The average adult has about 100,000 miles of blood vessels and over a gallon of blood in their body. Known as the circulatory system, the blood is pumped through those miles of vessels by the heart. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients needed for the tissues and organs as well as removing waste products.
Because blood is so integral to every part of our body, it has a story to tell. The blood can give us insight into how well other body systems are functioning. It can tell us if the body is fighting something internally. It can tell us if we are pregnant or if we have allergies.
Yet we never really give our blood much thought until something goes wrong.
Until recently, the only way you could find out what was going on in your own veins was through a medical doctor. Someone else decided what got checked and when. Plus, you had to pay for an office visit just so the doctor could tell you to go have bloodwork done and another visit for him to tell you the results.
In 2015 Arizona passed a law that allows you to order laboratory testing from a licensed clinical laboratory without a doctor’s note. Referred to as direct access testing, you can order your own laboratory tests and have the results sent directly to you. A big win for those of us that want to take a leadership role in our own health.
But with that leadership also comes responsibility. Since you are the only one receiving a copy of your test results it is up to you to decide when to involve your health care professional. Patient ordered testing makes working with natural health practitioners such as naturopaths and herbalists easier and more cost effective.
Locally, Sonora Quest Laboratories has created a program called My Lab ReQuest that offers a variety of tests with prices ranging from $5 to $210. Sonora Quest has over 70 patient service centers in Arizona where you can get testing. They also partner with Healthwaves to offer screenings in some local Fry’s and AJ’s stores around the valley. (The cost of individual tests is often higher in the stores)
Here are some of the blood tests that you can order:
~Thyroid Screen and Monitoring
~Complete Blood Count (CBC)
~Diabetes Screen and Management
~Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
Hopefully looking at that list makes you realize the importance of working with a natural health practitioner! Even though you can order any test you want it doesn’t mean you should order them all.
So, what should you look for in your results? Every test report will include your personal result and what is considered the normal range for that test. Any test result not within the normal range will be indicated on the report as an abnormal high or low. Any unexpected or abnormal results should be discussed with your health practitioner.
In my wellness practice, there is more information in test results than just what is out of the “normal” range. We also look for trends, such as a result that keeps going steadily up or down. Or a vitamin count that may be normal for western standards but the client feels better when the count is higher or lower.
Are you ready to take a leadership role in your own health? You can start by listening to the story your blood has to tell.
Learn more about the most common ordered lab tests in next week’s blog….