Blood work is something you should be getting done to keep tabs on your health. But… how often should you be checking things, and what should you be checking? Let’s take a closer look at some of the top blood work markers for optimal health and what they mean.
Blood work is a foundational piece of information when it comes to your health.
Here at F8, we run extensive labs to check all systems. Most people we work with have never had these markers checked. And the truth is, most traditional Doctors don’t order thorough labs. In their attempt to chase symptoms, they miss out on the bigger picture. This testing can not only catch autoimmune issues early before there is tissue damage, but can give us insight into liver function, gut issues, inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and more. If you are not completing annual blood work, you are missing out on crucial information.
But my Doctor says my blood work is fine….
This is something we hear every single day. Unfortunately in most cases, they are not running the right markers (not thorough enough) or their numbers fall into an ‘acceptable’ or ‘normal’ range. There is a big difference between the two… Are you looking for just acceptable health, or optimal health? The differences lie in the ranges.
When traditional ranges are calculated, they are often much wider, including a higher percentage of the population. This wider range includes healthy and sick people, and is just not optimal. Functional ranges are a much narrower margin; a more optimal range where healthy people should be.
My favorite markers:
You’ve probably heard me talk about this a lot, and for good reason. This marker alone can give us tremendous insight into a patient’s health status. In fact, if I had to choose just one marker to check, it would be ferritin. It represents stored iron (different from blood iron).
Optimal ranges: 45-125 for women, 45-150 for men
What it means: If you are high (above 145/150) it likely means your body is in an inflammatory state. With elevated ferritin, we also see elevated triglycerides, c-reactive protein, liver enzymes, and insulin. The liver tells the body to store more iron, as the inflammatory state continues. This process is driven by blood sugar imbalances.
Low ferritin is a clue that your gut needs some help. We often see absorption issues with leaky gut where your body simply is not getting the nutrients it needs.
GGT is a liver enzyme marker. We often see elevated levels in patients that are dealing with fatty liver. You may not even know you have fatty liver, as there are not any warning signs… and most cases we see are not even linked to alcohol consumption. In fact, blood sugar imbalances are now one of the leading causes of fatty liver. Standard ranges <40, optimal ranges are <20.
#3. Non-Fasting Insulin and Glucose.
This one really causes a stir!
Most people have always been told to fast before their blood work. However, when we test these markers non-fasting, it allows us to see in real-time how the body is reacting to food. Fasting can actually hide the vital information we need to see. When we test non-fasting, we can more accurately pinpoint things like insulin resistance, blood sugar spikes, crashes, and more.
#4. CRP or C-Reactive Protein.
CRP is another great way to check for inflammation. This marker can be used to assess cardiovascular disease risk. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, anything over 3 puts you in the high risk category. We actually prefer to see this less than 1.
Overall, this is a critical marker to address inflammation, especially for individuals dealing with autoimmune disease.
Remember, just because your blood work report may say that your levels are ‘normal’…does not mean that they are optimal…there is a big difference. Who wants to be ‘normal’ if normal is sick?
If you are not getting the answers you need, reach out to our team today.