Improving your health using Blood Chemistry
Whether your health goals are weight loss, healing/preventing disease, gaining energy or attaining optimal health, there is no better way to plan and monitor your diet, lifestyle and supplement usage than using your own blood chemistry. I’m not talking about eat right for your type, I’m talking about a detailed supplement, diet, and lifestyle program just for YOU. Most Americans get routine blood work every year with the sole purpose of looking for disease, but not much emphasis is put on using these chemistries to help someone make dietary, supplement and lifestyle changes. Typically a minimalistic approach is taken because of insurance purposes and very few tests are actually ran. You typically get the responses “everything is ok,” “we need to monitor this,” or “go home and eat better.” But what exactly do you need to do? Is everything optimal? Why do I feel this way if everything is normal?
First, there are two different ranges for laboratory testing. Ranges determine if a marker is high or low, for example: TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) pathological range is .5 – 5.5 at one lab. The one most people are familiar with is what are call pathological ranges. These ranges look for disease, meaning if your number is outside the range you have disease and you need medical attention. What most people do not realize, including many physicians, is that there are optimal ranges that are more sensitive. If you are outside of optimal you may be at risk for disease and you may feel sick and tired. It isn’t until you fall outside of the pathological ranges that you are labeled as actually sick in our current healthcare system. How do you address these potential suboptimal issues, continue reading and find out.
We need to talk about where these ranges come from. The pathological ranges, or “sick ranges”, come from a statistical analysis of all the blood that comes into the lab. Most people who go in for blood work are sick or unhealthy people. What happens if you take a group of healthy people and run the same statistical analysis on them? Well, you get a much narrower range of values. This is where the optimal ranges come from, healthy people. For example the pathological ranges for TSH (thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is .5 – 5.5 at a particular lab while the optimal range is 1.8 – 3.0. So say your TSH is at 4.0, it is normal by pathological ranges but not optimal. Now where do you want to fit in? Sick ranges or healthy optimal ranges? I’d like to stay as far away from disease as I possibly can, and so should you.
What could you be experiencing if you are outside of optimal? This is where the typical doctor will say, “you’re low normal and we need to watch this” or “everything is fine.” This type of situation happens more often with people who are tired, have trouble losing weight, other low thyroid symptoms, suffer from brain fog, become sick often, just don’t feel right, or feel just fine. Even if you feel fine you may be on the road to a potential health problem that could be avoided with a proactive nutritional approach.
How do you address these sub optimal issues? Many times simple nutritional changes, lifestyle changes or a few natural supplements can make a world of difference in how you feel, your disease risks, and your lab markers. This is why not only do you need to have someone looking for disease in your annual blood chemistries but also a nutritionally trained wellness doctor to evaluate these markers and help you make decisions to improve and maintain your health naturally. Don’t just monitor these markers, take proactive steps to improving them naturally.
Quick notes on supplements. If you’re listening to the guy working at GNC, your friends, or tv comercials for your supplement and diet choices, you may be making a mistake. I highly advise you find a doctor, who is well versed and trained in nutritional support and intervention to help make your health decisions.
As I briefly mentioned in the first paragraph typically a minimalistic approach is taken when ordering the annual blood tests. This is because of the insurance game of medical necessity. This leaves many valuable tests left out that in my opinion should be ordered to optimize health and minimize disease. Your insurance company doesn’t want to spend money and only cares about you being alive, not feeling good or living life to the fullest. As well when taking a nutritional approach to blood chemistries there are many advanced tests that can help hone in on what is really going on and where we need to focus our attention on.
If you have trouble losing weight, feel sick and tired, have thyroid or diabetic like symptoms, or just want to take a proactive role in your healthcare, you should consider finding a doctor who has training in functional blood chemistry analysis. There is no better way to find out what supplements you should be taking, what foods you should be eating and lifestyle decisions you should be making than to take a close look at a detailed blood chemistry.