Many People who have visited their Primary Care Physician with a symptomatic concern has been told “Your blood work looks great, your healthy as a horse. Keep doing what you’re doing.”
Most people are relieved by this statement but in the same moment confused because they do not feel their best. We live in a model that believes “Don’t fix until it’s broke.” So we keep doing what we are doing until lab work is abnormal and we now are a candidate for a medication.
Unfortunately, our current medical system does not put enough monetary value toward the prevention of disease. It does not financially incentivize doctors to talk with their patients about their lifestyle habits. Most importantly, doctors do not order extensive labs which could catch underlying dysfunction early enough to prevent full-blown illness.
WHY COMPREHENSIVE TESTING IS SO IMPORTANT
At IWG, we have an in-depth knowledge of our patients health history and complaints because we spend 60 minutes digging deep during the consultation. We are also using our state of the art technology called Bioresonance scanning which provides insight into the pathology of the body. The bioresonance scan gives us so much insight into your body that it allows us to run the most specific blood markers for your case. We order so much blood work that sometimes it has to be split into 2 separate lab draws (sorry guys, it comes from a place of love), and we spend another 90 minutes with them going through every detail and piece the “mystery” puzzle together. You walk away with answers and a plan of action on how to heal. This is how we believe medicine should be practiced.
In our model, we empower our patients with the knowledge they need to be actively involved in their own health. We do not accept insurance because it would not pay for our time in a reasonable way, but we know that our patients leave with something invaluable – the power and knowledge to take control of their life.
The 5 Types of Blood Tests that are Not Being Run by your Primary
EXTENSIVE THYROID PANEL WITH AUTOIMMUNE MARKERS
In most primary care offices, your doctor will check 1 or 2 thyroid markers. The markers most commonly checked include TSH and/or total T4. These provide only a glimpse as to how the thyroid is functioning. There are 6 additional thyroid-related values that we routinely check for our patients: Free T4, Total T3, Free T3, Reverse T3, anti TPO Ab and anti Thyroglobluin Ab.
Many doctors say that they don’t see the value in checking of these additional levels simply because they don’t know how to interpret them. At IWG, our doctors are trained in advanced lab interpretation. If any of these thyroid values are not optimal, we can start our patients on a protocol to prevent thyroid disease.
Another major problem with lab interpretation is that the reference ranges are much too wide. At IWG, our doctors look for “optimal ranges” as opposed to “normal ranges”. For example, the “normal range” for TSH is generally considered 0.2 – 4.5, however, there are studies that show that the body does not function properly when TSH rises above 2.5. For example, a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2010 showed that the rate of miscarriage in 1st-trimester pregnancy was almost double when the TSH was over 2.5 (1). If pregnant women and fetuses do not function properly when TSH is greater than 2.5, then why do we expect other people to?
ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS: IRON/FERRITIN, VITAMIN D, VITAMIN B12, MAGNESIUM
These nutrient levels are often not checked at a routine primary care visit. Our bodies are a large bio-electro-chemical soup. There are countless nutrients needed for these pathways to behave in a constructive and cohesive way. A few of the basic nutrients that are important for optimal bodily function include iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and magnesium. Supplementation with any of these nutrients when people are low can be completely life-altering. These nutrients can improve brain function, memory, hormones, PMS, thyroid function, and even muscle health.
IMMUNE MARKERS + INFECTIOUS MARKERS: COMPLEMENT C4A, COMPLEMENT C3, TRANS GROWTH FACTOR BETA ONE, CD 8-57 Panel
Unless visiting an Infectious disease doctor or a Lyme specialist, you will not have your immune system properly analyzed. The markers listed are essential to know if your immune is overdrive due to infectious agents or if the immune system is suppressed. The immune system is often suppressed due to long standing, chronic infections which is compounded with toxicity. Elevation in the complement factors and the trans growth factor are also indicators for biotoxin illness and chronic inflammatory response syndrome due to toxic mold exposure. These markers can provide clarity as to why you may be dealing with an inflammatory condition, an autoimmune disease, or chronic pain.
METABOLIC MARKERS: HEMOGLOBIN A1C, FASTING GLUCOSE AND INSULIN, NMR LIPID PANEL
In most primary care visits, a basic lipid panel and glucose level would be done yearly. The Hemoglobin A1C is only run if the doctor suspects you are at risk for Diabetes. Another essential panel is the NMR Panel which is a more extensive test for Heart Disease. This can help us better stratify whether there is actually increased heart disease risk from their cholesterol levels or not. Many times people are told that they have high cholesterol levels when they are not actually a risk.
The HemoblobinA1c is a measurement of blood glucose level average over the past 90 days or so, but it is also a relative marker of blood sugar stability and oxidation in the body. Having elevated blood glucose levels creates oxidation, or damage to proteins, DNA, and tissues in our bodies over time, so this is an imperative value to know and optimize. It’s important to also know what your glucose and insulin blood levels should be evaluated in the morning after fasting for 10-12 hours. Non-fasting glucose and insulin does not provide valuable information for patient care.
Elevations in any of these levels are a sign that your body is not processing glucose properly, probably due to over-ingestion of refined carbs and sugar. This increases your risk for diabetes and almost every other disease under the sun like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. One study published in the Journal of Neurology in 2005 (6) showed that even if your Hba1c is considered in “normal range”, every increase by 0.1 will increase the rate at which your brain shrinks in size per year. This is why being advised on how to reach “optimal range” is so much more important than simply saying you’re in “normal range”.
INFLAMMATORY MARKERS: ESR, CRP, HOMOCYSTEINE
Inflammatory markers are never checked at a routine primary care visit. These are markers that are tested by a Rheumatologist to evaluate for autoimmune or inflammatory conditions. CRP, also known as c-reactive protein, is an inflammatory marker which can tell us the general inflammatory status of the individual. Even mild increases in CRP are associated with increased risk of physiological dysfunction that can stress the organs including the brain. An elevation in CRP can indicate biotoxin illness, environmental toxicity, parasite infections, bacterial overgrowth, fungal infections, allergy, sedentary lifestyle or food sensitivities.
Homocysteine is an amino acid that requires methylated-vitamin B12 and folate to be cleared. Elevations in this level indicate a multitude of things like stroke and heart disease risk, B vitamin status, ability to methylate, ability to detox and make neurotransmitters, and ability to turn off cancer genes. It’s an important marker that we try to get into optimal range by supplementing with Methylated vitamins when necessary.
The important thing to realize is that checking labs is not what’s essential to your health. The importance is in the interpretation and advice that you get from your doctor and how that translates into actual changes in your life that will affect your health. The distinction of what the doctors do at Integrative Wellness Group is that we are interested in our patients having optimal levels in every blood value so that health and function are optimized.
We have the ability to provide a deeper understanding to the core root of the symptoms and condition. Therefore, uncovering your mystery symptoms and giving you answers. When you truly understand the nature of the condition you are able to help the individual as a whole and prevent unnecessary illness in the future.
At IWG, we believe that there is a cause for every effect which means there is an answer to your array of symptoms. Most importantly, there is a solution to your cause which will allow you to heal and have the knowledge to prevent it from arising in the future.
Most importantly, we believe that no matter what your health challenges are, you have the power to be the key player in your health destiny, by doing so, you’ll change your life.
Through the advancements at IWG, functional medicine, physical medicine, brain health, detoxification and other programs offered- IWG is in this to make a difference. IWG aims to set the standard of how healthcare is being done.