Better Blood Work, Better Health

WELLNESS--When we go get our blood drawn either at the lab or at our doctors office, they are usually only looking to see if your blood panel levels are in the “normal range.” In other words, the doctor is looking to see if there is anything wrong with your levels. What is not taken into consideration in a standard blood workup is whether or not your varying levels are at their optimum range.  


The way they find those normal ranges is by taking a fairly large swath of the population that is the same gender and roughly the same age and recording data from those people. They take the gathered numbers and average them all together to decide what the normal range is. If we look at testosterone levels for men in their mid forties for example, the “normal” range is anywhere from the mid to high 300’s all the way up to 1000. 

How is it possible that with two men of roughly the same age one of them can literally have three times more testosterone in his blood than the other, and they are both considered “normal?” One answer may be that the body is very complex and we all have our own individual blood and body chemistry. Another answer is that the range is very broad and while being inside that range may show a “normal” level of testosterone, it definitely doesn’t show an optimum range for each person.  

This is where a functional medicine or Naturopathic medicine doctor would come in. He or she may fill you in on your levels hopefully starting by ruling out serious disease with the fact that they are all in the normal range. Once they know there is nothing threatening in the blood panel results, the doctor will be able to guide you using supplementation with the goal of optimizing your levels to get them into a more ideal range for health and longevity. 

Some of the crucial levels are hormone panels, vitamin D, and the numbers showing what is going on with your adrenal glands. Over time with too much stress the adrenal glands often get wiped out and stop functioning optimally. 

There is a way to see if this is occurring and there are supplements to take to help bring them back to balance.  Unfortunately, this type of blood work is not always covered by insurance. Depending on the tests, some will be paid for out of pocket, but with some clever work by your provider, at least some of the panels will be paid for by insurance.

The extra cost one may pay to get a clear idea of what is happening in ones blood and body is well worth it.   


(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 310.909.6956 twitter: @CristianoWFR)