The first time I see new clients, this is one of my first questions.
Because we test and combine that detailed information with a symptom picture for the best possible treatment.
How often have you been to the Doctor, feeling crappy or with low energy, only to be dismissed or told things are 'within range', so not to worry, or here, 'take a pill'...
Many don’t realise but the reference ranges from the pathology lab are based on an average taken from the general population, and most are not optimally healthy or well people.
Which is how we would like to feel right? So why compare our health to a lower standard?
It's not good enough, it is also one of the reasons I studied to be a Naturopath. 6 years ago, I felt as if my body was breaking down, reacting to everything.
I couldn’t eat so many foods, I was scared to eat certain things in fear that my throat would close up. My Doctor(s) said in the end, 'I don’t know, so your diagnosis is ‘idiopathic anaphylaxis' and that was that. Idiopathic means ‘from an unknown cause’… not exactly the answer I was hoping for. My allergist was not much better... plus, I was not interested on using a chemotherapy drug to suppress my immune system!
I ended up finding a naturopath that cared, took the time, and helped my body to rebalance and heal.
Now, I help others who are struggling like I was then. So, let's chat bloodwork and why it is important to be on top of your biochemistry. First, - Your bloodwork results are yours, and yes, you have every right to ask for a copy and keep your records! If anyone every tells you otherwise, please find another practitioner.
A qualified naturopath/ nutritionist or integrative health practitioner will be able to glean enough information from these basic pathology results to be able to create a solid picture of what is going on along with a detailed consultation of your health history.
Here are some of the blood tests you should request on an annual basis.
Remember no one is in charge of your health and wellbeing, but you. If you leave it till things are not right or you feel awful and out of balance, things can escalate quickly and be harder to correct.
1. FBC/FBE/CBC This stands for Full Blood Count/Exam or Complete blood count. This test looks at the quality and quantity of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
2. Iron Studies
3. Thyroid panel, including TSH, T4, T3, reverse T3. If you have thyroid disease in the family or your result is high or low, please ask for your thyroid antibodies to be tested too.
4. E/LFT – Electrolytes and liver function
This one will look at electrolytes, liver and kidney function and protein metabolism markers.
5. Zinc – not commonly tested but if you can request this one, it is great to know as many of us are deficient!
6. Vitamin D – essential for so many cellular functions, especially immune system, so make sure this one is included.
7. Vitamin B12 – I find many patients are low in B12, the scale used in Australia is much lower than in other countries so definitely add this one to the list.
8. Hormones – Female hormone panel, include testosterone if you have any issues with acne, excess hair growth or insulin resistance.
Male- Male hormone panel including (E2) estrogen to make sure that if you have soy products or plastics in your diet/lifestyle, that they are not affecting your testosterone levels.
9. Cholesterol panel – including fasting insulin.
There are many more tests, but the ones above will give a good picture of how your body is coping and if there are any imbalances that need to be addressed. Most, if not all of these should be covered by Medicare if you go to your GP. You can pay for these if you would like to come direct to a natural heath practitioner.
· Do your blood tests in the morning.
· In a fasted state (no coffee before either) just water.
· At the same time in your cycle (ladies) Day 21 is good, especially if you are testing hormones.
· Get and keep your results.
· Get your bloods done at least every 12 months
· Book in to chat about your health! www.nourishhealthclinic.com.au