Millions of people vowed in the late hours of December 31st, 2015 to improve their health in some way as they rang in 2016.
If that includes you, congratulations!
In addition to eating healthier and exercising, seeing your doctor for a checkup is a great place to start on the road to a healthier you.
Because although you may get a “clean bill of health” after the usual physical exam, complete blood count (CBC), basic metabolic panel (which checks your heart, kidney and liver function and blood glucose) and lipid panel (to see where your cholesterol is at), trouble may still be brewing.
And ignorance is definitely not bliss because you may eventually find yourself hearing the words, “Uh, we have a problem here” from your doctor.
In order to get a more complete snapshot of your innards and help nip potential problems in the bud, here are…
Six other important tests to ask your doctor to run
1- C-reactive protein (CRP)
C-reactive protein is a marker for inflammation. C-reactive protein is a compound that, when elevated, indicates either inflammatory or free radical damage is occurring within your blood vessels in a way that contributes to cardiovascular disease.
Homocysteine is an amino acid produced as a by-product of your digestion of animal proteins. High levels of homocysteine in the bloodstream can cause inflammation in the blood vessels and increase your heart disease risk.
Your entire body needs magnesium for a plethora of different functions and enzyme reactions, and being low in it can have devastating consequences.
Here are just a few of the conditions that are caused or worsened by magnesium deficiency:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Restless leg syndrome/muscle cramps
- Gallstones and joint problems
- Elevated C-reactive protein levels
- Autoimmune conditions and impaired immune function
- Chronic fatigue
- Low serotonin levels and depression
- Low insulin levels (a concern for Type 2 diabetes)
- PMS symptoms
4- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a very common deficiency, especially in the northeast where sunshine levels are limited.
Plus fears of skin cancer have caused many people to completely shun the sun and/or only venture outside when slathered in sunscreen (which blocks your body’s ability to produce vitamin D from the sun).
Vitamin D is crucial for bone health, maintaining healthy blood glucose and insulin levels, proper immune system functioning, controlling inflammation in your blood vessels (thereby reducing heart disease risk) and cancer prevention, among other things.
5- TRH challenge test
When assessing thyroid function, the typical go-to is the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test.
But TSH is secreted by your pituitary to “nudge” your thyroid into action…so the TSH test primarily assesses the functioning of your pituitary—not necessarily your thyroid!
Plus the TSH test measures your blood level of thyroid hormone at that one moment in time when your blood is drawn. But your thyroid hormone levels are constantly changing—so a “snapshot” blood test is not always an accurate picture of what’s really going on 24/7 with your thyroid.
A far more accurate and sensitive test that assesses thyroid health is the “TRH challenge test” also known as the “TRH Stimulation test.”
6- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is also a very common deficiency due to our heavy reliance on acid reducers (stomach acid is needed for proper B12 assimilation) and high prevalence of digestive issues which can impact absorption in the intestinal tract.
B12 is crucial for the formation of white blood cells that comprise your immune system, and red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body.
It’s also an important player in your metabolism that helps generate your body’s energy and is needed for your body to control homocysteine levels (and thus help prevent heart disease).
And vitamin B12 is vital to your nervous system and brain health.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include:
- Lack of energy
- Memory problems
- Confusion and disorientation
- Swelling of the tongue and bleeding gums
- Walking difficulties and falling
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Tinnitus (ringing in ears)
- Numbness and tingling in the extremities
- Vision problems
- Weakened immunity
Don’t be shy!
Remember that your doctor is supposed to be your partner in good health—so don’t be shy about asking him or her to run these tests.
If they ask you why, show them this email.
And if they refuse, well, I strongly suggest you seek out another doctor who will be happy to run these tests and work with you as a friend toward creating a healthier YOU!
I can help too!
Don’t forget your friend in the nutrition world (yours truly) is here to help you too!
As a holistic nutritionist, I am well-trained in the whole-body effects of nutrients and how deficiencies can spell disease.
And as such I am dedicated to helping create a healthier you by offering top-quality solutions to your body’s nutritional needs including:
VitalMega-3 fish oil formula: To help combat arterial inflammation
Hydroxaden 2.5 Vitamin B12 formula: To counteract B12 deficiency, which is increasingly common
Vitamin D-K Factor: Which addresses another common yet devastating deficiency
Super Core multi vitamin formula with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support: To help ensure your core nutritional needs are met and provide additional support against inflammation and free radical damage.