Have you been told that your lab tests are all NORMAL?
Lab testing can be an incredibly useful tool when done properly. The trouble is that most lab testing is done using standard reference ranges (pathological ranges) which are too broad. The labs are done with the wrong intentions – to push drugs, rather than to educate and empower the patient on what they can do on their own to improve their health. And in today’s profit driven healthcare market, labs are done in the isolation of an 11 minute office visit, without correlating them to the patient’s presenting complaints and without performing a thorough health history or physical and nutritional examinations.
Many labs will not show abnormal markers until the problem has progressed enough to show evidence of disease. This is not helpful if you want to prevent cancer, diabetes or other chronic disease.
Functional Medicine doctors are trained to see patterns of dysfunction emerging long before there is any sign of disease.
The 3 biggest problems with conventional lab testing:
1. The reference ranges (values used to decide if your numbers are too high or too low) are based on old, outdated data. 2
2. The reference ranges are too broad and based on sick populations not healthy ones. 1
3. The reference ranges often do not take the patient’s age, sex or ethnicity (race) into account.
Functional Lab Testing takes all these things into account and provides easy to read, color reports designed to empower YOU to make the diet and lifestyle changes necessary to reverse chronic disease and live the healthiest life possible.
I often see patients with significant symptoms which are causing real suffering in their life. However, they have been to their doctor and had labs that were supposedly Normal. Because their labs were “normal,” the doctor dismisses their symptoms, or their doctor gives them a prescription medication to suppress the symptoms until the disease progresses to point where their doctor can do something about it, which will be – you guessed it -- more drugs or surgery.
In Functional Medicine, our job is to partner with patients and empower them to make great choices regarding their own health. When functional lab testing is required in your case, rest assured we’ll discuss with you the proposed testing, why it is needed and what it will cost so you can make the best decision.
1 “The use of population reference ranges is an inexact science that often does not consider age, sex, ethnicicity and other influencing factors…” J Clin Pathol. 2006 Oct; 59(10): 1005–1007.
2 “very few laboratories perform their own reference interval studies, …instead of performing a new reference interval study, laboratories refer to studies done many decades ago, when both the methods and the population were very different.” From the American Journal of Clinical Pathology