It’s crazy to think that at the end of the year many will not have taken a single blood test. Not even a conventional CBC. It’s pretty obvious that most people want to live forever. Receiving hundreds of intercom messages every month, Lab Me often gets asked, “what can I do to improve my health and longevity?” We respond simply by saying get a comprehensive blood test done regularly a track the results (graph/analyze). Maybe you don’t need to use our services but for the sake of you – do it somewhere. And then take your results and track them. These are the top 10 tests most important for you to track.
Your blood (biomarkers) are the key insight into your bodies machinery. They are the parts and pieces working to keep you alive and healthy and great news! They can be monitored. And now easier than ever. Before this, the process used to require scheduling time with the doctor, driving to the doctor, sitting in a waiting room next to sick people, getting a prescription for the lab, driving home, scheduling with the lab, driving to the lab, waiting in a waiting room next to a screaming baby, get the test done (hopefully they hit the vein the first round), drive home, wait a 4-5 days for a result and then depending on the result you might need to schedule another time with the doctor and repeat.
Now we have a way of doing all of that in about 15 minutes from the comfort of your own home. We save our consumers on average $200 dollars in their time and over 2.5 weeks in time. Add up the costs of the doctors and labs and we save you on average between $175-350 dollars. Add the time saved + total saved in doctors costs, gas, lab fees, and follow-ups and your are keeping $500 dollars in your pocket.
Regular (annual, bi-annual, quarterly) blood testing is the most important step aging adults (and by that I mean 25yr olds and above) can take to prevent life-threatening diseases. With blood test results in hand, you can catch critical changes in your body before they manifest as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or worse. Having the proper blood tests can empower you to enact a science-based disease-prevention program that could add decades to your healthy life. Think of this as an investor in the stock market – they need historical charts to see trends – same with your blood work. Just a snapshot on the day doesn’t tell us if it’s improving or getting worse. The old adage holds strong “You can’t take a photo of a phone and tell if it’s ringing”.
We suggest annual testing for those just wanting to keep tabs. They are your typical routine life people. Work, home, sleep, repeat.
Bi-Annual are for those wanting to know a bit more about how part of the year is effecting them and to generate 2x the data for better tracking and faster response. They are usually more aware, health-conscious people – perhaps on a budget – but not super active in the gym or with fitness or strict diets. Plain and simple these people understand that it’s important to track.
Quarterly tests are usually are more biohacker types. These people really want to know whats going on, they might change up diets or workouts every quarter or so and want to see how it actually improving them on the inside. Rather than just weight, BMI and other tests that lack the depth that blood is able to provide.
Monthly testing comes down two generally two types of people. Those that are carrying a chronic disease and undergoing treatment or heavy medication and want to see how that’s impacting them, Those that are athletic or competition based athletes needing regular data for more precise adjustments of supplements, training or diet. These types of guys are serious but gather insanely robust data.
Sadly though, most annual medical check-ups involve the physician ordering only routine blood tests if blood tests are ordered at all. Far too often, this blood work does not even test for important markers of disease risk. The consequences of failing to analyze blood for proven markers of disease risk can result in needless disability and death. Especially when measured over time and one can see movements trending out of range. Important to track blood testing more than often gets swept under the rug by both doctors being overworked and patients being lazy.
Blood tests have benefits that go far beyond disease prevention. For example, by monitoring levels of Vitamin D, you can take decisive steps to enhance your quality of life, perhaps by correcting a depressive mental state, fatigue, abdominal obesity, or by improving your memory and energy levels.
1. Chemistry Panel and Complete Blood Count
The Chemistry Panel and Complete Blood Count (CBC) test is the best place to begin your disease-prevention program. This low-cost panel will give you and your doctor a quick snapshot of your overall health. This test provides a broad range of diagnostic information to assess your vascular, liver, kidney, and blood cell status. The Complete Blood Count measures the number, variety, percentage, concentration, and quality of platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells, and thus is useful in screening for infections, anemias, and other hematological abnormalities, while the Chemistry Panel provides information on the status of your cardiovascular system by testing for total cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), LDL (low-density lipo-protein), triglycerides, and the total cholesterol/HDL ratio.
The Chemistry Panel also measures blood glucose, which is critically important for detecting early-stage metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. Seeing as the endemic of diabetes has grown fast and is here to stay with its relatives called metabolic syndromes, monitoring your fasting glucose levels is as important as knowing your cholesterol level.
Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) is an enzyme found mainly in your liver. A GGT test is used to check for signs of liver damage or disease. What is its function? GGT plays a key role in breaking down drugs and toxins.
What can cause it to change? High GGT levels can be a sign of liver damage or disease.
If you drink too much alcohol, your GGT levels usually increase. Some drugs, including antibiotics and NSAIDs like ibuprofen, can also increase your levels.
One of the best ways to assess your glucose status is testing for hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c). This test measures a person’s blood sugar control over the last two to three months and is an independent predictor of heart disease risk in persons with or without diabetes. Maintaining healthy hemoglobin A1C levels may also help patients with diabetes to prevent some of the complications of the disease.
Vitamin D is one of the many nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. It’s needed to maintain strong bones and a healthy immune system. If you don’t get enough you might feel tired, get sick often, have weak bones, and feel anxious or depressed. Test your Vitamin C today.
5. Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) (Very Important For Men Only)
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein manufactured by the prostate gland in men. Elevated levels may suggest an enlarged prostate, prostate inflammation, or prostate cancer. PSA levels may also be used to monitor the efficacy of therapeutic regimens for prostate conditions.
Elevated levels of PSA may not necessarily signal prostate cancer, and prostate cancer may not always be accompanied by an expression of PSA. Levels can be elevated in the presence of urinary tract infection or inflamed prostate. A PSA level over 2.5 ng/mL, or a PSA doubling time (the time required for PSA value to double) of less than 12 years, maybe a cause for concern.
Your cortisol levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day — they should be highest in the morning and gradually drop so they reach their lowest point at night. With a saliva test, you can collect multiple samples over the course of one day to see if you follow the normal daily pattern.
This test can help you learn if things like sleep problems, low energy levels, low mood, getting sick often, and weight gain might be because your cortisol levels are too high.
Increasingly, medical science is understanding that inflammation within the body can lead to a range of life-threatening degenerative diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, macular degeneration, and cognitive decline. By measuring your body’s level of inflammation through regular C-reactive protein testing, you can devise a strategy of diet, exercise, and supplementation to halt many of these conditions.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a sensitive marker of systemic inflammation that has emerged as a powerful predictor of coronary heart disease and other diseases of the cardiovascular system. The highly sensitive cardiac CRP test measures C-reactive protein in the blood at very early stages of vascular disease, allowing for appropriate intervention with diet, supplements, or anti-inflammatory therapy. The cardiac CRP test detects much smaller levels of inflammation than the basic CRP test, so is, therefore, able to identify at-risk patients earlier, even among apparently healthy persons.
Secreted by the pituitary gland, the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) controls thyroid hormone secretion in the thyroid. When blood levels fall below normal, this indicates hyperthyroidism (increased thyroid activity), and when values are above normal, this suggests hypothyroidism (low thyroid activity). Because the symptoms of thyroid imbalance may be nonspecific or absent and may progress slowly, and since many doctors do not routinely screen for thyroid function, people with mild hyper- or hypothyroidism can go undiagnosed for some time. Undiagnosed mild disease can progress to clinical disease states. This is a dangerous scenario since people with hypothyroidism and elevated serum cholesterol and LDL have an increased risk of atherosclerosis.
Mild hypothyroidism (low thyroid gland function) may be associated with reversible hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol) and cognitive dysfunction, as well as such nonspecific symptoms as fatigue, depression, cold intolerance, dry skin, constipation, and weight gain. Mild hyperthyroidism is often associated with atrial fibrillation (a disturbance of heart rhythm), reduced bone mineral density, and nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, heat intolerance, nervousness, insomnia, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.
9. Testosterone (Free)
Testosterone is produced in the testes in men, in the ovaries in women, and in the adrenal glands of both men and women. Men and women alike can be dramatically affected by the decline in testosterone levels that occurs with aging.
In the serum of both men and women, less than 2% of testosterone typically is found in the free (uncomplexed) state. Unlike bound testosterone, the free form of the hormone can circulate in the brain and affect nerve cells. Testosterone plays different roles in men and women, including the regulation of fertility, libido, and muscle mass. In men, free testosterone levels may be used to evaluate whether sufficient bioactive testosterone is available to protect against abdominal obesity, mental depression, osteoporosis, and heart disease. In women, low levels of testosterone have been associated with decreased libido and well-being, while high levels of free testosterone may indicate hirsutism (a condition of excessive hair growth on the face and chest) or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Increased testosterone in women may also indicate low estrogen levels.
If you would like this test on its own or add to a test kit – just visit our home page www.labme.ai and scroll down to Make It Personalized – click on “Yes, I Want A Custom Kit”, our chatbot will walk you through what you want and get you started.
Like testosterone, both men and women need estrogen for numerous physiological functions. Estradiol is the primary circulating form of estrogen in men and women and is an indicator of hypothalamic and pituitary function. Men produce estradiol in much smaller amounts than do women; most estradiol is produced from testosterone and adrenal steroid hormones, and a fraction is produced directly by the testes. In women, estradiol is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and peripheral tissues. Levels of estradiol vary throughout the menstrual cycle and drop to low but constant levels after menopause.
In women, blood estradiol levels help to evaluate the menopausal status and sexual maturity. Increased levels in women may indicate an increased risk for breast or endometrial cancer. Estradiol plays a role in supporting healthy bone density in men and women. Low levels are associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture in men and women as well. Elevated levels of estradiol in men may accompany gynecomastia (breast enlargement), diminished sex drive, and difficulty with urination.
In summary, I would like to say that yearly blood testing is a simple yet powerful strategy to help you proactively take charge of your current and future health. A well-chosen complement of blood tests can thoroughly assess your overall state of health, as well as to detect the silent warning signals that precede the development of serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Many diseases and disorders are treatable when caught early, but can severely impair the quality and length of your life if left unattended. Identifying these hidden risk factors will enable you to implement powerful strategies such as proper nutrition, weight loss, exercise, supplements, and medications in order to prevent progression to full-blown, life-threatening diseases.
Blood testing can also detect biochemical changes that threaten well-being and quality of life, such as declining levels of sex hormones. Armed with information on important health biomarkers, you and your physician can plan and execute a strategy to help you achieve and maintain vibrant health so go and get your test done.
Best of all, you never need to leave the comfort of your house to perform the test. No more big needles which tend to miss the target quite often, no more awkward nurse conversations, screaming waiting room babies, traffic and major shuffles to your schedule because of family or kids.
Blood work simplified.
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