Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

August 23rd, 2009, by

Get your blood tested

If you go to your doctor for an annual check-up it is more than likely that a blood sample will be drawn so that your Total Cholesterol, HDL, and Triglyceride levels can be checked. From these results, your LDL level will be calculated. This won't tell you much about your health though. As we already discussed, your lipid panel can give some insight, but additional testing will be needed to truly determine if you are at risk.

Here are a handful of tests that will tell you if your current lifestyle is healthy:

  • A1C - average blood sugar over a 2-3 month period, much more telling of insulin issues than a single glucose reading
  • C-Reactive Protein - marker of inflammation and inflammation is a definite sign of trouble ahead
  • Cortisol - measures stress / adrenal fatigue
  • Lipoproteins - directly measure LDL and include particle size A & B testing
  • Testosterone (free or bio-available) - low testosterone may be an indicator of increased coronary risk
  • Thyroid Panel (TSH, free T3, free T4) - hypothyroidism is common and may increase TC, LDL, and triglycerides
  • Vitamin D - normal blood levels protect against heart disease and cancer
  • Vitamin Deficiency - ensure that your diet is meeting all of your  needs

Be prepared for a fight if you request additional blood tests. Most doctors will question why you want these additional tests performed on your blood and may even refuse to do so. They like to argue that they only test when symptoms are present. I would recommend finding a new doctor as your health counts on it. It is an absolute shame that the majority of general practitioners don't take preventative medicine seriously. Having the above tests done on a regular basis (annually?) could give you a heads up long before anything becomes a life threatening problem, potentially saving the insurance companies millions of dollars down the road.

4 Responses to "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3"

  • Bill,

    As you know I have gotten my blood work done. The Doctor was very skeptical of the nutrition portion of my lifestyle. I waded through his bullshit and gave him a lot of head-nods simply to get the fuck on with my appointment and not have to listen to him preach because I am not as well armed with information as you are. He was astonished (and I don't use that word lightly) by my results. However, he did mention the "long term".

    What period of time defines long-term? I even asked him "...if I come back in 6mos and get my blood work done again, will that suffice his skepticism?" He was hesitant to answer with a "yes" but I believe that was more to do with the fact that he was taken aback by my obvious conviction to my high fat diet.

    Dave recently posed the question about cholesterol and what-not because his peers were throwing around some great buzz words as if they too were doctors. Now it's my turn to unveil the ignorance and sheep-ness of MY peers: What IS the "long-term" and how does a high fat diet play out at the 6mos, 1 year, 5 year or 50 year check points?

    I don't know if I have made myself clear here so I will also add that this long-term argument came in the context of "sure, you're leaning out NOW, but what about the long-term? When you get old you're gonna die of a heart-attack." The first thing that pooped into my head was that the scientific side of this way of eating is fairly new at least for us Westernized/Industrialized fatties in the US.

    Just arm me with some nukes to fry the brains of my friends and their apparent knowledge of high-fat diets.

  • Hey Bill have you seen the new documentary Food Inc., just interested to see if you had (i'm big into docs) as a lot of the points made in the film seem stolen from your blog here. Oh and I've been meaning to ask why you guys seem to like bacon over sausage, is that just preference as they are both fatty forms of pork, or are you anti-sausage for processing reasons? I only ask because it's one of my favorite meats and can literally compliment every meal.

  • Mark -

    I have not seen Food Inc. yet. I'll ask Garth if I can "borrow it" ;)

    I don't know what to tell you about the bacon obsession around here. I also don't know of any benefit in choosing one over the other. If I were going to eat either one though I would look for an uncured version and stick to as few ingredients as possible. Slanker's makes a ground pork breakfast sausage that is pretty damn good. US Wellness Meats also has quite a selection.