I’m a Clinical Nutritionist – a different field from Dieticians or Nutritionists.
Our area of expertise is the chemistry of the body – how systems talk to each other, how food, toxins, hormones, stress and nutrients affect us. We use “Optimal” lab ranges, not “Average or Normal” lab ranges.
Most lab ranges are just averages of other people’s blood. Many of those people are unhealthy and skew the ranges high and low, away from the optimal range.
Do you want to be in the optimal zone, or the, “You’re alive, so you’re just fine” zone?
I know where I want to be!
How to Optimize the Lab Range for Most Tests
Some lab ranges are artificially manipulated. Cholesterol is the prime example.
“High” cholesterol sells profitable drugs and gives most doctors a quick end to your visit: “Exercise, lose weight and take these drugs. Your Cholesterol is too high.”
Cholesterol ranges used to be 150 to 280. Now we’re supposed to all be under 150, even children. We use Cholesterol for many important hormone and cellular functions. We need it!
For MOST items on your test, aim for the middle. That’s not always perfect but it’s helpful.
TIP: You do NOT want to be at the bottom or top of the national average range. Those are for unwell people. A Bell Curve is the best example of this. You want to be in that nice middle curve, not out on the edges.
Some of My Favorite Lab Numbers
- Triglycerides: I prefer these stored sugar molecules between 70 and 100. Not too high, not too low. If they are over 135, you’re eating too much starch, sugar, fruit, juice, pasta, alcohol, etc. If your triglycerides are under 50 you’re cutting your starches too low. Add some vegetables and tubers – potato, yams, cassava. Avoid grains, as I teach all Clients.
- Sodium: A good marker for Adrenal function. I like it between 139 and 142. If it drops under 137 on a morning test, consider adrenal fatigue. Repeat the blood test (without caffeine!) and if still low, run a Salivary Cortisol test as I do on almost all Clients. Blood testing for Cortisol is useless except in a medical situation (shock, etc.). High sodium can mean high stress and overactive Adrenals. That’s OK for a while. Just don’t stay that way and burn out. Sodium is a marker for high blood pressure when high, and low blood pressure when low. Consider Epstein Barr if Sodium and Cortisol are quite low.
- Total Protein: This is a marker for your immune system. It is made of Albumin and Globulin shown just below or above Total Protein. I want Protein 6.9 to 7.3. If it drops under 6.6 I look for low Gamma Globulin, a condition I have. This is a key player fighting bacteria and viruses. If it drops too low, your immune system could have a problem. A Serum Protein Electrophoresis can detail Gamma Globulin separate from the other Globulins. Gamma Globulin is used for many auto-immune issues and Neuropathies as well. I take it weekly forever now.
- White Blood Cells (WBC): This immune marker should sit between 5 and 8. It’s high during acute infection. When low, you have a chronic infection taking a toll on your health. If it drops under 4.2, find a Functional Health practitioner such as myself and get busy. There is no medication for this. It’s a project and a process to uncover the CAUSE of this. Study my blog and the supplements in the Immune Category too.
- Vitamin D: Keep D between 50 – 85. Get D with K2. Don’t take it without K2. Here’s why. I like this one.
- TSH: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is best between 1 and 2. It may be lower if you are on a lot of thyroid meds. I ask Clients to run FREE T4 and FREE T3 as well even though Doctors often resist. (You can run your own lab work in most states affordably through Life Extension). Total T4 and Total T3 are not very helpful…. Do NOT take Thyroid meds before your blood test.
- Ferritin: If you have had no menstrual cycles for 10 years or more, check your Iron storage correctly (annually) with Ferritin. If it exceeds 175, give blood once a year, perhaps forever. If it exceeds 300 see your doctor for scheduled blood donations to get that excess iron out ASAP. It builds up in the Liver and damages it. Also harms the Joints, Heart and much more. This is serious and simple to fix. It can also be genetic at any age or sex but I have rarely encountered that in 36 years in practice.
I can get a lot of data from “normal” blood tests that doctors haven’t paid much attention to. As Clinical Nutritionists, we look for patterns. If this + this + this are low, consider this. If that is high, this is low and this is normal, consider this other problem.
A pattern I see in many tired menopausal Clients is low WBC’s, low Sodium, and high Triglycerides. When we run Salivary Hormones, we find low Progesterone and low Adrenal Cortisol. Perhaps Insulin Resistance and pre-Diabetes. So, infection, poor Adrenal and female hormone function and too much starch in the diet.
This is FIXABLE, but not with a tiny diet change and a few supplements.
It takes work to restore an ailing and depleted body. But the benefits for your future decades are worth the work now.