If you’re one of the many people who avoids going to the doctor, this month’s self-health habit is for you, and merely a reminder for everyone else. I challenge you to make an appointment for biomarker testing this month.
A simple blood draw and the corresponding results are a great tool to compile a complete picture of your current health status, as well as alerting your healthcare provider of any genetic predispositions you may have. After all, there are things going on inside your body long before a loud alarm, such as a heart attack, is sounded.
Many people I talk to don’t realize they can ask for more blood tests than their doctor typically orders. Perhaps your doctor checked your vitamin D levels five years ago and hasn’t done it since. Go ahead and request it.
Another example of a request you can (and perhaps should) make is near and dear to my heart. If you suspect your thyroid may be out of balance, be sure to request the full gamut of blood tests for thyroid function. In addition to the normal TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and free T4 levels testing, request free T3 and reverse T3 tests, and any others your doctor is willing to order. Low thyroid function is a lot more common than many realize. Getting mine back in balance had a huge impact on my daily life, and the imbalance wasn’t discovered until more in-depth blood work was done.
Each of your biomarker results is a piece of your health puzzle, and a nutrition-minded practitioner will be able to connect any dots that need connecting. Especially with lifestyle diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, if your biomarker testing shows some red flags, you are afforded the opportunity to make necessary changes to avoid the full-blown disease. Combine these results with a discussion about any symptoms you’re experiencing, and your health picture becomes that much clearer.
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your health. Making an appointment to gain an understanding of your current health via blood work is key to being the best version of yourself each and every day.
Mastering Nutrition with Blood Chemistry, from the International Foundation for Nutrition and Health, can help the self-healther understand their bloodwork results more completely. Since it offers “optimal” ranges, rather than only “average” ranges (used, unfortunately, by many healthcare providers), you can work with your healthcare provider to avoid potential health problems, as well as discussing an appropriate plan for intervention or prevention using supplements, nutrition, and lifestyle choices.
Health is Simple, Disease is Complicated: A Systems Approach to Vibrant Health, by James Forleo, DC, is a book I go back to again and again. If I suspect something is amiss, or I’ve found out something is, in fact, out of balance, I’ll reach for this book to see what suggestions Dr. Forleo makes to get things sorted out. If nothing else, it offers ideas of what I can ask my primary care physician at my next appointment.
Finally, find a practitioner in your area who does additional biomarker testing that you feel would be beneficial. For example, an Internet search for a trained professional using a Heart Sound Recorder or doing Heart Rate Variability Analysis, will build on what your blood work uncovers.
Image from iStock/Ca-ssis.