The human body contains a complex set of systems working together to regulate physical and mental functioning. Essential processes, such as the metabolism and absorption of nutrients from food, blood oxygenation and efficient brain function, all involve complex chemical reactions. The key to health and well-being for both mind and body is balance. When the balance of any one of these systems is off, physical and mental health are at risk. Blood testing offers information you need to help restore that balance.
Lipid Panel – This blood test series checks triglycerides and cholesterol levels, including both high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Too much cholesterol can threaten health, elevating risks of stroke and cardiac disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), often there are no overt symptoms of high cholesterol, which affects approximately 71 million people in the U.S. Testing can catch cholesterol problems early, while lifestyle changes are still able to set things right.
Thyroid Function – Efficient thyroid function is essential to metabolism and overall health. The thyroid regulates how the body uses energy and influences cholesterol levels. It also impacts brain function, menstruation, body temperature, muscle tone and strength, skin condition, and the functioning of the respiratory, circulatory and nervous systems. When thyroid function is too high or too low, serious health problems can result.
Complete Blood Count – This panel measures the amount of red blood cells, their size and hemoglobin ratios, as well as infection-fighting white blood cells and platelet count. This test tracks blood disorders, like anemia and blood clotting disorders, is used in diagnosing certain autoimmune disorders and infections, and can highlight some dangerous nutritional deficiencies.
Sex Hormones – Deficiencies or imbalances of sex hormones can have wide-ranging effects on health and well-being. In addition to impacting sexual health and performance, imbalances of these hormones are associated with a number of health conditions, including obesity, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, high cholesterol and type II diabetes.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel – A set of 14 tests that measure liver and kidney function, along with the levels of protein, calcium, blood sugar, calcium and electrolytes. This provides a look at the chemical balance of your body and your overall metabolism.
C-reactive Protein – This tests for inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is connected with a number of diseases via clinical studies, including rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, periodontitis, hay fever and atherosclerosis. However, noting the number of other diseases, like Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and heart disease, that seem to be related to inflammation, researchers are delving deeper into the connections between chronic inflammation and disease.
Hemoglobin A1C – This tests blood sugar levels by measuring the number of red blood cells with glucose-coated hemoglobin. Uncontrolled high blood sugar can lead to diabetes. In people already diagnosed with diabetes, consistently high blood sugar elevates the risk of diabetes complications, including damage to liver and kidneys, heart disease, stroke, and eye disease.
Vitamin Profile – Vitamins are essential to the function and health of every bodily system, organ and cell, impacting physical, cognitive and emotional health. The body of clinical evidence pointing to the role of nutrition in maintaining physical and mental health grows steadily, as does evidence that nutritional therapies can also help prevent diseases. The wisdom of blood testing to pinpoint and resolve suspected deficiencies is clear.
Coenzyme Q10 – This fat-soluble enzyme is essential in the chemical processes that provide energy for cells. Produced naturally by the body, CoQ10 is vital to virtually all bodily organs, systems and functions. Levels of CoQ10 in the body often fall after age 40, the body gradually becoming less efficient at producing it, a decrease accelerated by certain medications, particularly statins.
Magnesium – Magnesium is vital to hundreds of essential chemical reactions in the body. It has a part in cell communication, providing energy for cells, and in the structure of chromosomes, cell membranes and bones. Deficiency is associated with several diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis and can also adversely impact calcium and Vitamin D utilization and levels, making it worth testing.
As you, in partnership with your physician, strive to maintain optimal health and well-being, blood testing can be a powerful tool. By monitoring your overall health through these simple tests, potential health risks can be caught and addressed early, before they progress into health problems that can affect your quality of life.