Blood Tests That Matter
The main reason to do blood tests is to look for inflammation. Typically doctors look for blood tests to see organ failure. An example would be SGOT , SGPT or Creatinine. If these tests are out of range you have an emergency on your hands. Most people who come here are not in organ failure yet, but they don’t feel well.
Most people have inflammation. Adding the suffix “itis” means “inflamed”
Joint inflammation is arthritis, Skin is dermatitis, Liver is hepatitis, Lung is or asthma (it should be called pluritis but it isn’t), Heart can be endocarditis, Veins is phlebitis, Allergies is rhinitis, Stomach is gastroenteritis. The list is long.
The most important blood tests to make you feel better are tests that look for inflammation. C-reactive protein looks for inflammation but that will only be high in extreme cases. Homocysteine is a better inflammation test but the one I talk about next is the gold standard of inflammation tests.
It is called the AA/EFA ratio.
AA is for Arachidonic Acid. It is the precursor to most inflammation pathways in your body. The opposite substance is EFA (essential fatty acid). This cools you.
You should have a ratio of AA/EFA of 4 or less. Above that is inflammation. Many people come to this office with numbers as high as 25.
Typical blood tests do not show this ratio.
Another test for inflammation is blood sugar. Insulin is the most inflammatory substance of the body. As blood sugar gets worse your body becomes resistant to insulin so you need to produce more to get the same effect. More insulin means more inflammation.
Therefore testing for blood glucose and for insulin are both inportatnt.
High blood sugar also means high inflammation. But the problem with a glucose blood sugar test is that they are not accurate over the long term. A better test is Hemoglobin A1C. This test measures the average blood glucose over a 3 month period.
So a blood test that matters, and indicates inflammation would include:
· AA/EFA ratio
· Hemoglobin A1C
Good tests (but to a lesser degree are):
· C reactive Protein
I’m not in agreement with the idea that the less your cholesterol the better. That being said in cases where cholesterol is very high you can bet that there is a component of inflammation. The reason is that cholesterol is a cooling substance. If your arteries are inflamed then your body will create cholesterol to lay down on the walls of the arteries to cool them down.
Too much cholesterol on the artery walls can clog them.
So the way to get to the root of the problem is to reduce inflammation.
That being said, there is a newer cholesterol test called “cholesterol particle test” that gives better data.
Think of your arteries as freeways. Cholesterol travels through the body in particles. Think of cars as PARTICLES and the cholesterol as the passengers in the cars.
It is the particles that cause traffic and clogged freeways. It does not matter how many passengers are in each car.
Typical cholesterol tests count passengers. A cholesterol particle test counts CARS.
It also counts the SIZE of the PARTICLES (CARS). Smaller particles test to get stuck inside the artery wall and as they get oxidized (deteriorate) they cause inflammation.
Less Cholesterol But more particles is worse than more cholesterol in fewer particles.
More cholesterol in fewer particles
Smaller particles are more damaging than larger particles because smaller particles can get into the artery walls and cause oxidation and inflammation.
The LDL-p should be less than 1000 and the small particles should be less than 500
If these numbers are high you need to find and lower your inflammation. A cholesterol lowering drug won’t do that
That is why I use the Cardio Metabolic test from Spectra Cell. It has all these tests and more.
It might as well be called the inflammation panel. It could easily be called the diabetes panel or the dementia panel because inflammation affects different people differently but the source is always is inflammation.
COST: Very affordable. As of September 2017 it is $45 with insurance and $110 without
All of these tests will tell you about inflammation:
· AA/EFA ratio (this test alone at other labs costs $150)
· Hemoglobin A1C
· Cholesterol Particles