw that my most recent blood panel results had been entered in. One test at a time, I checked my results against the recommended ranges and everything looked perfect… until I got to this scary sounding thing called parvovirus

Right away I went to the good ol’ Internet. Parvovirus B19 is more commonly known as fifths disease. It is common among young and school aged children and presents like a common cold, sometimes with a fever and rash. It is not dangerous unless you are immonocompromised (which pregnant women are), and it can infect the fetus and cause miscarriage. Cue freak out. Once I calmed down and read 17 additional scary statistics, I looked back at my blood results. I noticed that “Parvovirus igg” was elevated, but “Parvovirus igm” was in the normal range. 

Back to google. Turns out “igg” represents the antibodies and indicates that I once had the virus. Meanwhile, “igm,” which was normal, indicates current infection. When I followed up with my mom, she confirmed that yes, I had fifths disease when I was very young. And when I followed up with doctor, she confirmed that my results were merely an indication of former infection and so not to worry. In fact, she told me, even better because now I am immune!

Something new to learn every day of this journey…

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11 thoughts on “On Interpreting Your Own Blood Work…

  1. I have done the same kind of thing with some of my results! I told my husband that I wish they wouldn’t post scary sounding stuff without more explanation! Glad it turned out ok for you so far!

  2. The internet is a blessing and (maybe even more so) a curse. Glad everything was ok, and glad I learned the difference between igm and igg from you and not my own personal freak out, which does occur often.

  3. Fascinating. I’m not really familiar with that virus or the testing for it. My fertility clinic would post my blood results online but my OB doesn’t. I really wish he would! We are so used to the information age where we can access anything whenever we want to.

  4. HA! I’ve totally done this before. I had some elevated counts on one of my labs, and promptly Googled my way into a panic attack. After consulting with actual medical professionals, it turns out this was probably an indication of increased stress levels and not of my imminent demise.

    This is how we learn. 🙂

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