When I began my journey to improve my health and wellness I thought I knew a lot about nutrition, my body, and how to remain healthy as I prepared to turn 50 and start the next phase of my life. As far back as I could remember I was always physically active, playing sports in high school and college and maintain an active lifestyle. What I came to learn was that while I had been active and led a healthy life, for the most part, I was doing a lot things WRONG!
That’s when I started to realize that I needed to gain a better understanding of my true body chemistry. I started by reading a lot of books and as technology advanced, my research moved online as I digested information from tons of websites, blogs and anyplace I could learn. Like some of you, I also fell victim to some of the fad diets and programs like Atkins, Keto, no-carb/low-carb, etc. I tried different cleanses and experimented with just about every supplement and holistic product I could find. Sounding familiar?
Something was still missing as my weight yo-yoed, my energy levels and mental acuity varied, and I felt like I was running but on a tread mill, and not making any real progress. I decided to visit a concierge medical doctor for a routine checkup and physical exam. At age 45, it was the first time I had ever experienced a Complete Blood Panel designed to evaluate my overall wellness from the inside out. Light bulb!
Where do you start?
Understanding my body chemistry through analyzing my bloodwork opened up a whole new world. I’ve always enjoyed the aspects of finite and tangible things like numbers. Numbers don’t lie. Looking at a piece of paper which different numbers and variables was also a little bit daunting. Fortunately, the doctors and PA’s that I’ve worked with over the past five years have been amazing as they helped guide and educate to better understand the meaning behind my results, as well as ways to improve and change readings which were not optimal.
Obviously I am not a doctor, so I am not trying to give any advice or tell you what to do, eat, not eat, etc. What I can do here is share pieces of my story, what worked for me and why, and give you ideas on how to gain better control of your own health and wellness. As I spend more time writing about this topic over the coming months, I will dive deeper into the practical aspects of specific lab test results, desirable levels, and how to change your results by lifestyle and diet choices you make.
From the 10,000 foot level I can tell you this; it’s taken me nearly five years to slowly change the results of my bloodwork. There is no pill, no remedy and no get will quick fix. Yes, there are certainly a lot of OTC and prescription medications you can take for everything from cholesterol to diabetes. My only advice is this – start with healthy life choices which including eating the right things, drinking water and exercising. If I can do it, so can you. As of this writing, my weight has come from 275 to 224. My bloodwork looks like a different person. As it continues to change, I will share regular updates.
I’ve experienced a lot of tests all designed to help me create a better life strategy for my wellness. Any basic blood lab test, in my opinion, should include the following;
- Lipid Panel – Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol), Risk Ratio, HS-CRP (C Reactive Protein)
- White Blood Cell Count, Red Blood Cell Count, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit
- Glucose, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Calcium, CO2, BUN, Creatine
- eGFR, Magnesium, Uric Acid, Protein, Albumin
- HGBA1C, Insulin, eAG
- Cortisol, IGF-1, FSH, LSH, Free Testosterone, Estradiol, Progesterone, DHEA
- Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Folate, Ferritin
- Estrone, PSA
If you have never seen all of these before and you have no idea what they mean don’t worry, neither did I when I first saw them! The first step in gaining control over your desired level of health and wellness begins here. Your blood chemistry can’t lie. You CAN change and impact these result by eating right and making healthy choices. As I continue to write more about this, I will share my own results as well as what worked for me, how I got to this point, where I want to go, and how I will get there! To learn more please see my blog at www.danlounsbury.com