What Lab Tests Will I Do?


When you come in to see me struggling for answers, the last thing I want to do is waste your time doing exactly what your last doctor did. That is why I run specialized lab tests.

The Typical

Most people have insurance that will cover a certain amount of lab work yearly. It is typically a Complete Blood Count (CBC) and Differential. These tests are an overview of how your body is functioning. It looks at kidney function, liver function, iron deficiency anemia and possibility of infection. Sometimes it will have a cholesterol panel as well. Looks pretty extensive doesn’t it? But it’s not enough if you haven’t found answers to your problems.

These tests are run in order to rule out any serious illness. That’s a good thing. No one wants a serious illness and checking for it yearly is the least we can do. The problem is that my patients come to me because these blood tests are not giving their doctor enough information as to why they are feeling so awful. That is where I come in.

Let’s take iron deficiency anemia as an example. If a female patient tells me they are tired, foggy headed and cold, I will ask them if they have worked with any other doctor on this. Typically they say yes, but nothing was wrong and they didn’t get any answers and worse, no solutions or resolution. The blood work that insurance covers will certainly identify an iron deficiency anemia when it gets bad enough, but if it isn’t to that extent, it won’t be found.

The Specialized

What it doesn’t test for is ferritin. Ferritin is stored iron. If you don’t have enough stored iron you are going to be tired, foggy headed and often cold. This is because ferritin is the iron used for every tissue that needs it, like your thyroid gland. If you are a menstruating woman, you are often iron deficient especially around your period. Ferritin is not part of the lab tests that insurance covers so it is not typically run and is most commonly found to be lacking. The answer for them is iron. Iron isn’t something you want to take if you don’t need it. It’s a delicate balance. That is why it is important that we test.

Here is the list of labs that I run for my patients. It includes a detailed blood sugar panel, a detailed thyroid panel and inflammatory markers. In other posts I will go into detail. Although it will most certainly vary from patient to patient depending on symptoms, the following is my typical panel.

The Panel:

  • CBC
  • Differential
  • Lipid Panel and possibly NMR
  • Insulin
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Ferritin
  • Homocysteine
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Folate
  • Fibrinogen
  • TSH
  • T4
  • Free T4
  • T3
  • Free T3
  • Reverse T3
  • TPO
  • TgAb
  • hs CRP
  • Urine Analysis

The following if warranted:

  • Functional Stool Test or SIBO
  • Cortisol Stress Test
  • Hormonal Function Test
  • Metabolic Overview with Toxin and Heavy Metal Panel

If you are looking for answers, I will help you find them.

Let’s do this!

Dr Stacey

 

 


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