It’s impossible to design a customized wellness program for achieving optimal health without a good understanding of what’s going on inside your body.
There’s good news: it’s simple to determine your specific needs, deficiencies, and imbalances with a series of blood tests. The key is to know which blood testing options are the most important.
Blood testing drives health and wellness programs simply because everyone is different. What one person needs to feel his or her best might be very different than another person’s needs. Randomly loading up on vitamins and nutraceuticals without comprehensive blood testing is an expensive experiment at best and a harmful endeavor at worst.
Blood tests don’t lie. They can reveal changes that signal disease, degeneration, or aging even before people notice these changes. Done by experienced, credible healthcare providers, these blood testing options are safe to do and empower people to take charge of their health and wellness.
I get a blood test with my annual physical. Isn’t that enough?
Routine blood testing done with annual physical examinations offers a few, but far from all, of the health answers one needs. At the biostation, we include the spectrum of important blood testing options that not only indicate disease processes but also provide opportunities to improve vitality, quality of life, mental health, mood, memory, energy, and much more.
Another aspect of the in-depth blood testing that we do at the biostation is the analysis. Most doctors look at blood tests quickly, to see if there is anything alarming and if people fall within broad normal ranges. We study blood tests thoroughly, looking for opportunities to improve our patients’ health and quality of life, as well as avoid disease.
Our blood testing options allow for accurate monitoring of your health status. That means you’ll know if what you’re doing to improve your health is working. Blood testing serves as a roadmap for safely prescribing bioidentical hormones. Armed with your levels from these blood tests, we can make accurate, patient-specific recommendations about nutrition, supplementation, and nutraceutical use.
Here are the 10 most important blood tests for determining your health status.
1. Complete Metabolic and Lipid Panel
This is the test you might receive at an annual physical. It’s valuable and low cost. Known as Complete Metabolic and Lipid Panel, this test reveals important information about the health of your vascular system, liver, kidneys, and blood cells. In other words, it can help detect or predict heart disease, diabetes, and other common chronic conditions. The Complete Metabolic measures blood glucose, while the Lipid panel measures total cholesterol and breakdowns of HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol) versus LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol). The panel also looks at important minerals in the blood, such as iron, calcium and potassium.
2. Vitamin D-25 Hydroxy
Vitamin D’s importance to overall health has been a big newsmaker in recent years. Low vitamin D levels are common, especially among the elderly. That’s a big health concern, given that vitamin D is important to all the body’s cells and tissue. Vitamin D deficiency can affect immune function, bone density, heart health—even mood. The 25-hydroxy vitamin D test accurately measures the level of this important vitamin because 25-hydroxy vitamin D changes to an active form of vitamin D in the kidney.
3. Hemoglobin A1C
The hemoglobin A1C provides an accurate snapshot of a person’s blood sugar control during the previous two to three months. The test can predict heart disease risk in people with and without diabetes. Since the hemoglobin A1C is not affected by the fluctuations that can occur with daily glucose monitoring, it is an extremely important test for those with diabetes and is recommended every three to six months by the American Diabetes Association. Why? Maintaining optimal hemoglobin A1C levels can help keep people with the disease-free from diabetes complications.
Some call dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) the “antiaging hormone.” Low levels of this hormone are common as we age. Produced by the adrenal glands, DHEA levels peak in the 20s and, often, plummet throughout the decades. Studies suggest that having too little DHEA can negatively impact erectile function, libido, immune function, wound healing, bone density, abdominal fat distribution and mood.
Homocysteine is an amino acid in our bodies. High levels can be problematic, indicating higher risks for heart attack, poor mental function, and bone fracture. High blood homocysteine levels can damage the arteries’ linings or cause the blood to clot more easily than it should.
6. C-reactive protein.
C-reactive protein is an indicator of inflammation in the body. Systemic inflammation has emerged as a powerful predictor of degenerative diseases affecting the heart, eyes, and mind. It can help to predict the onset of type 2 diabetes. And it can draw attention to disease processes long before they become symptomatic.
7. Thyroid-stimulating hormone
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is secreted by the pituitary gland, controls secretion of thyroid hormone in the thyroid. Hyperthyroidism occurs with increased thyroid activity and lower-than-normal blood levels of TSH. Too much TSH in the blood suggests hypothyroidism, or too little activity. Thyroid imbalances can cause many or no symptoms. No question, though, hormone imbalances can wreak havoc with your health and the way you feel. These imbalances have been linked in studies to irregular heartbeat, atherosclerosis, low bone mineral density, and a host of nonspecific symptoms, from fatigue to heat intolerance. Measuring TSH is considered the best way to measure thyroid function.
8. Testosterone (free testosterone)
Both men and women produce testosterone and both experience what can be dramatic declines in the hormone as they age. Men produce testosterone in the testes, while women produce it in their ovaries. The hormone helps to regulate muscle mass, as well as fertility, libido, and one’s sense of wellbeing. Generally, less than two percent of testosterone in the blood is in the free state, which means it is free to circulate in the brain and nervous system. Free testosterone levels can be linked to abdominal obesity, unhealthy bones, heart disease, and depression. In women, high levels of free testosterone might indicate low estrogen levels, or be a cause of excessive unwanted hair growth or polycystic ovarian syndrome.
9. Prostate-specific antigen (for men only)
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has long been a measurement used to detect enlarged prostate, prostate inflammation, or cancer of the prostate. This protein made in the prostate gland can also be elevated if a man has a urinary tract infection. It’s important to note that high PSA levels don’t necessarily mean prostate cancer; still, it’s a useful blood testing option that helps doctors with their diagnoses of prostate conditions or to determine patients’ risks of cancer and benign prostate problems.
Estradiol, the primary circulating form of estrogen, is important for many physiological functions in both women and men (although men produce smaller amounts than women). Estradiol levels in women serve as important tools in the evaluation of menopausal status and sexual maturity. Higher-than-normal levels could indicate endometrial or breast cancer in women. In men, elevated levels could occur with male breast enlargement or be associated with decreased sex drive and urination difficulty. The hormone is important for good health, too, as it plays a role in strong bones in men and women.
Blood testing is the key.
As you can see, blood testing options paint an important and accurate picture of what you need to achieve optimal balance. The results from blood tests help healthcare experts home in on what’s preventing a person from having optimal quality of health. Therefore, treatment becomes individualized, safer, and more cost-efficient and effective.
Blood testing, using these key blood testing options, is an important part of the biostation’s customized, personalized approach to helping people reach optimal health.
Call the biostation today at 888-754-1852 or contact us online to schedule your private, personal consultation.