TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR OWN HEALTH
Most would think that modern medicine in one of the most well-developed countries would have the most advanced complete health care system. Optimal health would be considered a priority and chronic diseases would be lower in comparison. But current reports show that this is clearly not the case. Chronic diseases and cancer are steadily on the rise.
Outside of its advances in acute medicine and surgical interventions modern medicine is often slow to detect early signs of illness. It ignores the underlying causes of chronic disease until the symptoms become serious or even debilitating. Unfortunately, there is a huge gap in the delivery of health care between the promotion of health and the treatment of chronic illness. Most standard health care providers typically lack the skills to detect early signs that could suggest a health problem. It is often only when the symptoms are advanced to the point where serious medical intervention and medications are needed that it is taken seriously. They rely mostly on diagnostic tests like X ray, MRI, and CT scans or more blood tests that are done only after the condition has progressed.
However, what common research has shown is that if the right tests are done at the right time sometimes even before there are noticeable symptoms many chronic diseases can be prevented or slowed down, including cancer.
When it comes to finding the cause of a symptom or problem, nutrition medicine experts often say, “test don’t guess”. Knowing which tests are best puts the focus on what the symptoms are now before they get worse. Being proactive, more like an expert medical detective helps to find the more subtle clues that may help to detect a potential problem sooner.
Most common doctors order the same routine basic tests for years until something abnormal shows up. Once there is an abnormal result it is likely that there may already be up to 60 % organ damage. Many diseases could be prevented and organs preserved if more in-depth testing is done earlier to look at how well the essential organs are functioning before they show any sign of dysfunction.
Typically, if you want to have any blood test done even to recheck your cholesterol you have to track down your primary care doctor and present a convincing case of why you might want to have a particular test. If it’s not included in their routine orders or if it’s before their suggested schedule, they will commonly refuse to order it. They often stick to their standard medical protocols which they are limited to order.
However, if you want to be more in charge and keep track of your own health, you can order your own laboratory tests.
You just have to know more about which tests apply to your unique health condition. Some tests you might want to check are ones to follow up on previous test like cholesterol, Vitamin D3, or glucose levels. There are also tests that can measure your nutrition levels or tests that are early detectors that may predict a potential problem before it becomes a medical crisis. These more preventative tests can be one of the best ways you can manage your own health maintenance effectively. It is one of the most proactive steps to take in a not so proactive health care system to help take charge and stay healthy.
This link connects to Direct Labs, a direct access cash-based lab testing platform that uses approved laboratory methods. It is one of the most commonly used labs by many doctors.
The first step is to choose the tests you want to order. There is a list of individual tests and some preset standard panels. Besides the common standard test panels there are also tests that are combined together to a form a unique panel to test for a common problem or a particular health focus. After you pay for your tests, schedule a blood draw appointment at one of their many laboratory stations. You will be notified when your lab tests are ready, usually within 48 hours. If you’re a little nervous about having your blood drawn, the good news is with advances in technology, a well-trained phlebotomist can insert the needle so that it is virtually painless.
At first you may want to establish a base line of where your health is now. Then it’s best to keep a schedule of when to repeat the same tests especially the ones that are abnormal and track your progress.
The idea is not to second guess your doctor but to have additional information that can be helpful for your doctor to better understand your health. Having more information may help to prevent or suggest more aggressive medical interventions. Most doctors are limited to a standard list of protocols which prevents them from ordering more in-depth testing.
For example, I frequently see women who are having problems with fatigue. Though their doctors often find nothing wrong with them they often have some of the most common symptoms of low or under functioning thyroid activity. Symptoms like persistent fatigue, brain fog, low moods, weight gain, or hair changes are common concerns but still their doctors won’t order a complete thyroid panel. What they will sometimes measure is an indirect marker that is less sensitive and doesn’t measure thyroid activity. It’s common to see women with these symptoms have a reduced quality of life as a result of lower functional thyroid activity. Over time this can lead to other chronic conditions like chronic muscle aches, high cholesterol, and heart failure. If their doctor was more proactive in finding the underlying cause of fatigue in these cases, they could prevent more chronic diseases, decrease the load on the health care system, and prevent a lot of suffering for their patients.
After you order your laboratory tests you will receive your results by email. If you would like to share them with your health care professional, you can send them the HIPPA form provided by Direct Labs.
It is always best to review your laboratory results with a health care professional.
Reviewing them together will help you understand more about your health and guide you toward the next step in your unique health care plan. If you need help with your laboratory tests you can contact me here. Contact Dr Cynthia Quattro
TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR OWN HEALTH !