Health is progressively in the hands of consumers. From Doctor/Patient matching services and medical record storage, to nutrition tracking apps and activity monitoring devices and sensors, more people every day are gaining access to health management tools that help them take control.
When it comes to blood tests, however, old stigmas seem to die hard. Take a moment to think about how health management has been structured. Diagnostic testing had been a reactive step – typically when health issues have presented themselves in the form of symptoms. An example that may feel familiar:
Feeling lethargic and gaining weight >> Go to the doctor. >> Run a comprehensive blood test. >> Learn you have hypothyroidism after receiving and evaluating TSH, T3 and T4 levels. >> Commence down medication, treatment, and disease management path.
Additionally, consider this alternate example:
Feel fine >> Decide to not proactively run a comprehensive blood test or see your Doctor for an annual physical. >> Miss knowing that LDL particles have become small and dense>> Encounter heart attack or stroke.
With either (or many more) examples, you can see why today, more consumers are understanding that if you have your biomarker data, you can proactively influence the outcomes.
6 Reasons Why Even Healthy People Get Regular Blood Tests
1. Don’t wait for symptoms to learn you have a disease
What’s more appealing – stopping a preventable, chronic disease before it starts, or experiencing the pain and discomfort of symptoms and then merely managing the disease?
Routine biomarker testing gives you a regular check-in to see how your diet, exercise, supplements, and lifestyle are impacting your health. You can then take the necessary steps toward improvement. “How else can you know you are improving if you don’t regularly test?” says Dr. Jeffrey Edman, a WellnessFX practitioner.
2. Get an actual complete measurement
You can not assess your health merely by how you look and feel.
While our country’s addiction to processed food has been linked to the obesity epidemic, obesity and weight doesn’t always tell the whole story. TOFI, aka, “Thin Outside, Fat Inside,” is a phrase growing in popularity and refers to the idea that not all that have damage internally signs of the damage externally. The reality, according to the documentary Fed Up, is that 40% of those that are non-obese still have issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Those issues can be found in biomarkers such as your Triglycerides, HDL and LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, HbA1c, as well as many others.
For an example of how the inside tells us the deeper story of a person’s health, check out the 30-Day No Alcohol Experiment that Ben Greenfield did with Jason Sissel.
3. Comprehensiveness is key
If you can’t sleep because of noise in the house, you would try to investigate the source of the noise by searching all the most likely areas, and then once you found the source quiet it down.
In the same way, if you are gaining weight, you should consider investigating some of the most common causes. A common response to weight gain is to “eat less, move more,” but the reality is that unless you investigate, you can’t be sure why you’re gaining unexplained weight. Consider how high cortisol levels are linked to weight gain. Without a blood test, you maybe wouldn’t have discovered that high cortisol levels are caused by chronic stress and that while a little spike of cortisol is good in response to short-term stressors, it starts to become a problem when the body starts making too much, too often, and can lead to weight gain, according to the Mayo Clinic. With this knowledge, you would now understand that your health and weight could be improved by taking time to meditate or seek out relaxation programs, as a way to handle stress.
Having the complete picture of your health works to eliminate the guesswork and gets down to the brass tacks of the problem.
4. Maintain the necessary balance
Regular blood testing allows you to see whether your vitamin and mineral levels are optimal. These micronutrients play a key role in a healthy, functioning body – it’s not just about a scale and how your pants fit. Deficiencies in important minerals such as magnesium can result in body odor, constipation, muscle cramps, insomnia, headaches, and fatigue. According to Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D, “56% of the U.S. population is deficient in magnesium. Read more about the “Three Main Causes of Magnesium Deficiency.”
You can read more on vitamins and minerals by checking out “4 Vitamins & the Important Signs that You Could Be Deficient” and “7 Important Minerals and the Signs that You Could Be Deficient.”
5. Because You are not “Everyone”
Everyone’s biochemistry is different – not one specific nutrition guideline works for every person. A low-FODMAP diet would be a good example of how different foods impact different digestive systems and, therefore, need adjusting.
So many factors have a role in determining a person’s reaction to their food intake, lifestyle, and habits – from insulin sensitivity to thyroid function to metabolism, every person requires individual guidance on improving and maximizing their health. Health management isn’t one size fits all – those are hats and ties you’re thinking of.
6. For an understanding on the progress of your health over time
Even if you live a healthy lifestyle, your body changes with time. Watching progress over time helps you keep on top of risk factors for some of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes or even cancer. “There are certain markers, like triglycerides and testosterone in men over 40, that simply should be tested every year. I consider these two to be “leading indicators” of overall health,” says Dr. Edman.
**Important to note** Don’t self-diagnose. Always seek a medical professional to guide you and make sense of the data. Schedule an appointment with your PCP and with your lab results create an actionable plan that is actionable. If your doctor is unable to consult on your health issues until you are showing symptoms of disease, check with WellnessFX’s knowledgeable practitioners for help you can receive at your convenience, from the comfort of your home. For more information on what a WellnessFX consult is like, check out “How a WellnessFX Consultation Works and What to Expect”.
How WellnessFX Can Help
WellnessFX, in addition to providing customized blood tests and access to personalized clinical advice, is a secure web-based platform that guarantees our members’ medical records remain safe and confidential.
If you want to get started by testing and monitoring your own biomarkers, our flagship Baseline panel empowers you to understand and improve your underlying health by combining advanced biomarker analysis with an intuitive health dashboard to track your results. Include a 20-minute nutritionist consultation for personalized recommendations you can implement immediately. Cheers to being on the road to a healthier you, with you in the driver’s seat.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.