Why It’s Important To Have Your Lab Results Analyzed Properly
Hey there I’ll bet you didn’t know this, but when you get labs done here at our office, we analyze results differently than other doctor’s offices would analyze them.
It’s true, and I believe that taking your labs to a physician practicing more traditional medicine (as opposed to an integrative practice like ours) could leave you in the dark about your health.
Please be advised, I’m not saying that other doctors are willfully ignoring important information concerning your health.
The fact of the matter is when they’re analyzing your lab results they’re looking at them in the way they were instructed to during medical school.
However, I believe that if you’re getting labs done in order to correct a health problem you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not having someone with an integrative mindset look at your labs.
Allow me to explain why this is the case.
Why Integrative Medicine Is Better-Suited for Lab Analysis
One of the core concepts that integrative medicine is based upon is the notion that total health is not a black and white matter.
We’re always looking at underlying issues that lead to health conditions to see if we can’t reverse engineer what’s going on in the body.
For example, if after most meals you suffer from acid-reflux, our go-to solution is not to offer you a medicine that minimizes stomach acid production.
Traditional medicine usually calls for such an approach. But as we’ve learned recently, limiting stomach acid production isn’t ideal as we desperately need stomach acid to help with normal digestion.
What we’ll do instead at our office is review things like your diet to see if you have food sensitivities that lead to reflux and the overproduction of stomach acid… or, we’ll check to see if your gut flora levels are healthy and balanced, as well as making sure you’re following best practices for enhancing your body’s natural processes for digestion long before we resort to giving you a prescription.
Our assumption is never that drugs are the best way to make you healthy.
And that’s why we approach assessing lab results differently than most physicians.
When doctors are in medical school they’re trained to look at lab results as “normal” and “abnormal”.
If a person’s lab results fall within the normal range then most practitioners will accept those numbers and assume that the person is healthy (more or less).
What we do here at Robinhood Integrative Health is assess lab results in terms of whether or not that patient’s lab results are optimal.
Integrative medicine distinguishes between normal and optimal levels and makes the claim that someone may technically be normal/healthy, but they are not necessarily optimal.
Take testosterone for example. The normal range for total testosterone for men is around 250-1000.
If a male patient comes in complaining about the state of their health and everything I hear leads me to believe they’re suffering from low-T, I’m going to test their testosterone levels. If their lab results come back at 300 that’s going to register as “normal”.
However, it’s far from optimal.
As their physician I’m not going to be happy sending them out the door with levels like that because I know there’s lots of room for improvement.
Allow me to give another example, one that I see over and over again here at the office.
Every year, hundreds of people see us for issues related to their thyroid.
A standard test we run to boost thyroid health is a Free T3 test.
Traditionally, Free T3 levels are considered normal when they fall within the 2.0-4.4 range.
And while most physicians will accept a 2.2 Free T3 reading as “normal”, I can assure you that someone whose Free T3 levels check out at 2.2 are going to feel much worse than if their Free T3 levels read closer to the top of the range.
Again, while I’m not knocking other doctors, I know that in many cases when lab results come back “normal” the vast majority of physicians will accept those results and offer unhelpful and even dangerous treatments to help make patients feel better.
What we’ve discovered is that in many cases when we look to optimize a person’s observed lab results using nutrition as well as bioidentical hormone replacement we can get them feeling better in no time.
We know too that as patients start feeling better their lab results typically rise towards the top of the healthy range in corresponding fashion.
Our philosophy is we treat the patient, not the number.
Are You Concerned Your Lab Results Are Less Than Optimal?
If you’ve been to another doctor recently and felt like their assessment of your lab results didn’t match how you feel…
Or, if you’ve had labs done that were supposedly “normal”, even at the top end, but still believe something else is going on to make you feel poorly, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment at our clinic.
We can help you with your labs, not only with arranging tests, but also with analysis in a flash.
To schedule an appointment new patients can call us at 336-768-3335 and existing patients can make an appointment through the online portal today.