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What Blood Test Should I ask My Doctor About?

Updated: Sep 5, 2019


“Forewarned is Forearmed.”


-by Dr. Rakesh Kumar


Eat Right for Your Type was widely known as part of the blood type diet fad era advocated by several authors and non-medical writers of blogs. The consensus among doctors, nurses, dietitians and scientists were that eating foods that 'agree' with your blood type theories are not supported by scientific literature.


However, blood tests are scientifically proven tests and one of the most important ways to keep track of your overall organ health and as a feedback tool.


For example-- an early CRP level Blood Test.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the world, affecting women. "Overall, clinical studies supported a significant positive association between the elevated levels of CRP and an increased risk of breast cancer (1)."



"There is increasing evidence that CRP is an acute marker of inflammation and that its concentration increases in circulation during inflammatory events (2).

- Nicola R. Sproston and Jason J. Ashworth.



If every disease starts with inflammation, and in the setting of the inflammatory lifestyle which we as Americans bathe in--wouldn't it be worth it to add this simple and cheap test to your routine blood work? CRP blood test measures the presence and intensity of inflammation in the walls of the blood vessels. 'Inflammation in the blood vessel walls isa much more accurate indicator of imminent heart trouble than measuring the concentrations of 'good' cholesterol (HDL) and 'bad' cholesterol (LDL) in the blood level," says Andreas Moritz.


So, why do medical professionals continue to test for inflammation only when the patient's immune system has deteriorated and the window of action severely compromised?

A hint of inflammation in the body is a wonderful place to begin a cure. Knowing if you have inflammation in your body (acute or chronic --lasting more than 3 months) early on is good feedback to make dietary and lifestyle changes.


Dr. Ornish, a cardiologist conducting a study on epigenetic changes, fed 31 men with low-grade prostate cancer, a plant-based diet with fewer than 10% of calories from fat. The men were encouraged to walk and meditate and at the end of only three months, 453 genes that controlled tumor growth and protein productions were less active. Blood tests for the confirmed tumors shrunk (3).


It has been drilled, hammered into every medical professionals cerebral cortex that "correct and timely diagnosis is the first step on the path to treatment as well as disease control and prevention (6). When your doctor orders timely investigative blood tests and you use this feedback to boost your body with vitality, you skyrocket your chances of survival.


How do we know this?


The goal of this chapter of learning is to give you a list of blood tests to empower you with important feedback to possibly:


  1. restore your organ’s health

  2. check your blood cellular performance

  3. check your progress after an intervention to improve your organ.


The information provided will help you understand which blood tests correspond to the organ of your concern.


Always keep the results of your first blood work as baseline. Understand the abnormals, your highs and your lows. Your doctor will be pleased to see an empowered patient sitting across the room. For some of you this will mean celebrating your ‘leaps in good health’, for others you may track the first signs of organ distress long before it becomes an issue.


The List


These Blood tests are “the work-up” nurses and M.D’s in the hospital obtain as feedback when fighting for your life. This list will empower you to easily converse with your nurse or doctor the next time you visit.


CBC


Do you have a fever? Catch a bacterial infection? Thinking cancer? A complete blood count (CBC) is a routine blood test used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection, abnormal development of the bone marrow and leukemia. This test measures several components and features of your blood, including the number of Red Blood cells, which carry oxygen or White Blood cells that fight infection!


Hemoglobin


Hemoglobin is a specific protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen to your organs and transports carbon dioxide from your organs back to your lungs. It is a test for the oxygen carrying capacity of the cell. Are u anemic? Feeling tired before the day ends? Fatigued? Bleeding in your stools? Expect this test.


Hemoglobin binds with oxygen in your Red Blood cells. When the levels are too low, you maybe bleeding internally, losing blood, anemic or predisposed to poor genetics.


Finger Stick Blood Glucose Check


A routine check for diabetics on a daily basis or for the faint at heart Cereal crack-heads on the borderline of a diabetes diagnosis. It is a snapshot of your blood sugar level right now and gives you critical feedback that could lead you to toss that sugar donut you just bought in the garbage! (Further details explained on Blog on the Pancreas).


Hemoglobin A1c test- To Trend new or old Diabetes


This is the blood test clinicians use to screen for diabetes or pre-diabetes. It is a blood test that indicates your average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months versus a finger stick (when you prick your finger) which measures the concentration of glucose in your blood stream the second you prick your finger. Diabetics use the finger stick to get feedback after a meal, the value of which they use to titrate how much insulin they need to inject themselves.

The Hg A1C is a true test to diagnose diabetes as it measures what your average blood sugar has been over a longer period of time.


Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)


A TSH test is performed to discover if your thyroid gland is working the way it should. Do you feel lethargic? Are you easily anxious? Got goiter? Have brittle hair or sudden hair loss? Have cold intolerance? Have weight gain that is difficult to lose? Your hormones could be the culprit. You may want to get your thyroid looked at.


Fibrinogen


This is a test that checks the time taken for a clot to form. Fibrinogen is a blood plasma protein made in the liver. It is one of 13 coagulation factors responsible for normal blood clotting. It is essential to know how fast you clot, especially if you are someone who takes blood thinner medication. In a setting of say trauma or surgery, you might want to know how much replacement of blood is needed. You would surely want to establish a clot swiftly so as not to replace blood during massive trauma, only to incur blood loss from a wound that doesn't clot fast enough ("there's a hole in my pocket, dear Liza syndrome!).


Dysfunctional levels of fibrinogen levels are seen in people with liver disease, severe malnutrition or fibrinogen disorders and could contribute to bleeding or thrombosis (4).


CRP- My Personal Favorite!


C-Reactive Protein is a blood test marker for inflammation produced by the liver. It is an acute phase test indicating an episode of inflammation in the body, tissues and organs which the body cannot adequately cope with. This is very crucial as it is an early acute sign of organ and system distress. Most diseases manifest from uncontrolled chronic systemic inflammation. Whether it is your thyroid gland or gallbladder, fatty liver disease or an allergy response.

Homocysteine Level


This is a test used to find a deficiency in vitamin B12, B6 or folic acid, a common amino acid in your blood. It is produced when amino acids are broken down in your blood. You get it mostly from eating meat. Watch out for blood clots in your blood vessels and arterial damage (4). High levels of Homocysteine are linked to early development of heart and renal disease. Are you on a meat only diet and no veg? To improve, limit red meat!


PSA COUNT-Prostrate Level!


Eat fresh Pomegranate fruit (cut and eat the same day) to clean your prostate! Studies show twenty-nine thousand men die every year from prostate cancer. The PSA test investigates the level of PSA protein secreted by the prostrate, into the blood stream. All men will have an enlarged prostate as they age so don’t be alarmed when you hear the words “Your Prostate is enlarged” as it is inevitable. The key is to delay the process dramatically via diet and exercise and grow older with younger organs!


Other causes of elevated PSA levels may be brought on by inflammatory conditions or infections, prostrate cancer or enlargement.


Kidney & Liver Panel


The kidney and liver are your filtration systems and poison control units. Like a clogged pipe in your house, you do not want to challenge these organs EVER, even for an hour! This test discloses kidney and liver dysfunction in patients with risk factors such as high B.P, diabetes, obesity, family history of and kidney disease. A liver panel test determines the status of your liver by measuring the levels of proteins, liver enzymes and bilirubin in your blood. A liver function test is often indicated to screen for liver infections or problematic alcoholism.


A renal (kidney) panel includes a comprehensive test of your electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate) , phosphorus, calcium, albumin, BUN and Creatinine. Very important tests to check if you have a genetic predisposition to poor kidney function, immune disorders or are a bodybuilder using questionable supplements.


Cholesterol


A Happy Meal Favorite! You all know what this test checks but now its time to understand how to read it. The test is always the combined percentage of these 3 culprits: Your Triglycerides, LDL and HDL. It is the overall percentage that puts you at risk for a heart attack or stroke! You can have a high cholesterol, but vigorous exercise or lots of yoga can make your "good cholesterol" or HDL go up so that your cumulative risk percentage is brought down. Remember, you want to:


  1. Lower your LDL or bad cholesterol.

2. "Higher" your HDL or good Cholesterol.


Too much of the bad cholesterol raises your risk of heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis which is a condition that arises from the build up of fats, cholesterol and other substances causing the hardening of the arteries. You may increase your HDL levels by consuming healthy oils and fats like olive oil, ghee, coconut oil or fatty omega-3 rich fish. Stop smoking and start exercising vigorously (Interval training and fat torching workouts)!


Vitamin D deficiency can exist in certain populations and plays a role in downstream clinical consequences, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and fractures. The presence of associated characteristics should raise the index of suspicion for the practicing clinician to investigate vitamin D deficiency (5).

-Naveen R. Parva et. al., "Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency and Associated Risk Factors in the US Population (2011-2012)"


When was the last time you requested a Vitamin D test? Do request-- especially if you work graveyard shifts or get paid to sit under ultraviolet light.


Vitamin D


The primary source of vitamin D3 is sunlight. Alternative founts include animal sources such as dairy, fatty fish and fungal sources such as mushrooms. I am almost certain you are deficient in vitamin D as 41.2 % of Americans today are!


The blood test to measure how much vitamin D is in your body is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. If you have limited exposure to sunlight, have milk allergies, follow a strict vegan diet, work the grave-yard shift, spend a lot of time indoors, are scared of dairy, you should probably get this test ordered.


Vitamin D deficiency can cause bone pain, osteoporosis, osteomalacia and muscle weakness. Drinking a glass of hormone free, fresh milk meets the daily requirement of vitamin D. A daily vitamin D supplement with the appropriate strength determined by your doctor may be prescribed when your vitamin D levels are low.


How about Stroke?


If you are wondering what blood test checks for Stroke, there is no such blood test that can diagnosis it. Your M.D will order a head CT scan or MRI to determine a diagnosis of Stroke.


Remember, blood tests are meant to catch critical abnormals quickly, before they manifest into disease. So use this list, proactively.



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