There are so many things we should know, need to know, about our bodies so that they are running efficiently and we are feeling optimal. Unfortunately, today’s doctors are rushed and under many insurance constraints.  They therefore often can’t or they won’t run full panels to tell us what is really going on inside. We don’t have the ability to see what is going on, how our bodies are working, until it is too late. The standard care of practice’s goal should be prevention, but we often only learn about our health concerns after something major like diabetes, heart attacks, or strokes occur. We need to prevent these diseases from happening, not get treated because they already happened.

As an example of what I am talking about, during my annual physical two years ago, I mentioned to my doctor that I was concerned about all these symptoms I was experiencing. I was fatigued, had a lot of hair loss, could not lose weight despite eating sugar free and processed free, would get dizzy upon standing, had low blood pressure, was always cold, and had ongoing, undiagnosed, GI issues. All of these symptoms should have been a red flag that something was going on. Instead, she ran the standard TSH thyroid test, and a standard iron test. My TSH was way above optimal but she said it was fine, my iron was on the low end but again no concerns, and made no suggestions for my symptoms. I begged her to run a more in depth thyroid panel, she agreed to run the Free T4 one time only, and nothing more. My Free T4 was below optimal range but within the Western standards. I finally took it upon myself to dig deeper, and after several additional doctor visits, I finally had a lab run the full thyroid panel, a more in depth iron panel, and a celiac panel (something she would not even consider). Well, I quickly learned from my results that I am in early stages of Hashimoto’s, I have Celiac Disease, and my ferritin levels are way too low, even for Western standards. These are all things she should have been looking out for had she listened better instead of being rushed, and tested better.  Knowing this information helped me change my nutrition plan, I had to remove wheat, barley, and rye. I also kept sugar out and removed dairy. I took the appropriate supplements and made a huge impact on my body and health. If I had not, I would have continued down a destructive path that could have led to ongoing pain, weakness, inflammation, possible heart disease, and/or cancer.

You need to be an advocate for your own body. If something feels wrong, then follow up on it. Ask your doctor what tests can be run to rule in or rule things out. If your doctor can’t or won’t do any additional testing or provide you the answers you need, then you can get your own lab tests done. Ordering the right lab tests can help you prevent, slow down, or reverse certain diseases like Anemia, Autoimmune Diseases, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Hormonal Imbalances that can lead to PCOS, Endometriosis, Female Cancers,  High Homocysteine levels that can lead to Risk of Stroke, Insulin Resistance that can lead to the aforementioned  diseases as well as ongoing Inflammation in the body which impacts your Immune System, and possibly even Cancer.  Functional Medical doctors are a great resource as they look at the whole body and search out the root causes of symptoms and can recommend the right labs to order and help you interpret them. Health coaches can help point you in the right direction to discovering what is at the root of your symptoms by listening, asking the right questions, and leading you to the right tests to ask for and then helping you with the right nutrition and exercise to reverse the symptoms. Don’t just take no for an answer. You have options. Only you know your body and if something feels off, take the initiative to do something about it before it is too late.

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