To start with, let’s talk about medical tests that the medical doctor’s going to do.
A lot of these tests are performed, really, to see what kind of illness or sickness you have so then they can correct that sickness or illness. However, these tests can also be used to monitor your health, so you don’t get sick int the first place.
A lot of these markers we’re going to talk about will point you in the right direction to what needs fixing up.
Blood tests can be divided into several categories: lipids (fats in the blood), inflammatory markers, blood sugar markers, thyroid test, kidney and liver tests, homocysteine, and vitamin and mineral markers. There’s also the CBC (complete blood count).
Lipids: These tests include HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (supposedly the bad fats), and triglycerides (influenced by the amount of sugar and carbs in your diet).
But, remember, about 50% of people who have heart attacks, for example, don’t have elevated cholesterol. Don’t let anyone tell you that if your bad cholesterol is slightly elevated, you need to go on a statin drug immediately.
One question I ask people is, “Have you had a relation very close to
you who is passed away, 50 or younger, with a heart attack or a stroke or an aneurism, anything like that?”
If they say, “Yes, absolutely,” or, “My grandma did,” or, “My auntie,” or several people, then we definitely have deeper look into the whole blood fat
Inflammatory markers: These markers include c-reactive protein high-sensitivity c-reactive protein and ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate).
CRP is a protein in the blood that elevates with inflammation. We know there’s a fire, but we don’t know where the source of the fire is.
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Knowing there’s inflammation is useless unless you know where the inflammation originates.
The high-sensitivity c-reactive protein relates more to cardiovascular
inflammation in particular. If hsCRP is elevated, it’s a pretty good indication of a cardiac issue.
Inflammation is considered the mother of all diseases. It’s one of the key things that pushes a person into cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, or
Guess where most inflammation starts with people, in the gut.
Blood sugar and related: Measuring blood sugar is important for people who are pre-diabetic, have adrenal problems, live a high-stress life, or have hypoglycemia.
Hemoglobin A1C measures blood sugar stability over six weeks.
Fasting insulin levels is important to measure in anyone who has blood sugar problems.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that can significantly impact blood sugar. Salivary cortisol can be a useful test in those situations.
Thyroid tests: Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is an important investigation in certain circumstances. If TSH is borderline, I do further tests, including T3, T4, and thyroid antibodies.
If the patient has a clear cut thyroid issue, I will also measure their iodine levels. The iodine challenge test is the best one for measuring this mineral.
Kidney function tests: Creatinine clearance and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) give an indication of kidney function.
Your kidneys decline in function, by default, as you get older. That’s why the big thing is to drink water all the time, less caffeine, and less alcohol.
Liver function tests: Liver function tests include AST, ALT, GGT, and alkaline phosphatase. GGT can be elevated if people are drinking significant amounts of alcohol.
It’s especially important to test liver function if you’re taking pharmaceutical medications.
B12 levels: This is an important test that I have ordered for innumerable patients.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D level is an important test that often gets overlooked. I have seen people change their lives once they corrected a vitamin D deficiency. Anxiety disappeared, sleep improved, and chronic diseases went away.
Homocysteine levels: Homocysteine is a naturally occurring compound. It is usually broken down through the methylation cycle. If it doesn’t break down, the levels can become high and cause problems.
CBC: This test measures red blood cells, white blood cells, and hemoglobin levels.
Electrolytes: Potassium and sodium are useful markers for adrenal fatigue.
Iron markers: Ferritin, transferrin, and iron saturation are important markers.
You may want to get it tested, for example, every three to six months. You can record the results in a spreadsheet and keep track of changes over time.