Last week I shared with you a couple of learning experiences I had when I was first introduced to functional blood chemistry analysis – it helped me learn and then diagnose symptoms that saved my life, as well as diagnosing two patients with life-threatening blood disorders.

The following case shows the power of reading lab markers holistically (looking for patterns in combinations of makers) and functionally (noting when markers fall in a grey area outside of “healthy”, but not yet severely “sick”).  My patient’s VA doctor ordered their standard annual check-up blood test, told him everything looked great, and that he was in perfect health. Although the panel had only 11 markers, I could still see that his cholesterol was abnormally low due to being over-medicated with a statin drug, while several other markers all indicated insulin resistance and pre-diabetes . Moreover, he had symptoms of pre-diabetes that no one had ever brought to his attention! Armed with this knowledge, he could make nutrition and lifestyle shifts and avoid dependency on diabetes and cholesterol medications and their unwanted side effects.

I have seen patients who were prescribed thyroid medications based on results of very few thyroid markers (typically TSH and sometimes one or more of T3/T4/free T4). The full thyroid panel I prefer has 10 markers, including two for antibodies. How can a physician prescribe a medication without fully investigating the functioning of the gland or organ for which that medication is meant to treat?

The Western medical standard of care, to which MDs and NMDs are bound, says if Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is off, they must prescribe a T4 hormone, usually a synthetic such as Synthroid. This is one-size-fits-all symptom treatment. A full thyroid panel, interpreted functionally, can sort through the many reasons why TSH might be out of range. I can address the root cause,  restore balance to the body’s systems and help my patient feel amazing!

I’ve had several patients claim to have received an in-depth analysis of their blood. When I asked to see their results, I found it was on a print-out that showed everything was evaluated by a computer program and no person had actually looked at it.  I love computers and technology, mostly, but I believe you deserve personalized healthcare from someone who is weighing the results against your lifestyle, history, stress level, current nutrition, exposures to toxins, your constitution, your emotional way of being in the world, and your health goals to name a few. The computer program that spit out those results and interpretations is unable to do this.

A simple blood test with a simplistic analysis isn’t enough. You deserve a comprehensive and individualized approach to your health and lifestyle. You may believe your doctor is ordering the proper labs for you, but they are probably not reading them according to functional reference ranges or looking for interlocking patterns among the body’s systems. If that is the case, then you aren’t receiving the comprehensive care that I believe you deserve. Functional blood chemistry analysis brings in the power of prevention to support a long and healthy life. I am here to support and encourage you to ask questions, become informed, and take charge of your health. If you don’t, then who will?

Blessings of Vibrant Health,

Kristin Grayce McGary