yellow pages news jobs events calendar movie times RSS News Feeds
Rocklin and Roseville Today Served Up Daily
   |   Current Temp: 74.0 F (23.3 C)

Some tests just shouldn't be graded on a curve

Has your doctor told you, "your blood test results are completely normal," but instead of feeling relief, you felt worse, knowing that something was wrong, but the doctor was unable to find any answers? 

Many naturopathic medical doctors and other functional medicine-oriented doctors question not the usefulness of conventional blood tests themselves, but the standard wide “reference ranges” – the ranges are often so large that they have little practical value.

For example, the most common laboratory test for hypothyroidism (low thyroid) is the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. The common reference range is approximately 0.4 to 4.5 or 5.5 - a huge 10-to-13 times difference between the low and high range. The TSH “optimal” range of naturopathic doctors is a much narrower, 1.3-2.0.

What difference does it make to the patient? As in the TSH example, the optimal range-oriented doctor will more likely detect and treat the low thyroid, helping the patient to alleviate symptoms such as constipation, high cholesterol, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, low libido, memory loss, etc. The doctor who diagnoses using only the standard range often will miss opportunities to help improve functioning of this critically important gland and provide relief to the struggling patient.

It is important to understand that conventional reference ranges are designed not on preventing disease or identifying patients outside of optimal human function, but on helping to diagnose disease states only. According to Dr. Dicken Weatherby, ND, an expert on blood testing, the laboratory medicine standard is to use 2 standard deviations above and below the mean, to include 95% of the population. As Americans become sicker and sicker the reference ranges are widened.

It is our experience as naturopathic doctors, Dr Weatherby says, that most people who seek care do not have a clinically identifiable disease. As a result, they are told by their doctor that they have an “unremarkable” or “normal” laboratory test. They may be normal compared to the rest of the sick population, but they are a long way from being in a state of optimal health.

For example, it is well known in the medical community that the white blood cell, “eosinophil” is elevated when there are intestinal parasites. The reference range is 0-7 to 9%. The optimal level is 0-3%. According to Dr. Weatherby, and what I have confirmed in my own practice, dozens of times, is when the following white blood cell pattern is present: 7% monocytes, 3% eosinophils and 1% basophils, intestinal parasites are probable. Yet, the standard reference range for monocytes (4-13%), eosinophils (0-7), and basophils (0-3) almost always misses parasites, except the most obvious cases.

How about you? Do you find any comfort in knowing that, compared to the rest of the population, that you are “normal,” even though you may feel unhealthy? What are your goals with your health, to merely avoid a disease, or to be optimally healthy and have vitality along the lines of let’s say, Jack LaLanne?


Dr. Dennis Godby, Doctor of Naturopathy, Sutter Medical Foundation.
He may be reached online or at his Sacramento Office (916) 446-2591.




Placer County News Headlines

Inter-Faith Task Force Seeks New MembersThe Roseville Police Department is hosting an Inter-Faith Task Force comprised of congregational leaders and security teams for churches and other

Lake Tahoe Basin Community Plan Environmental ReviewWith the release of the Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the Environmental Impact Statement/Report, the ongoing update to the complex Tahoe Basin Community Plan continues to make progress

Preventive Autism Treatment Focus of Research AwardsResearch could affect nearly one in every four cases of autism among children in the U.S.

Simple Changes Helping California Small Businesses and EntrepreneursIt's not easy doing business in California. In order to be successful, business owners must overcome many challenges, one of which is dealing with California's complicated tax system

Hyundai scores with Santa Fe SUVsOne of Hyundai's more impressive vehicles is the 2014 Santa Fe, a sport utility vehicle that has three rows and seats seven. It replaced the 2012 Veracruz in the Hyundai lineup.

Adoption Involving Fetal Alcohol SyndromeLaura Bloch adored his picture. "My husband and I had just been approved through an adoption agency and the agency sent out a letter with a picture of a child on it,"

Placer County Wines Honored with 52 AwardsPlacer County Wine Trail wines have delighted judges' taste buds again at this year's California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

Border Crisis and Illegal Immigration in the United StatesCongressman McClintock recently delivered the following remarks on the House floor regarding the United States Border Crisis.

Influences of Cognitive Abilities in Old Age StudyEarly life experiences, such as childhood socioeconomic status and literacy, may have greater influence on the risk of cognitive impairment late in life than such demographic characteristics

Big Check Scam Targets Roseville BusinessRoseville, CA -- Recently a Roseville business person received a large order for merchandise from an overseas destination.

Supervisors Convene at Squaw Valley for Tahoe IssuesPlacer County, CA -- Under warm and partly cloudy July Sierra Nevada skies, the Placer Board of Supervisors held a regularly scheduled two-day meeting in Squaw Valley.

Should Art be added to STEM?The Sierra College STEM Collaborative published "Exploring STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics" by Elizabeth Dayton, Ph.D. to explore the evidence in support of adding arts and innovation to the national effort to encourage STEM education and careers.


more news