Listen to Your Body
If you’re like many who try to be proactive with their healthcare, you diligently have your screenings done each year and pay special attention to your blood work. Designed to give you a status update on the general condition of your health, blood work can tell us if we are in or out of normal ranges for what are considered healthy cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose, and thyroid levels, among others.
But what if all levels fall within normal range (or close enough to not alarm the doctor) yet you still are just not feeling well? Perhaps you’re always tired, have low energy, are experiencing unexplained weight loss (or gain,) hair loss or bothersome skin issues. Shouldn’t your blood work offer some explanation? It’s enough to make you think others think it’s all in your head.
It can be frustrating when you know something’s wrong, but there seems to be no medical explanation. But no one knows your body better than you. So if your blood work “looks fine,” but you’re still fell off, it may be time to look at the results in a different way.
Pathological vs. Functional Blood Analysis
The results of your blood work can be broken down two different ways: into a pathological range or a functional range.
Because conventional medicine is primarily concerned with the diagnosis of disease, typical blood work is designed to reveal the presence of disease through a narrow pathological range of what is considered normal.
A functional range is broader, and while it can absolutely diagnose disease, it can also be used to assess risk for future disease prior to its development. This is a pivotal time in the healthcare process because it allows patients to receive attention before actual disease is present, but when they may already be experiencing symptoms such as the weight loss and low energy mentioned above.
Functional medical professionals address blood work numbers that fall into the “low normal” or “high normal” end of the range — numbers that might be ignored through the pathological lens — and then consider what factors might be contributing to them being left or right of normal. The answer could lie in bringing hormone, mineral and/or vitamin levels back into the functional range for optimal body function, or in identifying necessary lifestyle changes to avoid the onset of diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
For example, even though your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) may technically fall within normal pathological range, the functional value might explain hypothyroid symptoms you may be experiencing.
If you are experiencing symptoms that so far have not been medically explained, or you just don’t seem to feel well, it might be time to look at things a different way. Talk to us about a functional blood panel analysis.