by Dr. Patricia Rupert.

Today more and more people are becoming actively involved in the direction of their healthcare and are demanding more information on how to get and stay healthy. This is a good thing. It keeps us doctors on our toes so that we can continue to provide our patients the best care possible. But sometimes despite our best efforts the ball gets dropped

I can’t tell you the number of patients who come through my door with their blood work in hand, with abnormal values that are either not addressed or addressed improperly by the ordering doctor. Some are suffering side effects of expensive drug therapy to treat what may not even be the source of the problem. Some have out of range laboratory values that were either ignored or labeled as unimportant, incidental findings. Some suffer for years from the same symptoms in spite of countless “diagnostic” tests and procedures.

Because patients are either not getting better or instead are actually getting worse they often seek out alternative therapies. They land at my door, the doctor of last resort.

So here are some did you knows to consider when you get your blood work back.

The standard lab range you are presented with is not the Healthy Range. It is the Clinical Range. The Clinical Range is used by the medical community to diagnose disease states. The healthy range is a stricter guideline showing emerging problems in the developmental stage.

Here are some examples of the differences between Clinical Range and Healthy Range:

The Clinical range for Glucose is 65 to 99. The Healthy range is 80 to 95. The Clinical range forTriglycerides is 100 to 199. The Healthy range is 80 to 115. The Clinical range for Cholesterol is 100 to 199. The Healthy range is 140 to 170.

A high Cholesterol value can mean an under functioning thyroid.

A high LDL (the alleged bad cholesterol), can mean there is an infection in the body.

Low Chloride can mean that you have low hydrochloric acid (HCL) available in your stomach for digesting food resulting in digestive upset, GERD, food allergies and a greater predisposition to parasites.

Talking about parasites high Eosinophils may well mean you are fighting a parasitic infestation.

Low Prolactin will affect the production of progesterone affecting the ability to conceive as well as regularity of periods and menopausal like symptoms.

Low serum Iron does not necessarily mean you are anemic and that you should be taking iron supplements. Sometimes it can mean just the opposite; there is too much iron in your system. Also iron levels fluctuate throughout the day and will be affected by the time of day when the blood was drawn.

A Glucose serum may not be telling the whole picture, ask for HbA1c.

Any artificial joints with metal? Make sure your ion levels are being checked regularly.

Make sure that a cardiac sensitive C-reactive protein is part of your blood panel.

Concerned about cardiovascular risk, ask for a B-type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) test. The levels of BNP predict the risk of heart failure, first cardiovascular events, stroke or transient ischemic attack.

Finally if changes are instituted based on the results of lab work, whether its drugs, diet, vitamins, herbs or lifestyle, make sure that those changes are working. Get your blood values rechecked again in 60 to 90 days.