Anyone know what an anion gap is?

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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 9/26/2007 8:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I need your help.  Does anyone know what an anion gap means?  Mine came back low and I've been researching it online.  It's all pretty vague with a wide range of possibilities.  Of course, I got the lab results in the mail and opened them after 5:00, so my doctor is out of the office.  It's all pretty scary online, so I'm HOPING some of you know what this is.   
Diagnosed with SLE, Sjogren's Syndrome, Leukopenia (low white blood cell count), vitamin D deficiency - January, 2006

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Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 9/26/2007 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mitchy usually has some basic info on labtests but most of the info on this one is about "high" instead of low.

Look at:

The very last couple lines deals with the low ("A low anion gap can also occur; this is most commonly seen when albumin (an anion as well as a protein) is low, while immunoglobulins (cations as well as proteins) are increased.") Maybe some of the others have more knowledge of this one. Make sure that the scary stuff you are ready might be the "high" numbers.

If not, I hope the doctor will be able to give you more reassuring info in the morning. I know it is a real bummer to have info like this w/o answers. Hugs for you Michy!!


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Date Joined Dec 2005
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   Posted 9/26/2007 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Michy, mine was low but my albumin was fine. Here's how lab tests online calculates it.
” The most commonly used formula is:
Anion Gap (AG) = Sodium - (Chloride + Carbon Dioxide)
from Rosies link, I didn't see it was labtestsonline. That is the site I go to too. There's a lot of to do in the health food community about keeping your body more alkaline or neutral pH, since most of our foods are acidic and cause our cells to have a low pH or be acid, which is supposed to be bad. A high anion gap indicates acidosis, I don't know if a more alkaline reading would make it low. I try to eat a lot of alkalinizing foods.

Mine was due to an excess of carbon dioxide due to my COPD and asthma and a slightly low sodium. They didn't do anything for me I got it tested in the ER I was dizzy, except to put me on an IV of electrolytes, but they said that was only because I was diabetic and a little dehydrated.
Love, Marji
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments

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Date Joined Jul 2007
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   Posted 9/26/2007 9:26 PM (GMT -6)   
My anion gap has been really low before. Once it was related to malnutrition from a really restrictive diet. Sometimes it has been because I was spilling protein in my urine. There are lots of factors that can cause it. Judy

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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 9/26/2007 10:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, All! It sounds like it could be a number of things. I will let you know what I find out tomorrow. I really appreciate the replies!
Diagnosed with SLE, Sjogren's Syndrome, Leukopenia (low white blood cell count), vitamin D deficiency - January, 2006

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