If your blood tests come back in the normal range, but you still feel like something’s not quite right in your system, chances are good you are right and might want to investigate further.

Why?

Because you are the very best judge of how you feel, what is normal for you, and, intuitively, if something is off.

Standard blood testing is designed to pick up on certain pathological processes: anemia, some infections, some deficiencies, and malfunctions. If you are not out of the “normal” range for what ever is being tested for, your blood work will be considered “normal”.

Which is good right?

Well, yes, but it doesn’t mean that there is nothing going on.

First of all, lab values are not absolutes. They are established individually by each testing lab using results from the thousands of tests that are run in the lab. The “normal” results are the bell curve in which about 95{751d692a84065657c9e1483adb0bdb75cf5fd60c4795ad9a7c4123aa30c8dcb5} of the tested population falls into (ask yourself-what population generally gets blood tests?). So, it is entirely possible that while you fit into the 95{751d692a84065657c9e1483adb0bdb75cf5fd60c4795ad9a7c4123aa30c8dcb5} area of normal, your results are not normal for you.

And “normal” does not necessarily mean ideal. Ask for a copy of your blood work and see where your values fall in the range. Are they smack in the middle or closer to one end or the other?

It may also mean whatever is causing how you are feeling is not one of the things being tested for.

How you feel is the result of the many processes of your biochemistry, physiology, hormones, stress levels, etc. as well as how these things are interacting in your body. Standard blood testing does not measure for all these variables.

A very common example of this is thyroid testing. When a person has the symptoms of being hypothyroid-fatigue, hair loss, cold hands and feet, weight gain, dry skin, depression, brain fog, the baseline test for thyroid function is TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).

If the tests result in diagnosing an underfunctioning thyroid, the person is put on thyroid medication. There is generally no investigation to figure out why this is happening.

If the results come back in the normal range, the doctor may sometimes order further testing, but often the patient is told “your bloodwork is normal, maybe yo’re depressed” and is offered an anti-depressant.

Problems with Normal

First of all, there is significant disagreement on the proper range for TSH.

Secondly, there can be other factors that can inhibit thyroid function, but the proper tests need to run to find them. Some of these are autoimmune issues (nearly 80{751d692a84065657c9e1483adb0bdb75cf5fd60c4795ad9a7c4123aa30c8dcb5} of hypothyroidism is from autoimmune processes in which case the immune system also needs to be considered), iodine deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, gut issues, a response to stress and high cortisol levels.

Third, there are other processes in the body that have similar symptoms. If the most serious diseases have been ruled out, it is still worth investigating further. After all, this is the quality of your life we’re talking about here.

In functional medicine, we look at things a little differently. Health is not just the absence of disease. Health is about being vibrant and feeling great.

We act like detectives investigating symptoms in search of the root cause of problems. We seek out the root causes so we can attempt to correct them before a person loses more of their health. We use tests that look for areas that are not functioning optimally, for stealth infections, or other imbalances.

Armed with the results of our investigations, we then work the patient to correct the dysfunctions through diet, lifestyle, and supplements, thereby reducing the need for medications and promoting health.

We are experts at functional lab testing and what do with the results of these tests. Contact Functional Skin Solutions today to see how we can help you.

Don’t settle for “normal”, strive for vibrant health and your best “you.”

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