by Margaret Durst The Green House
Previously by Margaret Durst: GLA — A Super Supplement
Health Check will be at The Green House on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 from 8:00-11:00 a.m. Health Check provides low cost laboratory blood work and has many packages for any of the standard laboratory blood tests that you might interest you.
Whether you are concerned about cholesterol, liver function, thyroid levels, kidney function, etc., Health Check is a great service and making this available to you is just one of the ways we help keep your health care costs as low as possible.
Regular blood work is beneficial in that it is a good screen for diseases and it records health markers at given times so that a history is established. Blood work can also help indicate nutritional and functional status.
I like to use blood work preventively. I have heard many times “my blood work is all normal” – this is great, it means you do not have a diagnosable disease, but it doesn’t guarantee that you are in good health. I like to look at blood ranges with the word “optimal” in mind. In other words, standard ranges for blood chemistry tend to be fairly wide. When the ranges are narrowed, they can help pinpoint deficiencies and/or functional problems that can be addressed with nutrition.
Standard blood work can give information about nutritional intake, digestion, mineral balance, essential fatty acid deficiencies, blood sugar handling, hydration, hormone balance, immune status, liver function and kidney function. In most cases, health problems do not develop overnight. Using regular blood work as a preventive tool tells you what areas to target and if the things you are doing are working.
Abnormal blood chemistry usually indicates an underlying functional issue. For example, high triglyceride and cholesterol levels are typically used as markers for cardiovascular risk, but they also can indicate deficiencies of essential fatty acids, blood sugar issues, liver dysfunction and thyroid problems.
Blood sugar is a good area to focus on. Standard lab ranges are 70-99 for fasting glucose. I think a better target range is 80-90. On the high side, or over 90, there will be problems with cholesterol and triglycerides. The standard medical care is to prescribe a cholesterol lowering medication; however, it would be much more healthful in the long run to lower blood sugar with diet and exercise. These lifestyle changes would not only lower cholesterol and triglycerides, but they would also make you healthier and less likely to incur more health problems down the road.
The low side of the blood sugar range has different issues. From 70- 80, the body is having blood sugar handling issues, but the body over lowers to the point of going too low with symptoms of dizziness, headaches and getting weak when a meal is missed. This issue tends to turn into diabetes with age, if not addressed with lifestyle and nutrition changes.
From my perspective, it is better to solve the underlying issue than to just take a pill that handles the symptoms. I believe that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. And, preventing health problems is by far the cheapest option available.
Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas.