If you made a New Years Resolution to be healthier in 2013, consider getting laboratory blood work so that you know your numbers. Knowing your numbers is a great way to monitor your health and make changes that help you be healthier.
Standard blood work can give lots of information about nutritional intake, digestion, mineral balance, immune status, liver function and kidney function. Regular blood work as a preventive tool tells you what areas to target and if the things you are doing are actually working.
In most cases, health problems do not begin overnight. What if your blood work is “normal” for several years in a row, but steadily moving towards the end of a “normal” range? Wouldn’t you want to know and be able to make some changes so that you do not progress into the “disease” range? Being able to look at your blood work in this manner could make big differences in your overall health in the long run.
Abnormal blood chemistry usually indicates an underlying functional issue. For example, high triglyceride and cholesterol levels are typically used as markers for cardiovascular risk, but they also can indicate deficiencies of essential fatty acids, blood sugar issues, liver / gallbladder dysfunction, thyroid problems and poor digestive function.
For long-term health, I believe it is much better to solve the underlying health issue rather than just taking a pill to deal with the symptoms. Nutritionally oriented doctors will use narrower blood ranges to help pinpoint deficiencies and / or functional issues that can be addressed with nutrition. Using narrower blood ranges helps identify issues that are not yet “clinical”.
I like to use the blood testing services to “check out” how I am doing. Since I can’t afford everything at once, I rotate through certain tests if I think I have an issue. For example, last year, I tested my vitamin D levels to see if I was within recommended ranges. I was, so the next time, I checked C-Reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.
There are many different tests. From basics like blood sugar and cholesterol, to inflammation markers, cardiovascular risk, to iron levels and more.
The Green House sponsors a group called Health Check three times per year at regular intervals. Health Check is an independent lab that performs health screenings full time. On Tuesday, February 5th, they will be at the Green House in Mason from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to take blood for laboratory analysis. This service is relatively inexpensive and completely confidential. Call us at 325-347-6040 if you would like more information.
Knowing your numbers and keeping up with them allows you to take control of your health. Remember, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas. www.naturalcowgirl.wordpress.com