Knowing what your supplementation needs are can be very confusing. The first questions I get asked when it comes to supplements is;
"What vitamins do I need"
I answer with different levels of assessments and testing. I start with a comprehensive evaluation of your health history. It makes sense to look at where you have been to know where we need to go to attain your health goals. Everyone's health journey is different. Why? Because we all have "bio individualism," meaning we are the same, yet we are different. Where you are on your "path" will determine where to start.
Most of the time, we start out with a Food Diary and a Wellness Assessment. The food diary is a window into what you are eating. It is not a judgment of how bad or good your food choices are. It is simply a snapshot of what your nutrition intake is at the time of the assessment. The Wellness Assessment consists of 2 parts. The first section identifies issues in your overall nutritional needs. The second part addresses stress and low energy. With this information together as a team, we start the process needed to create a personalized plan consisting of foods and supplements.
When it comes to knowing what you need as far as supplementation goes, lab tests are a great resource of information. The type of tests and the interpretation of these tests on a nutritional level are critical when optimizing your health. If you have had any of these lab tests done (see belew) in the recent past, together we can use this infromation to improve your nutrition.
CBC With Differentials
A CBC shows the general health of red and white blood cells as well as the platelets in your blood. The red cells provide oxygen to tissues and organs. Your white blood cells and help the immune system fight off infections, and your platelets assist in the formation of blood clots and the regeneration of new tissues.
The Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP) is a panel of test the gives a snapshot of your bodies chemistry and how it is utilizing that for energy. The CMP test the chemistry of the liver and kidneys as well as looking at electrolytes, proteins, glucose, and calcium.
Complete Thyroid Panel
Nutrition plays a significant role in thyroid hormone production. Nutrients selenium and zinc, for example, are needed for the conversion of T4 to T3. Magnesium, Vitamin B12, and zink need to be at optimal levels, or your body cannot produce TSH, and you will have low thyroid function.
A deeper dive into learning how the body is metabolizing nutrients, a Complete Thyroid Panel should be done. A typical thyroid panel test only includes; TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), Free T4 (thyroxine), and free T3 or total T3 (triiodothyronine). While this is good, other thyroid markers that need to be looked at when it comes to the health of the thyroid. Why is the health of the thyroid so important? It is important because thyroid hormones influence metabolism, growth and development, body temperature, heart rate, sexual function and libido, and menstrual cycle, to name a few.
A complete Thyroid test panel should include the following;
Reverse T3 (rT3)
Free T4 Index
TPO and Anti-TG Antibodies (Hashimoto's Screen, thyroid antibodies)
Who should get a complete thyroid test? If you only had a TSH panel and were told "everything is ok" but you are still experiencing any of these symptoms below;
Weight gain or loss
Morning headaches that wear off as the day progresses
Thinning of the outer third of your eyebrows
Thinning of hair or hair loss
The standard lipid panel assesses and screens for abnormalities fats and cholesterol, which are vital for healthy energetic cells.
Hemoglobin A1c (Hba1c)
This test measures how much glucose binds to the hemoglobin protein in your blood. Since red blood cells live for about three months, this test shows the average level of glucose in your blood.
C-Reactive Protein CRP(hsCRP)
This is an inflammatory marker produced in the liver that indicates general inflammation in your body. The inflammation can be caused by anything from infections, cancer or inflation in the arteries of the heart.
Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy
Vitamin D goes through several processes in your body before your body can use it. The first transformation occurs in the liver. Here, your body converts vitamin D to a chemical known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or calcidiol. The amount of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in your blood indicates how much vitamin D your body has. The test can determine if your vitamin D levels are too high or too low.
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