Each person’s health situation, genetics, and biochemistry are unique, and labs can diagnose this out more effectively than general symptom identification. That’s why talking to your doctor about testing is a great place to start reclaiming your good health.

Unless you have a particularly open-minded conventional medical doctor who is willing and has the time to explore these tests with you, the typical general practitioner probably won’t be ordering these tests or be comfortable making them part of your treatment plan. They are trained to follow certain standard procedures that involve matching sets of symptoms to particular lab tests and pharmaceuticals, and if you don’t fit the conventional model of a patient warranting a particular test or set of tests, your doctor may tell you that the tests are not justified. For this reason, We recommend working with an integrative or functional medicine facility such as Total Health Systems that is well-versed in the wide array of available lab tests, and how to read the results from a holistic perspective.

A full thyroid panel

Every cell in your body needs thyroid hormones to function, but unfortunately, thyroid dysfunction can be hard to nail down. Many underlying thyroid problems don’t show up on standard labs because conventional medical doctors typically only run TSH and T4. A full thyroid panel is a blood test that looks at TSH and T4 but also at T3 uptake, total T3, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies, to give you the most accurate picture of your thyroid health and rule out possible autoimmune thyroid problems.

Functional medicine also has a narrower reference range when reading lab test results. That means that what a conventional doctor might deem as normal after surveying labs might well be considered abnormal to a functional medicine doctor. This can explain why you may be experiencing symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, like fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, hair loss, and depression, even though your doctor told you that you do not have a thyroid problem.

Sex hormone labs

All of us, men and women alike, need balanced levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone to maintain optimal health. The ratios are a little different in each of us, but all the sex hormones are players and when they get out of balance (either too much or too little of any of them), this can lead to many seemingly diverse symptoms, including weight gain, anxiety, depression, erectile dysfunction, mood problems, low sex drive, infertility, acne, and more.

Inflammation labs

That sprained ankle swells up because of inflammation, but there is another kind of inflammation that is far less obvious and far more insidious. Chronic, systemic inflammation is a factor in almost every health problem we face today. Whether a cause or a symptom or both, inflammation is certainly a culprit in autoimmune conditions, cancer, heart disease, brain fog, fatigue, and even weight gain. Even though a certain amount of inflammation is healthy to fight off infections, viruses, and injuries, inflammation becomes a problem when it doesn’t go away after the threat is gone and continues to perpetuate throughout the body, like an out-of-control wildfire.

A blood test can detect markers of inflammation in the body. As with other tests, the functional medicine reference range to determine what lab results are normal or abnormal are stricter than conventional reference ranges, so you can know sooner that inflammation is becoming a problem for you. that followed by conventional doctors).

The response to injury hypothesis in cardiovascular disease:

  • The body responds to the injury with an inflammatory response designed to remove cholesterol from the artery wall.
  • This process becomes dysregulated and ultimately potentiates the progression of cholesterol deposition and vulnerable plaque formation, placing an individual at increased risk of plaque rupture and subsequent heart attack or stroke.

Uncovering hidden risk: the importance of inflammatory markers:

Routine lipid screening plays an important role in cardiovascular risk assessment, but it may not adequately identify risk of adverse events. In fact, nearly 50% of all heart attacks and strokes occur in patients who had “normal” cholesterol levels.3 Evidence suggests that inflammation within the artery wall is a key contributor to residual risk for heart attack and stroke, contributing to both vulnerable plaque formation and to plaque rupture.

Inflammation can be easily measured with advanced testing to more fully assess cardiovascular risk. Monitoring a patient’s inflammatory status may help you to uncover hidden risk from early to advanced stages of cardiovascular disease. With deeper insights, you can take further action to help reduce your patients’ cardiovascular risk.

Cardio IQ® advanced inflammatory testing:

Unique inflammation testing that provides additional and complementary insight into cardiovascular risk beyond lipid testing alone. Cardio IQ inflammation testing consists of easy to perform blood and urine biomarkers that identify inflammatory risk across the disease spectrum. This additional information allows for targeted treatment to reduce risk over one’s lifetime.

Cardio IQ® inflammatory marker testing covers a patient’s biomarker profile, ranging from markers resulting from lifestyle concerns to the development of metabolic or cardiovascular disease, and formation of vulnerable plaque and increased risk for an adverse event.

  • Established cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic syndrome, as defined by having any 3 of 5 conditions: central obesity, elevated triglycerides, low HDL-C, elevated blood pressure, or elevated plasma glucose
  • Dyslipidemia

Video courtesy of Cleveland HeartLab

Video courtesy of Cleveland HeartLab

Video courtesy of Cleveland HeartLab