“My doctor said my labs are normal. But I don’t feel normal.” It’s a statement I often hear as a Naturopathic Doctor, so I order in-depth and thorough blood tests for many of my patients. (This helps us dig a bit deeper and get to the CORE of what’s happening!) Because you deserve to feel AMAZING, not just ‘normal.’
If someone has dismissed your concerns and told you your symptoms, lab results, or blood tests came back in the ‘normal’ range, you aren’t alone. There is a big difference between normal and optimal and it is our job as Health care providers to understand what is optimal for your unique physiology. You deserve to understand what is happening in your body. That is why I take the time and discuss ALL of the blood test results with my patients. I ensure they leave my office with an understanding of what was run, why, and how the results are relevant to my treatment plan for them.
Some of the ranges for blood test results are very WIDE. The ranges are based on what is expected in the general population and, unfortunately, many people are not in optimal health. This is why it is important to understand that just because something is common does not mean it is ideal.
Trust your gut if you have been told that your labs are okay, but still feel like something is off! You know your body better than anyone else – and what is ‘normal’ for one person may not be ideal for you.
How is Blood Work Ordered Through a Naturopathic Doctor Different? (H2)
- Naturopathic Doctors look at your blood work through a different lens. We aim for OPTIMAL results for you as a person and not just what is common for most people.
For example, The normal range for Ferritin (Iron storage) is between 5 and 272 ug/L (that’s a BIG range). If your results come back at 10, you are considered “normal,” and you won’t get a call from your Health Care provider.
But as a Naturopathic Doctor, I like to see that Ferritin level at around 80 ug/L. Studies show that Iron levels that are suboptimal can still contribute to fatigue, hair loss, heavy periods, and more.
- When symptoms present, we look at the body as a whole to get to the root cause of your troubles. It’s incredible how everything within our bodies is connected! A slightly abnormal result from one test can signal an issue in another area of your body that requires further examination.
- Timing is essential with naturopath blood tests, especially for women with PCOS, infertility, or other period problems. Hormones have a natural fluctuation throughout your cycle, so we test at different times throughout the month to determine if these levels are elevating appropriately.
Standard Blood Tests That Come Back ‘Normal’
Some test results pop up again and again within the ‘normal’ range that I would like to see in the ‘optimal’ range (such as the Ferritin test mentioned above).
Thyroid tests are another lab that is often not thorough. Many doctors will test only for TSH, but a full thyroid panel includes TSH, T3, T4, Thyroid antibodies and reverse T3. If your TSH is normal, there can still be an issue with the other markers.
Vitamin B12 is also a common test with a vast ‘healthy’ range. But people function better when it is at the high end of normal.
Why aim for Optimal Results?
I like to see optimal results over typical results because many of the symptoms we have been taught are normal – are simply NOT! Naturopath blood tests help us pinpoint markers causing these issues, and we can then take steps to address them.
There is no need to suffer from irregular periods, fatigue, extreme cramping, or other issues people have told us to live with. There is a better way!
When we adjust to reach optimal levels, we set ourselves up for success – to feel great, prevent disease, and live our best lives!
If you’ve received ‘normal’ results but feel something is off, reach out, and let’s chat!