Many chronic diseases can be silent and we may not have any particular symptoms which is why it’s important to do some testing periodically to check the status of our health.
Blood tests should ideally be requested by your doctor or health professional and you can request that they test specifics if they don’t routinely ask for them.
The below tests should be checked at least occasionally to get a baseline idea of whether some attention needs to be given to them:
- Iron Studies (this includes iron and ferritin so shows iron stores as well as circulating iron). This is often a cause for fatigue, hair loss and weakness and can be so easily rectified. It’s not a good idea to just take iron supplements in case. It is better to monitor levels.
- Full Blood Count. This is an evaluation of overall health and can show infections, anemia, and more serious conditions such as leukemia.
- Thyroid Function. Thyroid function impacts metabolism, weight management and energy production. This is one of the tests that can appear normal, yet you can experience sub-clinical symptoms.
- Vitamin D status. Vitamin D is vital for bone density, hormonal balance, and immune function. Living in a sunny climate doesn’t guarantee optimal vitamin D levels.
- Vitamin B12 status. B12 is necessary for nervous system support and for the production of red blood cells. Low vitamin B12 can be a cause for anemia.
- Cholesterol – a full lipogram ideally. Not all cholesterol is bad, but if you don’t get a breakdown of all three components you will not be able to tell where the problem really lies. Raised triglycerides are usually a result of excess sugar in the diet so can be linked to diabetes. Low good cholesterol (HDL) can influence the balance of good and bad (LDL) cholesterol and can contribute to inflammation but can easily be rectified.
- Glucose levels. HBA1C is a blood test that shows the risk for diabetes and prediabetes and it looks at the average level of blood sugar over a 2 to 3-month period.
- Hormonal levels for men and women. Testosterone and Estrogen are hormones that both men and women should have. Too much or too little of either of these can contribute to a depressed mood, lack of motivation, weight gain and various other symptoms.
You can have blood tests done and they might all come back normal which doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing is wrong.
If you have persistent symptoms keep investigating until you find the cause.
Other tests that are not as conventional but can be very helpful in identifying problem areas may be necessary, especially if you’re not if you’re not getting answers with conventional tests and these include:
- Bio Energetic Stress Testing
- Genetic testing (nutrigenomics)
- Stool analysis
- Food intolerance testing
You can see more information about some of these tests on my website.
Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 15 April 2021 to learn more. Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am