Hello and welcome to Restorative Health Solutions. As functional medicine doctors we strive to get down to the root cause of our patients’ health problems. With so much information available and a boon of various tests that can be helpful, the big question we ask ourselves as doctors is: Which fundamental blood tests should be run on which patients? I will attach an article for you to read that goes more in depth about blood testing.
Where do I start?
Fundamental blood tests are very specialized and thus we pull them out when we feel there is clinical necessity. We are always customizing which tests we run based on each patient’s needs. However, we strongly believe some tests should really be the front-line, fundamentals that ALMOST EVERYONE needs. This is our list of fundamental blood tests that any patient dealing with a chronic health problem (anything lasting over 3 months) should get.
How many times in sports do we go over fundamentals blood tests? How often do we speak about how the fundamental blood tests must be mastered before going on to other things? Too many patients are skipping some of these basic tests and it literally can cost them thousands of dollars and months of time wasted on more flashy or hyped therapies that won’t work because an essential piece is missing. For a test to be in our list of fundamentals it must meet certain criteria.
- Is it reasonably priced?
- Does it find simple things that are silly to miss?
- Does it find big things that affect major body processes?
- Does it help us decide which rabbit hole to go down and which rabbit hole to avoid?
The key to these tests are they are both a time and money efficient way to begin to look at the whole of your physiology. This blood panel looks at digestion, infection, anemia, inflammation, detoxification, thyroid, adrenal, hormone, liver, kidneys, and more. Without further ado, here is our fundamental blood testing list.
Phase 1: The fundamental blood tests
- Metabolic Fundamental:
- CBC w/ diff
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (14)
- Lipid Panel
- Uric Acid
- Testosterone Total
- Thyroid Panel:
- T4 free
- T3 free
- T3 uptake
- T4 total
- T3 total
- Reverse T3
- Thyroid peroxidase antibodies/thyroglobulin antibodies
- Inflammatory Fundamental:
- Vitamin D
For the detail people in the crowd here is a link to the list with a brief description on why we need each test.
What if you need other tests?
There are a million tests in the world, and because we customize the tests individually most patients get this fundamental test plus something. Some patients get an expanded cholesterol panel because we are worried about heart disease. Others get expanded inflammatory panels to look at immunoglobulins, and more autoimmune markers, while others get additional thyroid markers, or insulin to look deeper at diabetes. Testing should always cover the fundamentals and be customized to address your particular health challenges.
In the first year of launching my own practice after graduation I had a memorable experience. I had a patient who had previously spent nearly $10,000 on hormone therapy with an anti-aging doctor come to me when he wasn’t getting better for a second opinion. We found him to be severely iron deficient. After 2 bottles of iron (at $22 apiece) he felt like a million bucks! His previous doctor had ONLY tested hormones because he was an endocrinologist. By skipping simple steps the endocrinologist had to ASSUME the fundamentals were in place, and that assumption can lead to expensive and time consuming disasters.
Articles from Restorative Health Solutions about other tests:
If you struggle with ANY chronic health condition please consider making sure you have the fundamentals covered before moving onto “flashy” and “sexy” new cures. It gives you a solid launching point to move from, and can save you time and money by identifying major physiological problems right off the get go.