Have you ever been to your doctor or healthcare provider and had them tell you that your blood test results are normal and there is nothing wrong with you? Clearly you don’t feel well. You may even be gravely ill, in a state of intense chronic fatigue and have multiple symptoms. But why doesn’t your blood or lab test reflect the way you feel? Surely your physician would be able to detect something, right? Well not unless he or she has an in-depth functional understanding of how to interpret the lab test.
The reality is that there are multiple ways of interpreting a blood test, and what many labs consider to be “normal” or “healthy” values are highly questionable.
Laboratory Reference Ranges
What does it mean when your healthcare provider tells you that your blood test is normal? What is he or she basing this upon?
The laboratory reference ranges that are the so called “normal” or “healthy” place to be, are actually statistical averages. Different labs can and do have different reference ranges. It is common to have a test result come back “normal” from one lab and “out of range” for another lab. In truth, if your lab values are within the set reference range, you are within the “average”, and not necessarily “normal”.
Each lab director sets the reference range for each particular test based upon a percentage of people who have taken the test. Essentially laboratories are relying upon a bell curve to determine each reference range. The standard in medicine is to establish the mean and then set 2 deviations, one above and one below the mean. These reference ranges will continue to get wider and wider as patients get sicker and sicker.
Take an example: Insulin and Type II Diabetes. One lab, National Diagnostics Inc. sets an insulin reference range between 0-24.9. That’s a pretty broad reference range. That means that a patient with a fasting insulin level of 24 is considered within limits. The incidence of Type II Diabetes greatly affects the broadness of the insulin range for this lab.It is estimated that 56 million Americans are either in a pre-diabetic state or already are diabetic.
Show me someone with a fasting insulin level of 24 and I will show you a Type 2 Diabetic. Most people in a state of insulin resistance have fasting insulin levels greater than 10.
Functional Not Pathological
Another important point to consider is that physicians are looking for definable diseases when looking at blood tests. Yet there is a huge percentage of people with no identifiable disease yet with multiple health issues.
Interpreting a blood test functionally rather than pathologically offers a greater scope for knowing where a person’s malfunction may lie. Take for example sodium and potassium. The relationship between these 2 electrolytes is intrinsic and determines the function of numerous systems in the body. One of these systems is endocrine, specifically adrenal function. If potassium is elevated in relation to sodium, there are grounds to suspect diminished cortisol production by the adrenals.
A person can still have adrenal exhaustion without having Addison’s Disease!
By interpreting a blood test functionally, rather than pathologically, and by assessing a person’s Biochemical Individuality through other methods of intake and inquiry, there becomes a greater precision for understanding where the problem may exist.