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The most commonly overlooked lab tests

Overlooked lab tests you need to ask for
Ask for these tests

Overlooked lab tests you need to ask for is the topic of this blog article. These focus on optimal functioning of the body and its organs, and address core imbalances such as inflammation in the body.

FASTING INSULIN Desired Range: 2 – 5 (ideally under 3)
Insulin is a measure of inflammation in the body. You want to know your fasting glucose as well as your fasting insulin. Fasting insulin is a measure of how much insulin your pancreas is making when you are at rest, and there is no food in your system to stimulate its release. Post meal insulin is also a great tool – measured about 45-60 minutes after a meal.

Overlooked lab tests you need to ask for


HEMOGLOBIN A1C (HBA1C) Desired Range: 4.5 – 5.0
HbA1c provides an indication of the average glucose over previous 3-4 months.

Doctors don’t order HBA1c unless your fasting glucose result goes above 120 when they are concerned about diabetes. I recommend HbA1c as a routine lab test. If it is above 5, then a low glycemic plan like The Sugar Buster Program and lifestyle changes could restore balance.

In case your doctor won’t order the Hemoglobin A1c test for you, it’s available as a home test kit in all major pharmacy chains and online.


LIPOPROTEIN(a) Lp(a)
Another overlooked lab test you need to ask for is Lp(a). It is not included in most standard cholesterol or lipid panels.  A normal level is less than 30 mg/dL (300 mg/L) or less than 75 nmols/L. Levels higher than this are associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or narrowed arteries supplying blood to vital organs, often at an early age (younger than 55 in men and 65 in women)

About 20% or one in five people have high levels of Lp(a) from birth based on genetic factors they inherited from their parents, and most don’t know they have it. As high levels of Lp(a) travel through the bloodstream, it collects in the arteries, leading to gradual narrowing of the artery that can limit blood supply to the heart, brain, and kidneys as well as the legs. It can increase the risk of blood clots, heart attack or stroke.

If in any doubt, or if requiring medical advice, please contact the appropriate health professional. I recommend consulting with a licensed health professional before making major diet and lifestyle changes.

What 3 Things Can You Do NOW that Can Improve Your Health

I was interested to hear Dr Jeffrey Bland (the father of Functional Medicine and author of The Disease Delusion, answer the question “ What 3 Things Can You Do NOW that Can Improve Your Health?”

Here is his answer.

  1. Get away from the fast food restaurants for a period of a couple months and see how that influences your health. That alone will make a difference
  2. Improve your omega-3 oil intake from fatty fish like salmon. I know there’s a lot of back-and-forth controversy about omega-3s right now, but I can tell you if you weigh the studies going back to Joel Kremer who was at New York Medical College and did the first studies on placebo-controlled trials in rheumatoid arthritis with fish oils and showed a very positive clinical benefit under controlled conditions.
  3. Move your body without overdoing it. You need to keep moving because a low level of your immune system activities reforming and recycling old materials is really important for reducing inflammation. It almost seems paradoxical that a small amount of inflammation induces anti-inflammation, but that’s how it works. So you want to be in a proper physical conditioning program— movement, massage, physical medicine, chiropractic, acupuncture, all these things can be very helpful in the structural component of these conditions. Structure and function are intimately tied together. Often we forget that function is structure, and structure is function. So we need them to be tightly tied.

 

Got Leaky Gut?

Hippocrates was right when he said many years ago that the gut is the foundation of our entire health.

Research is finally starting to show that many chronic and autoimmune diseases can be connected to gastrointestinal problems. When your gut lining is damaged due to stress, poor diet, medications, and other triggers, it can cause undigested food particles and bacterial endotoxins to pass into the bloodstream leading to a cascade of chronic inflammation to all areas of the body. This is commonly known as leaky gut syndrome.

A gut permeability lab test will help determine if leaky gut syndrome is a factor in your specific health case. It will check for:

  • Zonulin and occludin: These two proteins control gut permeability, and antibodies could mean the intestinal tight junctions have been compromised.
  • Actomyosin antibodies: These could indicate that the gut lining was damaged.
  • Lipopolysaccharides LPS: These are bacterial endotoxins in your gut. If they are in your blood, it could mean there was enough destruction of the gut lining to let them pass.

If you want to know more about leaky gut and other gut matters CLICK HERE for my FREE eBook called  Gut Matters: 4 Ways to Optimize Your Digestion to Boost Your ‘Second Brain’ and Improve Your Mood