“I’m heading to a physical, and I want blood work done. Dr. Livingood, give me some guidance. What should I be looking for?“
Glad you asked!
10 Labs You Should Request at Your Physical
Here’s a laundry list of what to look for in your blood work:
A Complete Blood Panel
Ok, this one isn’t uncommon but I wanted to be sure you don’t stop here, this is the basic.
This is a must. High Vitamin D levels are tied to the prevention of many diseases like cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, heart disease, and more.
Fasting Insulin Levels
Going deeper than blood sugar and A1C levels will help give more understanding of insulin resistance and the prevention of diabetes and heart disease.
This is a powerful stroke risk predictor as it helps to measure the “weight” of your blood and how much iron it is carrying.
Uric Acid is going to measure how your body is breaking down fructose. This is important for autoimmune and toxicity issues.
C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
A helpful inflammation measurement to predict heart and autoimmune problems.
TSH, T4, T3, all of your Free Thyroid Hormones, Progesterone, Testosterone, Estrogen–any of those that you can get measured will tell you more information about how your hormones are working for you or against you.
All B Vitamins including B12 and B6 will give insight into any actual deficiencies.
Complete Cholesterol Panels
Total cholesterol is not a very good predictor of an actual problem. The size and makeup of the cholesterol are what matter. Get the particle sizes measured as well.
This can give you insight into losing weight. High leptin levels correlate with leptin resistance which can lead to obesity, heart disease, infertility, and more.
Which Lab Test Should Be Avoided?
I try to avoid invasive tests like colonoscopies and mammograms. Not that there is not a place for them but there are simple, less expensive ways to get good data for any risks.
Non-Invasive Tests to Access Your Health
Body Fat Percentage and/or BMI
Blood Pressure on Both Arms
Checking your blood pressure is a simple and convenient way to assess your health. Be sure to check it on both arms to see the difference and don’t get nervous and create a false reading!
A fit test is a fecal test that can identify if there’s anything going on in the colon or the digestive system before a colonoscopy would be needed. It has high accuracy, a higher utilization rate compared to a colonoscopy, and costs thousands less!
Thermography is a good alternative to mammograms that involves no radiation and a very strong early detection rate.
On your next physical take the graphic above to your doctor and dig a little deeper into your health. This will help you get to the cause of the issues and not just settle for general blood work.