Are You in the Driver's Seat?
Do you know what your blood pressure is? Do you know if you are borderline anemic? Did your last blood test include A1C? How many different physicians do you see in a year?
The reason I'm asking these questions is because most people are letting their doctor do all the driving while they sit back and just watch the scenery go by. You can't be truly healthy without being invested in the status of your health. And the best way to do this is by doing your own evaluation of your health beginning with your test results.
When you get any testing done such as blood testing, your doctor does not have the time to really evaluate all your scores and he certainly doesn't have time to review them in relation to your past tests. Instead he relies on the lab and the testing facilities to highlight any numbers or results that are "out of range". Well before something goes out of range, it changes... a few points, more points, just a few more points and poof! You're marked as "Low".
So the time it takes to creep out of range is time that can be spent making changes to drag it back towards normal. And what is normal? It's your normal. Let's look at iron as an example. Most labs use a "normal" range of anywhere from 35 to 175 mg/ml. How did the lab establish this normal range? They created an "average" of all the blood test results received.
But average is not optimal! For instance, blood tests received from a 75 year old smoker that has has a pacemaker and is diabetic will not be the same as the 25 year old marathoner. In fact, the healthiest individuals actually created a different "normal" range for iron of 75 to 150. So what are you? Normal or optimal?
It's time for you to move over into the driver's seat. Create a binder into which you keep copies of all the tests you have done along with any letters from your physician(s), recommendations, diagnoses or referrals. Then follow these steps to create your own "normal" which will help you to move towards your optimal:
- Begin by getting copies every past blood test, doctor's report or any other communication you can find, both in your files and through your doctor's office.
- Create sections in your binder to make information easy to find including a chronological list of illnesses, list of vaccinations with dates, list of medications with date of original prescription, regular tests such as blood tests, colonoscopies, mammograms or thermograms.
- Create a list of all physicians you have seen with the reason and dates of visits.
- Create your "normal" scale that encompasses the information from all your tests. You can arrange this by name of test or body system. For instance creatinine is a kidney test, lymphocytes are an immune test.
- Now review all your tests and develop your own "normal" range which is the lowest a particular score ever was and the highest a particular score ever was. Be sure to put a date for each "low" and "high" so you can see when you had that level. Create a cover page at the front of your binder which has your entire "normal" scale.
- Checklist - now it's important to create a spreadsheet of every test score you receive and places to enter each date when this score was done. This way you can see instantly when your last complete thyroid panel was done. When was the last time your A1C was checked?
Now each time you get testing done, you sit down and compare it to your "normal" scale, and what is considered optimal (which is easily obtained from my blood test articles in The Herbal Advisor). Where do your new scores fall? In this way you can identify when a particular score moves our of your "normal" range. You can also pinpoint what healthy changes you have made do for your ranges. Are you now in the optimal range after 3 months of eating more live foods? Are you moving closer to the optimal range after one year of quitting smoking?
This way, when you notice something shifting, particularly multiple scores in one body system, then you know what to ask your doctor. You can point out the variation and ask for their advice just as if he had seen that score highlighted by the lab as being out of range. You're just working with your own range instead of the entire population.
You'll be surprised what you'll notice and it will give you loads of time to research ideas for regaining optimal health before your doctor even notices. As my grandfather used to say, "If you're not the one driving, then you won't even know what street you're on."