Sep 2022 Key Areas of Your Blood Test Results to Focus On
You do not have to be a doctor to read your blood test results. Often we leave the fate of our health indicators in the hands of medical professionals, taking their word verbatim without any understanding of what our blood tests are really saying. In this blog Nutritional Therapist Katia Frank (Nutrition Applied) a graduate of the Institute of Optimum Nutrition briefly discusses the key health markers that we need to know to prevent risk of chronic disease, how to read them and where to get them tested.
Essential blood tests you should review annually
By becoming familiar with these simple blood tests, you’ll be able to assess your risk of chronic conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes which all start years or decades prior to symptoms manifesting. You’ll then be better placed to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to alter the progress of a particular health condition.
Chronically elevated blood pressure damages arteries which can become blocked and prevent blood flow to the heart muscle, resulting in a heart attack. Low blood pressure without symptoms is not usually a concern.
Optimum range: 90/60mmHg -120/80mmHg
These 4 markers can help to determine if there is increased risk of heart disease. If the levels have steadily increased over time but remain within the normal range so as to not necessitate medication, it may still be advisable to adopt a cholesterol lowering diet and use supplements that have been clinically shown to reduce blood lipids so as to maintain these markers within an optimal range.
- Triglycerides | Normal: < 1.5mmol/L
- Total Cholesterol | Normal: < 5.5mmol/L
- LDL Cholesterol | Normal: < 3mmol/L
- HDL Cholesterol | Normal: > 2mmol/L
Weight management & Diabetes risk
These markers tell you how your body processes the foods that you eat, in particular carbohydrates. Consistently elevated blood sugar levels create oxidation, or damage, to proteins, DNA and tissues in your body over time, and high levels are a sign that your body is not processing glucose properly, which can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Fasting blood glucose | Normal: < 6.5mmol/L
- HbA1c | Normal: < 48mmol/mol (6.5%)
Ferritin is the best indicator of iron deficiency. If you are iron deficient you can experience fatigue, headaches, dry skin and nails and increased heartbeat.
- Male: 30-400ug/L
- Female: 13-150ug/L
- Optimal Range: > 40ug/L
Optimising Immune, bone & mental health
Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the body so is essential for bone health. It strengthens the immune system and decreases the risk of depression.
- Normal: 30-100 nmol/l
- Optimal Range:70-150 nmol/l
C-reactive protein (CRP)
A high level of CRP indicates inflammation and can be associated with bacterial infections, as well as increased risk of numerous conditions including cardiovascular disease. Slightly elevated levels may be from oxidative stress, environmental toxicity, allergies or food sensitivities.
- Normal: <3mg/L
Monitoring Your Own Bloods
We recommend you do a blood test every 6 -12 months and take a record of how they are affected by diet and lifestyle each year. Hopefully by seeing the results you can take control of your own health and make significant improvements. You can request these blood tests from your GP or via the following companies:
Betteryou (vitamin D) https://betteryou.com/products/vitamin-d-test-kit
Whether you are dealing with a chronic disease or just want to be the healthiest version of you, these blood tests will provide you with the essential information to determine the best course of action. It is advisable to have an experienced practitioner work with you to help you interpret the results and guide you in making the necessary changes to optimise your health.