DOES YOUR DOCTOR ORDER THE BEST LAB TESTING FOR YOUR HEALTH?

Senior doctor using his tablet computer at work (color toned ima

Most people rely on an annual physical exam as well as blood and urine samples to determine their health. This method of screening for diseases has been used for well over 100 years. With the advent of modern technology, one must ask the question, “do these testing standards continue to meet the COMPREHENSIVE needs of the average person?”

Answering this question seems simple. Have the statistics measuring the health (not duration of life) of our population been improving? The answer is NO! So why do we continue to use the same evaluation techniques if the quality of health is suffering?

  1. We tend to base our health needs on insurance coverage.

  2. We accept the belief our doctors “know best.”

  3. We don’t want to truly know if our health is compromised until symptoms make it evident.

When it comes to pharmaceutical medications, the healthcare field is all about research and development and promoting the newest treatments available. Does it really make sense that modern day diagnoses should be based on century old evaluation methods?

bloodchemHow many patients have gone to their doctors “not feeling well,” only to be told that nothing was found in their testing? Yet, prescriptions were written with the purpose of “making them feel better.” Not only is this inappropriate, it is potentially negligent.

deaths-in-one-year-due-to-drugs-vs-supplements-3-500

Many of today’s health problems may not be detected by standard {insurance based} lab work. This would explain:

  1. why so many people do not “feel well.”

  2. the increasing rates of chronic disease

  3. the need for newer technological testing to uncover conditions traditional lab profiles MISS.

As a consumer, how often do you hear about the following complaints or conditions:

  • stress

  • fatigue

  • mental health disorders

  • chemical sensitivities

  • food sensitivities

  • gastrointestinal disorders (bloating, pain, constipation/diarrhea, anemia, irritable bowel syndrome)

  • brain fog

  • obesity

  • cardiac disease

  • thyroid disease

  • cancer

  • diabetes

  • heart disease

If traditional blood testing does not sufficiently produce answers to address many of these conditions, what can the consumer do? They can seek out a doctor trained to practice FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE.

dictionary-fm-jpg

Doctors in multiple disciplines can provide this type of care. This would include medical, chiropractic, naturopathic, homeopathic and acupuncture. Since it has been deemed appropriate for consumers to approach their doctors with the names of new drugs heard in commercials, I suggest we approach our doctors in a similar fashion to see if it is appropriate to order additional lab testing to uncover hidden causes of disease. Many traditional physicians have not been trained in these newer lab testing protocols and may have a difficult time interpreting them as well. A good qualified physician would be honest with their patient if they lack the skills in this area.

Does this mean the patient should abandon their primary doctor? NO! It means (similar to a “specialist”) another doctor may need to be consulted to address these issues. The consumer should no longer accept sub par health as “normal” or a “condition in their head.”

How do you know if your doctor has the appropriate training? Ask them if they are CERTIFIED in FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE. These doctors have additional intake forms that help guide the physician to determine different types of specific lab testing.

Traditional doctors’ forms usually include:

  • patient personal info

  • health history

  • medical history

  • insurance coverage

Doctors that offer more extensive lab analysis would require additional forms. Some examples may include:

  • a diet survey and diet journal

  • metabolic assessment form

  • body systems assessment

  • neurotransmitter assessment

  • mold and environmental toxin exposure questionnaire

Most consumers are familiar with traditional lab testing including:

  • blood glucose, and A1C testing for diabetes

  • cholesterol testing

  • liver, heart and kidney testing

  • potentially Vitamin D testing

  • potentially male or female hormone testing

Since we know that stress, inflammation, gut bacteria, environmental toxins, etc… play a substantial role in the status of a person’s health, different lab testing may be indicated (to supplement traditional testing.) These might include:

  • cortisol

  • fibrinogen

  • DHEA

  • homocysteine

  • C- Reactive Protein

  • Intestinal studies (urine organic acid profile, breath testing and stool testing to evaluate bacterial and fungal metabolism in addition to parasites)

  • immunologic testing (for food intolerances and chemical sensitivities)

  • methylation testing (a metabolic process essential for living)

This just skims the surface. The point is the consumer can no longer assume the word doctor means “HE OR SHE THAT KNOWS ALL.” Getting a lab baseline describing

FUNCTION

in addition to

traditional labs detecting standard DISEASES makes greater sense if the goal aims to improve our health rather than simply elongating one’s lifespan over time.

I have had multiple requests about where to find this type of physician. The best place to start is:

INSTITUTE FOR FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

All doctors are NOT the same. One doctor is unlikely to have ALL THE ANSWERS. If your health is not at the level it should be, and your doctor is unable to help you correct this imbalance, maybe it’s time to seek a doctor more in tune with current technology and methods of discovering underlying problems.

Just remember, testing may also determine YOUR ROLE in addressing these underlying causes. You must be prepared to PARTICIPATE in order to improve YOUR HEALTH. It requires a TEAM EFFORT to obtain an OPTIMAL OUTCOME.

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29 comments

  1. ah – the best laugh I’ve had in weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …be nice… There are some really good doctors working hard to help people that thought there was no hope.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes sir. I’m sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. not to worry tho – it’s not a mistake i’ll repeat

            Liked by 1 person

  2. ummm …. from the title alone (not the entire post – the post was, as always, informative and more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marcus.

      Like

  3. Good post….I always go into my MD with a list of lab values I would like to have done….she accommodates most of the time….she questions the ones that she doesn’t feel I need…and if my argument is in my favor she will change her mind…sometimes….LOL I love my MD…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great relationship the two of you have. Nice to hear and see another doctor that LISTENS to their patient.

      Like

      1. thanks, I got lucky finding here….had to go through a few but I knew there was a match out there more me…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Just like most things worthwhile in life, it takes some work and effort to find a quality doctor to match your needs. Most people do not think to put the effort in; they open a book of “participating providers,” and seek the most “convenient.” Not the best way to find a person that can positively or NEGATIVELY affect the quality of your life.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree….I do the same approach for anyone dealing with my health, always have….kat

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I probably owe my life to my GP twice, as a double big ‘C’ survivor. For sure my prostate cancer would not have been picked up were it not for the PSA velocity. Thanks for another informative post, Doc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you don’t mind me asking, was this part of an annual blood analysis or was the PSA ordered specifically because of symptoms you presented with? If you don’t want to answer, I certainly respect your right to privacy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The first routine, the second specifically requested. I had no symptoms. The DRE revealed nothing to the GP (or subsequently the urologist). The biopsy was grim, but in only 2 of 16 ‘grabs’. The final analysis, after surgery, was high grade.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m glad for you your doctor aggressively pursued your lab findings. I would assume the PSA values changed quickly enough over a short duration to merit the biopsy. Nice to see a good example of quality care. Thank you for sharing your information. Wishing you continued good health and pure enjoyment is leisure living.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for writing this post. I’ve been in a bit of a pickle lately in trying to decide if I should switch doctors because I don’t feel mine pays enough attention to symptoms I present. What you say about many doctors looking at the normal” range of results on blood tests and sending you on your merry way with a gold star is SO true in my experience.

    I’ve been researching various integrative medicine clinics in my area and the link you provided on functional doctors should be quite helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’re not satisfied with your doctor, communicate your feelings. If this doesn’t improve the responsiveness, it might be time to go doctor shopping.

      Don’t be fooled by buzz words. Integrative, holistic, natural, etc… are terms used by quality practitioners as well as marketers looking to expand practices. Schedule COMPLIMENTARY consultations if you choose to seek new/additional doctors as part of the TRICIA TEAM. If they can’t take 5 minutes to sit and talk with you about your concerns, they will unlikely have the time to address your needs.
      Good luck with your research.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those are very good points Jonathan, thank you so much. I like the sound of having my own team. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post! One of my favorite topics. Be well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patients truly rely of their doctors knowledge and experience. They have no basis to determine whether any diagnostic testing is appropriate or necessary. All they have are potential symptoms showing no improvement to determine if their doctor is helping them. What they need is a good doctor keeping them HEALTHY vs a doctor continually attempting to “fix” them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a balance, of course. I usually go to a regular doctor to rule out an observable problem. After than, I usually turn to holistic practitioners. I always rely on both for my treatment and care.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. People willing to think without subject biases recognize the benefits ALL practitioners potentially offer. It is not always just about “right” and “wrong.” It is often about determining an effective approach that fits the individual patient’s needs BEST. Demonizing allopaths, complimentary or alternative physicians doesn’t improve the outcomes; it simply incites prejudice and confuses people. Finding the best TEAM to handle the patient’s case has proven more reliable and has helped ALL practitioners leave their egos outside their practices.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. www.Simply-Pure.org.uk · · Reply

    Great article! The issue I have had myself working within primary care is exactly this issue. Are the relevant tests being done (most of the time no), or are they comprehensive casting a wide net to see what the actual root cause may be (in most cases no). A pretty good example is the hypothyroid patient who has hashimotos. The patient comes in presents with a classic set of symptoms for hypothyroidism, then has the blood tests (t4 and tsh) it comes up that tsh is raised so the patient on thyroxine. Rarely is a comprehensive test done for example check checking t3 or TPOAb to check if there is a autoimmune response going on. Even when this is done the patient isn’t examined further to look at why the patient has the said condition.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The reason is pretty simple. The medical model is designed to maintain chronic disease. Their goal is NOT TO FIX these conditions nor discover ROOT CAUSES. There goal is to monitor lab panels and adjust medications to keep values within certain parameters. Their definition of success is based on normal lab ranges while TAKING MEDICATIONS. Interestingly, if values are within normal ranges and their patients continue to complain about sub par health, the doctors tend to shrug it off without looking deeper into the patient’s health needs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. www.Simply-Pure.org.uk · · Reply

        Couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s a shame though that the situation is like this in the mainstream.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. DHEA is a naturally produced hormone, but did you know it also affects our appearance, specially our hair? Let’s find it out here: hairlossrevolution.com/dhea/

    Like

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