Anne Baker, Nourish Holistic Nutrition
Dr. Baker discussed 4 important blood tests to consider for your thyroid health!
Every medical doctor is taught to use and interpret lab values on the CBC blood panel for baseline health markers.
This test is the one most of us get when we have our annual physical. It measures some very important health markers we all need to be aware of.
The CBC panel was designed to measure individual lab values against statistically “normal” ranges of a particular item. That sounds good in theory, but how useful is this for catching and treating potential serious health issues early?
The problem with conventional blood lab tests
The problem with relying on these broad ranges is that they are not as clinically relevant or useful as looking at optimal ranges. Optimal ranges are much narrower and are really goal markers for improved health and lower risk.
Most conventionally trained doctors don’t base their interpretation of your lab results on optimal ranges, but on diagnostic ranges because this is how they were taught to interpret these reports in medical school. This means that they are still relying on diagnostic ranges that are so broad they tend to flag problems in more moderate to advanced stages as opposed to at the earlier stages when making small changes to nutrition and lifestyle can be highly effective.
Because these ranges are so broad very often patterns of declining health are not caught until a person has progressed into the condition enough to warrant medications being prescribed by their doctor. Wouldn’t it be better if doctors were trained to use optimal levels and look for patterns indicating a person is trending toward a condition before it becomes full-blown?
~ And wouldn’t it be wonderful if when they found these problems early they advised their patients to get on an individual nutritional and lifestyle change program – instead of just prescribing a drug? I know I must be dreaming!
Moving beyond the CBC Blood Panel
Today there are many, specialized tests available to help clinicians assess health risks and measure health status that functional doctors and many other science-based practitioners seeking to find the root cause of illness find very helpful. Unfortunately, not that many doctors use these tests, but hopefully, that is beginning to change.
Specialized testing offers a more precise window into the body
The following are a few of the tests that I find provide valuable information and deeper insights into where the body may be imbalanced or have impaired pathways. Finding and addressing these pathways help the body return to a healthier state:
Vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies have been shown to suppress immune function and contribute to chronic degenerative processes such as arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Micro-nutrients are commonly deficient in people with chronic fatigue, leaky gut and other digestive or bowel problems.
This test measures your vitamin, mineral, amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism, fatty acids and metabolites to show if and where you have Micro-nutrient deficiencies. Micro-nutrient deficiencies can result in undermining a person’s immune function, and thus lower the immunity. Because this test measures the intracellular status of micro-nutrients using lymphocytes instead of serum blood it provides a more accurate measurement of your micro-nutrient status. This test shows your micro-nutrient over a four to six month period and uses optimal ranges to generate repletion recommendations.
MTHFR is an enzyme responsible for converting 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to the product 5-methyltetrahydrofolate – it is involved in the metabolism of folate and homocysteine. The product of the reaction catalyzed by MTHFR converts homocysteine (a potentially toxic amino acid) to methionine (a useful and necessary amino acid). What this means is that people with this genetic variation have trouble making needed conversions of B6 and B12. This can result in a wide range of health issues.
People with cardiovascular disease (especially elevated homocysteine), a history of depression, migraine headaches, thyroid disorders, an autoimmune condition, ASD or are poor detoxifiers show a higher incidence of this genetic mutation.
Yeast Overgrowth Testing
This test detects IgG antibodies to Candida/yeast overgrowth. Candida overgrowth in the gut may contribute to food allergies and sensitivities by allowing absorption of partially digested proteins (peptides), triggering antibody production to foods.
People who feel “sick all over”, have low energy, chronic fatigue, skin problems, digestive or bowel issues and ASD should be tested for candida.
Gluten Sensitivity & Food Intolerance Testing
The test I use tests for IgG antibodies and identifies sensitivities to 93 foods, (such as gluten, casein, egg, corn, and soy) and includes many other foods commonly eaten. The test also includes several foods that are used as substitutes for common trigger foods. IgG antibodies (delayed immune response) have a much longer half-life than the traditional IgE (immediate) allergy, and symptoms may occur hours or days after the offending food has been consumed.
There are many specialty labs that offer variations of gluten sensitivity and food intolerance testing. Depending upon the individual health circumstance one lab may be preferred over the other.
People who feel “sick all over”, have low energy, pain in any location, chronic fatigue, autoimmune conditions, ASD, skin problems, digestive or bowel issues should be tested for hidden food intolerance’s.
Remember – not all foods are good for all people!
Uncovering hidden food intolerance’s and imbalances in the body is essential to reclaiming your health and essential to any long term wellness program. My Healing from Within Program does just that.
~ Here’s a link to a chart showing what is measured in the CBC blood panel (Complete Metabolic Count) and what the results may be indicated: What the CBC Panel measures
About the Author
Anne Baker, CN, LE is a BioIndividual Nutrition Specialist and Lifestyle Change Expert. Author of “Season it Well! the Outrageously Delicious Gluten-Free Recipe Collection for the Discerning Palate. Anne uses food as medicine to help people with serious, chronic health problems. She works with clients in person and virtually who want to avoid prescription medications and reduce their risks. Each person has a unique biochemistry, health history, and food reactivity. Most chronic health conditions have underlying immune, digestive, and detoxification imbalances. Once these imbalances are found and corrected the body is better equipped to regain health. Her specialty is working with clients who have autoimmune conditions; chronic pain and digestive disorders. She is a Certified Nutrition Practitioner from Nutrition Therapy Institute, Denver, Colorado, a Certified First Line Therapy Practitioner; an early interventional dietary and lifestyle change program used by many integrative and functional medicine doctors. BioIndividual Nutrition Specialist; the clinical application of specialized healing diets and science-based nutritional supplementation for chronic health conditions. This program is based on the groundbreaking work of Julie Mathews, CNS and author of Nourishing Hope for Autism. If you are wondering if you may benefit from a more comprehensive analysis of what you are eating and interested in any of these testing options Contact me!.