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 HeadlinesPlacer Vineyards granted Regional General PermitJust west of Roseville, Placer Vineyards was granted its Regional General Permit
Roseville Flash Police Digest UpdateRoseville, CA- The latest from Roseville Police activity log updates covering the period of January 5- 12, 2017.
Volvo S90: New luxury sedan replaces S80Roseville, CA- The new, rather cool 2017 Volvo S90, which becomes the Swedish automaker's flagship sedan. The S90 has little in common with the S80 and is newly designed from the ground up.
Going Up Again; Roseville Gas PricesRoseville, CA- Going up. As anticipated, gas prices continue pushing higher in Roseville and around the country heading to
VW to Pay $4.3 Billion in Emissions Cheating Conspiracy CaseVolkswagen AG Agrees to Plead Guilty and Pay $4.3 Billion in Criminal and Civil Penalties; Six Volkswagen Executives and Employees are Indicted in Connection
FBI Teen Academy Applications Available OnlineRoseville, CA -The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Sacramento field office in Roseville is accepting applications for the Spring 2017 FBI Teen Academy
New Director for Sacramento Valley National Cemetery The Department of Veterans Affairs has named Michael H. Henshaw as the new Director of Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, CA
2017 Poetry Out Loud January 29Poetry Out Loud, sponsored by PlacerArts and the California Arts Council, is an annual event that leads Placer County high school students in learning and understanding
Crab Feed Tickets on Sale: Sierra College PatronsThe Sierra College Patron's Crab and Shrimp Feed will be held on Friday, February 17 at the McBean Pavilion, 65 McBean Park Drive, Lincoln, CA 95648.
UC Davis Health Appoints New CIO(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - Following an extensive nationwide search, UC Davis Health has appointed William Showalter as Chief Information Officer (CIO).
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Shutting Down the CircusRoseville, CA- Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, the colorful icon of traveling circus entertainment is packing up the tent following a rich and storied history that dates back to the 1800's.
Grand Opening Festivities at McBean Stadium January 21LINCOLN, Calif. - The revitalization effort of McBean Stadium is the result of a joint partnership between the City of Lincoln and William Jessup University