There are a lot of people who get their blood work done and struggle with understanding their numbers.
If you’re a part of this group, I’m going to walk you through what your numbers mean, and what actions you can take if they’re not good.
The first tip I can give you is try not to argue or fight with your doctor. Try to be on the same team as them to accomplish the goal of getting you off drugs and keeping you healthy.
White Blood Cell Counts
First, there’s a general blood and chemistry panel which is straightforward and usually tested every time you get blood work done.
This includes testing white blood cell counts, which can be important when it comes to anemia and poor immune function.
Vitamin D levels often don’t get tested during blood work. Your levels should ideally be between 50-80.
I have a lot of vitamin D videos that can help you understand the benefits that vitamin D can have on your body.
Research shows that when your vitamin D levels get above 50, it starts to prevent breast cancer and colon cancer, as well as heart- and kidney-related problems.
If you start taking vitamin D, you want to make sure that you’re taking vitamin K2 with it, so it doesn’t cause calcification of the arteries.
You want to be testing for vitamin D3 levels specifically, because D2 doesn’t help you a lot.
B vitamins are water soluble, meaning they can change from day to day, or week to week.
You also might want to ask your doctor about the MTHFR gene mutation, which 30% of people have. It prevents your body from converting folic acid into methylated folate that it can use.
You could be taking B vitamins or a multivitamin, but still having energy or anemia issues. You might have the B vitamins, but your body isn’t converting them.
If you find that you do have the MTHFR gene, you have to ingest methylated forms of vitamins because your body can’t do it itself.
The vitamins I make are already in a methylated form, which makes them much easier to absorb.
If you’re struggling with blood sugar, what should you be testing outside of your blood glucose level?
Ideally, your blood glucose level should be below 80, but you can do a 30-minute, 1-hour, or 2-hour glucose test to get a lot more information about your levels.
One extra thing to test is fasting insulin.
Insulin is what’s trying to move the sugar in your blood into your tissues. If you don’t have enough insulin in your blood, it can throw your body off balance.
Most Americans are insulin resistant, which results in extra weight on your hips, waist, and belly. Your fasting insulin should be between 2-6.
You can also test your A1C, which can tell you if your body has been insulin resistant long enough to go into a diabetes mode.
I think you should be requesting the two following tests every time you get blood work done.
The first one is C-reactive protein, which is directly connected to heart damage. If you have heart risk, blockage, or a cholesterol problem, you should measure your C-reactive protein.
The next thing you should measure is homocysteine, which measures specific inflammation in the heart but also in the body.
There are five different types of this, so you can request different tests for different organ systems.
You can measure inflammation in your brain or digestive system, or even the buildup of uric acid in your joints.
TIME magazine says that inflammation is the root cause of 98% of all diseases, so these tests are important.
You can test your total cholesterol, but you shouldn’t just stop there.
There’s LDL, which is your so-called bad cholesterol, although there’s actually no bad cholesterol—your own body makes it!
You want to measure your LDL levels, because it’s responsible for cleaning up fat and cholesterol in your body and bringing it back to your liver.
HDL is the so-called good cholesterol. It’s responsible for sending out new material to areas with damaged cells so your body can build new cells.
You should also measure your triglycerides. If your triglycerides are high, your liver is suffering.
Your fasting insulin and your triglycerides are usually tied together with metabolic syndrome.
You can test your ratio of triglycerides to HDL and see what you need to increase to have balance in your body.
Finally, you should test your lipoprotein (a), which is a type of LDL. This assesses a genetic cholesterol condition.
If your cholesterol remains above 300, you might have a deficiency.
If your total cholesterol is high, it’s usually due to having a lot of LDL, and even some HDL and triglycerides.
If your LDL is high, you have to know what it’s high in. If your LDL particles are large, you’re fine, but if they’re small particles, then you might have issues.
If you test your cholesterol, make sure they run a particle size analysis so you can check for this.
Blood Clots & Stroke Risk
Did you know that you can look at your bloodwork and get a baseline to know if you’re at risk of having blot clots or a stroke?
Ferritin is an easy one to measure. A ferritin test measures the weight of your blood and its iron status.
You want this to be below 100 to reduce your stroke risk. If it’s above that, you want to donate blood to get some of it out of you.
You can also test fibrogen, which is one of the clotting factors in your blood. If your levels are too high, there’s a lot of inflammation in your body.
You can also test your platelets to learn if you have inflammation in your blood. You want your platelets number around 250.
For liver health, you should be testing for AST, ALT, GGT, and alkaline phosphatase.
The first two and last one are pretty common for most blood tests, but you want to be sure you’re getting all of them tested.
50% of people in America are dealing with fat in their liver. Many of us take Advil, aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol regularly, and those increase liver damage.
Measuring alkaline phosphatases is good because they’re connected to certain types of cancers, and a good indicator of damage buildup in the body and liver.
Microalbumin, BUN, and creatinine are numbers that measure your output of what’s happening in your kidneys.
Glomerular Filtration Rate is something that you should be measuring for as well.
These will tell you if your kidneys are filtering how they’re supposed to, and if a drug you’re taking is damaging your kidneys.
You should be looking at TSH. These numbers vary depending on age and menopause, but you should also be testing for T4 and T3.
You should absolutely be testing for antibodies of the thyroid, sometimes called thyroid peroxidase (TPO).
If these are present in the tests, you don’t have a thyroid problem. You have an autoimmune response in your body that impacts your thyroid as a side effect, meaning your gut is damaged.
It may look like you have a thyroid problem, but it’s actually coming from the autoimmune response itself.
Over 80% of thyroid conditions are due to your that, so you won’t know if your thyroid is in trouble unless you test for this.
You may need to go to an endocrinologist to get your hormones tested properly.
Speaking of hormones, the best way you can mess around with your testosterone is by practicing rotational fasting.
This will also decrease insulin and insulin response in your body, which is what drives all of your hormones. You want to make sure you have enough vitamin D, which makes those hormones.
Just testing your fasting insulin and your vitamin D levels is going to have a huge impact on your hormones.
You can measure your blood pressure every day at home and bring those numbers into your doctor’s appointment to avoid relying on just one measurement, especially if you get nervous at the doctor’s office.
There’s an entire video on how to measure your blood pressure and how to track it yourself that you can watch here.
BMI (Body Mass Index)
This isn’t the most accurate measurement in the world, but you should be looking to see that you’re not overweight or obese.
70% of Americans are, and that has to be addressed to fix other health issues.
Instead of going straight to doing a colonoscopy, you can do a FIT (fecal swab) test instead.
They’re very common now, and some insurance companies are even starting to pay for them.
If you have an abnormal result, then you can get a colonoscopy done.
I don’t love mammograms because you’re smashing and radiating the breast tissue.
Whenever you’re doing that, you’re exposing those cells to a radiation that can create cancer and other abnormalities in those cells.
Instead, you can get a test done called a thermograph. You probably can’t get this done at a hospital, but there might be one available in your local area.
It can identify abnormal cells because they get hot, which can allow doctors to pinpoint abnormal areas years ahead of a mammogram.
These hot areas can actually develop way before a full-on tumor that we can see with the naked eye forms.
If you have any abnormalities, your doctor can give you guidance and give you a mammogram if necessary.
Heart Rate Variability
If the testing lab can measure your heart rate variability, that would be fantastic. They’ll probably just measure heart rate, but heart rate variability is a predictor of longevity.
It can also be a predictor of you having any sort of sudden heart attack.
You can usually do this with wearables that will measure your heart rate variability, not just your heart rate.
It’s important to get that number as high as you can so that you can avoid having a sudden heart attack, age more gracefully, and control your stress.
Now, if you are getting a colonoscopy or mammogram, or you’ve been on an antibiotic, how do you detox after that? I have an entire video guide that answers this question, which you can find here.