Understanding Blood Tests
I'm the not-so-proud owner of a stent. And a bit annoyed about it because it could have been avoided.
I had the right test, homocysteine. And the doc said I was fine.
My problem was I didn't know how to read the test for myself, and I didn't know what to do about a bad result. And I sure didn't know a normal result could be a bad result.
Well, I found out pronto! And I took action, as is my wont. Now there's no sign I ever had any sort of heart hiccup.
As soon as I dug out the details about how to fix things, I tried to help a friend, but she responded that she had the best doctor in the country, and he knew what was best. She had no interest in doing anything not ordered by the doctor-such as the nutritional approach I jump up and down about.
A couple of years, ago she seemed proud of the fact she had 13 stents. A month or so ago, she had a heart attack and nearly died. And she still doesn't want my help.
Golly gee, this frustrates me. But the fact is we each get to make our own choices, so she gets to call the shots for her own life.
And so do I. And so do you.
Understand blood tests
But we need to understand what we're up against. Heart problems are a known side-effect of thyroid problems that are not treated or poorly treated (Can you say T4?). That means half the population is in the "target market." So this is stuff we need to know.
And it's not just the heart. Our bodies can falter in any number of ways-most of which happen in the darkness of our innards. And that business that what you don't know can't hurt you is bogus. In extremis.
Knowledge is power. If we know what's going on in our bodies, we have a chance to fix it. And the sooner we know, the better our chance to make things right.
My new e-book, Understanding Blood Tests: When Your Doctor Doesn't Have Time to Explain, explains eight blood tests you're likely to run into.
Four are basic blood tests-Complete Blood Count, Comprehensive Medical Panel, Homocysteine and C-Reactive Protein. Yeah, I know these are not exciting names. But if you value your health, you'll want to get to know more about them anyway.
The other four tests-Thyroid, Adrenals, Diabetes and Heart-are more situational. And more worrisome. I write about the accuracy-or lack thereof-of the tests and about the medications they can unfortunately lead to. Or the dreaded "You're fine." dismissal when you know you're not fine, but you don't know why.
If a doctor orders any of the eight tests, insurance usually pays for them.
But what if the doc won't order tests (which is becoming more and more common with the four basic tests, perhaps because they don't lead to a prescription)? You can still get tested-although you'll have to pay out of your own pocket.
Testing gets easier all the time. Independent testing is a huge growth industry, currently booming at nearly 20% a year. Pretty soon testing locations may become as common as the Starbucks on every corner.
And if they don't come to your corner? You can test by mail! Labs are developing "spot" blood tests in which you poke your finger with a pin (hopefully sterilized), put the spot of blood on the special paper provided and send it along.
Some highly respected labs are behind this independent testing trend, and I don't expect it to go away.
Read about Understanding Blood Tests: When Your Doctor Doesn't Have Time to Explain at Understanding Blood Tests.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She's a patient who's been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, "Moving to Health" about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don't, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.