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Thursday
Jul092015

What a Blood Test Can Tell You

Let me begin with myself for a second. I’m not in perfect health.

Nonetheless, I know for a fact that I’m able to target specific behaviors to maximize how good I feel in a day and how long I’ll live a vitality filled life - because my blood tells me so.

I’m 30-years-old, but I still make it a priority to know where I stand in terms of my chronic health risks (particularly those in my family history).

I use this hard "blood test" data to adjust my health choices (e.g. nutrition, supplementation, fitness, stress management, etc.) in a detailed fashion. Trending my health allows me to partner more effectively with all of my healthcare providers (e.g. coaches, experts, and - when needed - physicians). I’ve chosen to prioritize preventative health in this way, and I advise my clients to as well for the sake of their own vitality today and their longevity later. 

Blood Monitoring as Proactive Measure

Think back to the last time you had a "well visit" to your physician. How long was it? How detailed was it? Did you get a full check-up regarding your healthy habits and overall lifestyle with specific, personalized advice to produce measurable results? Did the staff check your hormones, thyroid function, vitamin D status, or insulin levels?

Were you empowered to take the next step to safeguard yourself from common effects of living the convenience-driven standard American lifestyle? Did you feel the advice and monitoring were proactive? Unfortunately, this isn’t how our health care system is largely designed. 

Many people I’ve spoken to have spent countless hours and immeasurable effort following general health advice based on narrow, limited, re-active testing only to find themselves making meager progress at best.

It may happen to you, too. How many of you want to feel better, look better or perform better than you currently do? How many have gone to your physician in hopes of discovering if the subtler shifts and downturns in energy or a certain area of functioning had some concrete, definable, and “fixable” reason behind them - only to be told, "You’re fine," or to just keep exercising more and eating less?

Like I mentioned in “Focusing Your Aim,” there’s more to health than the absence of symptoms. Oftentimes, a disease or deficiency is fairly advanced by the time we’re dealing with fully perceptible signs of it. In the course of its development, that condition or deficiency has had ample time to infiltrate our greater functioning.

Suddenly, what would’ve been a simple situation to correct is now a more serious set of intertwined circumstances that needs more acute treatment. Even if we aren’t on the path to a major health crisis, how many years will we unnecessarily live without enjoying a full measure of energy and vitality? What subtler but significant experiences are we forgoing as a result of not knowing the deeper picture but accepting a vague and dismissive brush off telling us we’re "fine"? 

Why Clarity Can Be a Catalyst for Living a Better Life

Does vagueness really serve us? We remain ignorant of our full health situation, yes. There’s more, I’d argue. What impact does this ambiguity have on our motivation to embrace a higher level of wellness? The table below shows how our emotional brain, momentary logical brain, and reality interact when making decisions like this. 


The proactive approach to overcoming momentary logic, facing full reality, and changing your health trajectory calls us to examine empirical detail.

A comprehensive test like the Longevity & Vitality Lab Test will give you a surprisingly revealing snapshot of your overall health. Perhaps you’ve been for various blood tests before - typically for a single or small set of indicators. The problem is, our physiology doesn’t operate in convenient columns of isolation.

The right test takes a broad view and empowers you to learn why the results show up the way they do and what relationship they have to one another. The right test expands your field of health vision: it helps you see your numbers for what they are and what they are not. They are direct reflections of behavior patterns and interactions in your physiology. They are not predetermined genetic templates outside of your direct control.

The right test is not a test at all, in fact. It’s an assessment - and, more importantly, an exploration of your current wellness. There are no wrong answers, just your answers. Your answers lay out your path to enhancing vitality and longevity from your starting place.

The best tests are the assessments that give you a thorough, working history of every system in your body and the trajectory of those systems over time. That means, of course, that the most revealing assessment doesn’t happen in a single sitting. It’s a continuation of the same tests at regular intervals (for most people, annually works well).

Remember, it’s not about a static number but the evolution of your health over time as it responds to the nutritional, fitness and other lifestyle changes you take on. The Longevity & Vitality assessment captures your trends in:

  • Inflammation patterns and your body’s response to manage it (a.k.a. cholesterol and lipids)
  • Glucose AND insulin to give you an idea of how efficiently you can regulate blood sugar
  • Nutrient status for several key nutrients related to your metabolism and vitality
  • Thyroid function to indicate whether or not you’re controlling your energy properly
  • Stress and resiliency hormones to indicate whether or not you’re aging in fast forward
  • Sex hormones to show if you’re set to enjoy your days or slog through them sans libido
  • Toxin clearance systems like kidneys and liver, which are vital for feeling and functioning your best

Each of these areas carry critical importance for your true health. They act in a delicate and complicated balance with each other but often are medically treated as if they operated in a vacuum. By recognizing the trends involved with this intricate system, you’ll define a clearer path to richer vitality and enhanced longevity. 

Would you like more information on what assessments can do for your journey? Talk with one of our club dietitians or metabolic specialists today. Thanks for reading.

In health, Paul Kriegler - Corporate Registered Dietician

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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