Why typical blood tests don’t tell you squat…
I received one of the most disturbing messages from a client once…
For privacy purposes we’ll call her Sarah. She started working with me in December of 2015 after participating in one of my Seasonal Cleanse challenges. She was attracted to the Cleanse Challenge for its promise to boost energy, get rid of belly bloat, a flat stomach and an overall improvement in health.
Sarah enjoyed the cleanse challenge and saw some results but it was obvious she needed more help, which is how we came to work together.
We ran some functional lab tests, identified healing opportunities within her hormones and digestive system, got her started on the right diet for her body and supplements to support the body’s healing process. Within a matter of weeks, she was feeling great!
For months after starting our work together, Sarah saw significant improvements in how she felt and looked. Her anxiety dwindled down to almost nothing, her energy was up, she felt better in her body and her digestion was on point.
After about a year of seeing results with her personalized health-building program, she hit a wall and even started going backwards.
I encouraged her to run a full thyroid panel for clues and that’s when she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s.
Sarah and I continued our work together to help her manage her Hashimoto’s with a holistic lifestyle approach, which included redefining her diet to support the healing process, changing up her supplements, taking more time for herself and working to eliminate toxins that disrupt thyroid function.
Part of Sarah’s health-building plan also included following her dreams to leave New York City for the West coast so she could live in a more health-supporting environment.
As she was getting ready for her upcoming move to the west coast and going through old paperwork, she came across a doctor’s report from 2009…
The report clearly showed that Sarah had Hashimotos back in 2009.
Her thyroid antibodies were well over 200 and even marked as “high” according to the traditional conventional lab reference ranges.
Her TSH was high and Free T4 low when compared to optimal ranges. Her health practitioner completely dismissed her thyroid results, even though Sarah was symptomatic and even noted “Thyroid level was quite normal. This means the irritable changes are not from the thyroid.”
In this week’s video and blog, I’ll uncover why typical blood tests don’t tell you squat and what you should be looking for or what tests to run instead.
Had Sarah received a proper interpretation of her test results or been more well informed to advocate for herself, she quite possibly could have reversed her Hashimoto’s years ago. I can’t even begin to imagine how much different her life would be today. She could have been living a high-energy, flat stomach and symptom-free life for years, had she known better.
Sarah’s story isn’t one of a kind, I actually hear stories similar to this from clients all the time.
I too was told for years I was the picture of perfect health on paper at my annual physicals although I felt exhausted all the time, struggled to maintain my weight and had seasonal allergies that grew worse every year.
When I was diagnosed with skin cancer in my mid 20’s, as a “healthy person” I knew there had to be more to my health story than what typical blood tests were telling me.
Here’s 3 reasons why blood tests can be misleading and what you should be looking for or the tests you should be running instead…
#1 – Reference Ranges Aren’t Optimal Ranges
The reference ranges you see on a typical lab test are determined by average highs and lows within the population, and calculations include values for unhealthy or sick people. They don’t reflect what would be an optimal range for you to feel and function at your best, these are called “functional ranges.”
Typical lab reference ranges are much wider in comparison to functional ranges. For example, the reference range for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is usually 0.5 to 4.5 while the functional range is 0.50 to 2.
So don’t be fooled by typical reference ranges to evaluate your health status, make sure you’re comparing them to functional ranges and where you want to be to feel your best.
#2 – What’s Common Isn’t Normal
It might be common to get a headache, have less energy, gain weight or have more pain as you get older but that doesn’t mean it’s normal. Symptoms such as these are the last thing to show up in an already dysfunctional state, they are your body’s way of sounding the alarm and letting you know something is wrong.
Stress and inflammation are at the core of all disease and dysfunction, yet typical blood tests aren’t very effective at evaluating these aspects. C-Reactive protein does measure inflammation on a blood test but it does NOT measure chronic stress and inflammation.
Instead, consider a 4-point cortisol saliva or urine test for greater insights on your inflammatory response and stress picture. This type of test can also give you clues about your steroid and sex hormone pathways, active and available hormone (vs bound hormone from a blood test), hormone metabolism and even liver function for the bigger picture related to your health.
#3 – What Blood Tests Do Show
Typical blood tests can give you some insights on what you need to investigate further. For example, a blood test may indicate your deficient in Vitamin D or B12, but you need to ask why. Your body didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be deficient in a vitamin.
To truly understand why you might be seeing what you’re seeing (or not seeing) on a blood test, you’ll want to run functional lab tests to look at how the body is functioning or not. These types of test can include a:
- Stool test to assess digestion, internal inflammation and toxicity
- Food sensitivity test to assess food reactions impacting digestion and increasing inflammation
- Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to know if toxic elements are depleting the body and if adequate minerals are available for bodily functions
- Comprehensive urine hormone test to assess what is happening as hormones flow through the body, liver health, detoxification pathways and more
The body is a complex network of systems so your health ailments are never going to be isolated in one area or system, they are all intertwined!
This is why it’s so important to run a couple of tests at once to look at the hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy and nervous system all at the same time so you can see how they are or aren’t working together and truly know what your healing opportunities are.
Don’t let typical blood tests fool you.
If typical blood tests have been telling you should feel fine but you don’t, know there are other test options out there to help you uncover the missing pieces of your health puzzle or experts who can help you interpret blood tests from a functional standpoint.
And if you’re ready to get your hands on the right lab test and resources so you can get back to feeling like yourself just like Sarah and I, then I’d like to invite you to schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here.
P.S. If you want to learn more about why typical blood tests don’t tell you squat and what tests to run instead, check out the Facebook Live I did over on the Autoimmune Sisters page TODAY, or access my Why Typical Blood Tests Don’t Tell You Squat webinar replay