In mainstream medicine, we are used to two things: Taking a blood test and receiving a medication to help improve the numbers if they are out of range. For example, we take a cholesterol test and if our numbers are “too high” we are prescribed Lipitor. Here at the RED Medical Center for Natural Health, Dr. Stills takes a very different, in-depth approach to analyzing your blood.
How is RED Med Blood Work Different?
For starters, it’s important to understand that Dr. Stills will assess your health with the help of blood tests outside the standard blood work ordered by MDs. Having been in practice for close to 15 years, she has helped thousands of patients who were told “There’s nothing wrong, your blood work looks fine.” Too often, they’re told this because the blood tests they had done aren’t those needed to correctly assess their health issues.
For example, a standard MD will typically run a cholesterol panel to assess risk for cardiac disease, despite the fact that studies have shown numerous times that high cholesterol does not correlate with heart attacks and heart disease as strongly as we’ve been led to believe.
Reducing inflammation is much more important to preventing future or reversing current disease. Blood tests for homocysteine, cardiac CRP and fibrinogen provide better insights to cardiovascular health by looking at inflammation and methylation capabilities, but these tests are rarely ordered.
Thyroid evaluations are another area where standard blood work falls woefully short, even though thyroid disorders are now epidemic among both women and men. If blood work shows a normal level of TSH level, the standard screen for thyroid health, you will be told you are fine and not given treatment.
However, TSH shows only what the brain is telling the thyroid to produce, not what the gland is actually producing or how well your body is taking up and processing the hormones your thyroid gland should be producing. At the RED Medical Center for Natural Health, your thyroid panel will include a Free T3, which is the bioavailable amount of active thyroid hormone that actually makes changes at the receptor site.
Finally, Dr. Stills will also assess blood work results in ways that standard MDs may not. For example, it’s common to hear about the dangers of high cholesterol, but did you know that if your cholesterol significantly drops, that is an indication that there is excessive free radical activity occurring in the body and that cancer is most likely actively developing inside you?
You Are More than a Set of Numbers
Dr. Stills does not just look at the levels that are out of range as most traditional MDs are trained to do. By looking at ratios and optimal ranges, she can discern a more accurate picture of what is going on with your health. For example, if a test’s “normal” results range is 30-100 and you are at 31, that is awfully close to being out of range.
Furthermore, if the optimal level is between 60-80, then 31 is a very low reading, even though the lab will report that level as within normal range. When Dr. Stills takes the time to thoroughly and carefully review your results, you may find that your blood work results were far from OK, even if you were told they were within normal range.
It’s also important to understand that Dr. Stills treats you, her patient, not a set of numbers. For example, if you are presenting as a “poster child” of thyroid hormone dysfunction — inability to lose weight, hair falling out, always cold, constipated, depressed, brain fog — Dr. Stills may give you a trial run of natural thyroid support to see how you do, even if your levels look “normal.”
This treatment, which may seem counter to what the blood work says, has changed patients lives time and time again. Remember that the “normal” numbers for blood work are merely ranges, like a bell curve based on large-scale sampling. You may be below or above the curve — what’s most important is you and your story!
Do I Have to Do Bloodwork?
Every patient has an expanded blood work analysis done when becoming a patient. If all your results are within normal range according to Dr. Stills’ evaluation, then she will recommend that you have the expanded blood work done once yearly to keep track of baseline values and any changes.
How Will I Have Blood Drawn?
You will usually have your blood drawn at either LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics, two national blood work labs, depending upon which company your insurance company engages. You will need to fast 12 hours overnight (water only), and there will be many tubes of blood drawn — much more than is typically drawn for blood work ordered by a standard MD.
It will look overwhelming, but don’t worry: if you donate blood you, give away a lot more blood than will be drawn for these tests, and the expanded information these tests provide vital insights into your body’s overall health, helping identify the necessary nutritional supplements and proper lifestyle modifications to empower you to find optimal health and prevent future disease.