Spring is a good time to get blood tests. 9 News Health Fair sponsors statewide blood testing, and Life Extension Foundation has its blood test sale in April and May.
The basic blood tests are known as the CBC, or complete blood count, and the chem screen. The cost of these is between $35 and $50.
There are other add-on tests that you might consider:
- Vitamin D — The vitamin D “winter” is ending now. It's a good time to see if you supplemented enough through the winter.
- Homocysteine — This is a toxic molecule that can build up in the body. It is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, some cancers and bone loss. It may be more significant than any of the cholesterol numbers, however, it is not well known because there are no drugs to lower it.
- C-Reactive Protein also known as “hs” (highly sensitive) or “cardiac” C-RP. C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation, and as such it is also significant in evaluating cardiovascular disease risk.
If you are wishing to lose weight, or just want to know other key markers for blood sugar disorders for health reasons, then include hemoglobin A1C and fasting insulin. HbA1C gives the average blood sugar for the past 2-3 months. It measures sugar damage, or glycation, done to red blood cells, which only live for 2-3 months. Of course, all of our cells can be damaged by sugar, but this one is easy to measure.
Insulin is the hormone needed to metabolize sugar, and to a lesser extent, protein. Fasting blood glucose can remain in the normal range for years, despite excess carbohydrate intake, but insulin continues to rise in order to normalize blood glucose. The consequences of chronically elevated insulin, is insulin resistance, when cells stop “listening” to insulin because there is too much of it. This is the cause of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and all manner on inflammatory disorders, anything with an “itis” at the end.
We do blood test analysis in our practice from a functional medicine perspective. On a standard blood test, the ranges used are to screen for pathology, and they are based on “average” values. However, the average person is not very healthy. By using tighter ranges we can evaluate blood tests for optimum health. We can see potential health problems before they develop. Factors such as dehydration, adrenal depletion, B vitamin status, inflammation and immune system function can be revealed from this perspective.
For $75 we will analyze your blood test and give you a 30 minute in-person, phone, or email consultation to help you use this information to improve your health. Call or email for more information. When we know better, we do better.