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The Importance of Comprehensive Blood Work: Interpretation and Context

We wanted to shed some light on the topic of blood work. This inspiration stems from a recent lecture we both attended that got us so fired up (in a positive and passionate way). The focus of the lecture was on the interpretation and utilization of lab testing. We are proud to say It was incredibly validating for us both. Those who know us understand our enthusiasm for acquiring new perspectives and honing our skills, whether through exploring new information or revisiting familiar topics. This commitment is at the core of our upcoming group mentorship program for coaches, set to commence in just 25 days! If you haven't caught the announcement yet, you can find it HERE. Feel free to reach out to us HERE, as we're limiting the group size to a maximum of 10 participants, and we currently have 7 spots remaining.

Today, our aim is to alleviate some of the fear associated with blood work and emphasize the importance of interpretation. We'll be providing examples of lab markers, such as Vitamin D, that are relevant to everyone. It is our hope this encourages curiosity.

We receive questions about the necessity of blood work regularly, if not daily, particularly regarding its relevance to one's health journey and the apprehension it may evoke.

For many, the decision to undergo blood work can be daunting and anxiety-inducing. It's natural to feel apprehensive about potentially receiving less-than-optimal news about our health. However, gaining insights can also present opportunities as we take control of our health. It's important to acknowledge and process whatever emotions arise from the information received.

Addressing the common adages of 'ignorance is bliss' and 'what we don’t know can’t hurt us' is crucial here. When it comes to our health, these beliefs fall short. Ignoring potential health concerns only allows them to worsen over time, whereas gaining insight empowers us to address them proactively.

Do we believe that comprehensive blood work is the absolute first step when working with every client? No. However, we do believe it should be a part of the health assessment process.

The frequency of blood work depends on the individual and the specific areas being monitored. As a general guideline, we recommend comprehensive lab work at least 1-2 times per year. However, in certain cases, it may be necessary or desired to have blood work done 3-4 times per year.

We approach blood work with a mindset of curiosity and empowerment, rather than fear or absolutes. Results provide more than just a snapshot of our current health status—they offer an unbiased review of our entire system. If the body's systems are being assessed through blood, then every aspect is being reviewed.

Interpretation is more than Highs and lows : Context is Key

Where much confusion arises is in interpretation. Testing entails more than assigning a marker a specific meaning; everything must be considered in context. This context includes not only other markers but also the individual's specific circumstances—an aspect we cannot underscore enough. Let’s dig into some examples. I will present the marker followed by the reading.

Estradiol: 1000 pg/mL

Without context, this reading holds no significance. Is it from a pregnant female, someone undergoing hormone therapy, or perhaps a result of a lab error (which I have encountered)? Without context, it's impossible to interpret this value in any meaningful way. Another example:

Blood glucose: 85 mg/dL

On the surface, this appears to be within the normal range. However, to truly assess its significance, we need to examine other factors such as A1C levels, insulin levels, and, in our view, several other markers. If blood glucose is 85 mg/dL but insulin levels are 15 uIU/mL, it presents a completely different scenario that warrants further investigation. Lastly, a marker that holds particular importance for us:

Vitamin D: 33 ng/mL

Numerically, this value indicates a deficiency. Low vitamin D levels can impact sleep, immune function, and hormone health. However, the crucial question we must ask is: why is vitamin D low, or what factors are contributing to its deficiency? Simply supplementing with vitamin D may overlook an underlying issue, reinforcing the importance of comprehensive testing and subsequent reevaluation to address any deficiencies effectively.

As you can see testing interpretation and context matters. It can not be just a pill for an ill.  

Testing: One and Done

Understanding that health is a dynamic and ongoing process is paramount. Our bodies are constantly evolving, responding to the environment, lifestyle factors, and internal processes. Recognizing this allows us to embrace the concept of course correction, a journey of continuous improvement rather than a one-time fix.

This brings us back to the discussion of how frequently comprehensive lab work should be conducted. We believe that context is key, but as a general rule, 1-2 times per year is a great starting point for a wellness check, assuming there are no areas that require closer monitoring. If there are specific areas of concern or if pharmaceutical interventions are being utilized, more frequent retesting may be necessary. Could there be a strong argument for utilizing comprehensive labs 3-4 times per year for health optimization? Absolutely!

While it’s tempting to seek quick fixes or rely solely on pharmaceutical interventions (we have nothing against pharmaceutical interventions or supplementation, we support both!), true health optimization requires a whole-body approach that includes comprehensive labs. This holistic approach encompasses lifestyle modifications such as nutrition, exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep, all of which play pivotal roles in shaping our health outcomes.

Supplementation and medication have their place, but they should be viewed as adjuncts, rather than standalone solutions to treating  high or low markers in isolation. We will keep repeating it, interpretation and context matters. 

Comprehensive blood work empowers us to take ownership of our health journey. It allows us to identify areas for improvement, implement targeted interventions, and track our progress over time. By embracing this proactive mindset and adopting a holistic approach to wellness, we can cultivate a thriving state of health.

Regardless if you are a coach wanting to join our group mentorship, an individual wanting to get started on your journey with 1 on 1 coaching or perhaps you are well on your way but in the need of guidance via our professional consultation services we are here to help.


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