Know Your Numbers!
First of all, let’s make the disclaimer that you should always consult a physician for any new supplement or workout program you choose and of course nothing on this page as medical advice.
Now that we have that out of the way let’s talk about what’s possible and what type of testing is available without having to go to your doctor’s office. The most simple metric you can use to determine your current health status is body fat percentage. We believe it’s the single best metric you can have. Go to Amazon and buy a $25 body fat measuring tool, if you dont already have one on your scale at home.
If you want something even deeper, you need to start looking at your blood. You will probably see us recommend a company called Life Extension quite a bit and we will continue to make the notification that we have no affiliation with this company (at the time of this writing, we dont even have an affiliate link from them). They simply offer a wide line of top-quality supplements and most importantly blood testing. You can get tests for hormones, DNA, allergies, brain health, weight management, thyroid and more. Life Extension offers tests for all of these and many times about 75% less than conventional labs and you do not need to visit a physician to get the blood tests done. You simply find the test you would like pay for it on their website and they will send you a PDF copy to your email that you bring to a local laboratory who will take your blood test. Within a matter of days you will have the results available to you online.
There are two main tests we particularly like from life extension. The first one being a nutrient panel which measures a combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in your body. These are things that are always great to know or in your body and at the right amounts. A blood test is one of the only ways to really get a good gauge on things like how much of each of these vitamins and nutrients are in your body: vitamin B-12, vitamin A, zinc, folate, vitamin C, co-Q10, vitamin D, selenium, RBC magnesium. The cost of this panel is roughly $275-$350 depending on discounts available at the time of your purchase. You don’t need a doctor’s visit and the price includes the lab visit, tele-med doctor’s approval and all lab costs. You can purchase the test here: Nutrient Panel Blood Test
For Vegans & Vegetarians (carnivores & omnivores… you can skip this one):
Additionally if you are vegan or vegetarian you should take particular concern with vitamin B12 and iron levels which can be very difficult to get from a completely plant-based diet. The vegan/vegetarian panel covers additional items that the standard nutrient panel does not cover (there is some overlap): CBC, CMP, lipid profile, iron, folate, B12, Vitamin D, TSH.
CBC is your complete blood count with differential and platelets.
CMP is the comprehensive metabolic panel. It gives you the status of kidney liver electrolyte and acid-base balance or alkaline. It also tells you your blood sugar which is your glucose and blood protein. That’s your total protein albumin and globulin levels.
You get a lipid profile which is your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides which help you determine your risk for coronary heart disease. Some vegans have cholesterol that is too low.
Ferritin, iron and TIBC assess and measure the amount of iron in your body and helps differentiate between types of anemia. Vegans and vegetarians are often low in iron which can cause a host of health issues.
Your folate level should also be analyzed in your vegan or vegetarian blood panel because a higher than normal folate levels combined with low vitamin B12 can magnify vitamin D deficiency issues.
Vitamin B12 – a deficiency causes anemia, fatigue and weakness. This is a very serious issue that will ultimately lead to reversible nerve damage.
Vitamin D analysis determines how much vitamin D you have in your system because vitamin D is fat-soluble, plant-based diets are prone to vitamin D deficiencies.
And finally your TSH test is a great test for vegans and vegetarians to ensure proper thyroid function and to address iodine deficiency.
Vegan/Vegetarian Panel Blood Test
Hormone testing is not just for older people going through menopause or men who have passed their prime. Hormone testing is key to understand what is really going on in your body especially with hormones like testosterone and progesterone. if you’re interested in your health at all we highly suggest getting either a male hormone panel or female hormone panel. Both measure specific hormones that are central to your health and your sex drive. the hormone panels will test your sex hormones like DHEA-S, DHT, testosterone, estradiol, pregnancy alone, total estrogens and progesterone, estrone, SHBG (which is your sex hormone binding globulin). You’ll get results for your stress hormone known as cortisol. High levels of cortisol can lead to a tremendous number of health issues and we highly recommend reading up about how high levels of cortisol can be detrimental to your health. Your thyroid home hormones will be analyzed and you can get numbers of your TSH your free T3 and free T4 and reverse T3 numbers. This will let you know if your thyroid is functioning properly and give you an idea of what you can do to help enhance thyroid production. you also get general health workers like a complete metabolic panel with lipids which help tell you about your cholesterol levels. You’ll get a complete blood count you also get vitamin D and chemo glow in readings. In addition to this get cardiac markers which can help give you an idea if you have signs of early heart disease. Prostate cancer markers are determined with PSA results. And finally you’ll get your endocrine hormone numbers. This is insulin as well as Insulin Like Growth Factor 1 or IGF-1.
Male Panel Blood Test
Female Panel Blood Test
A lot of these metrics might sound confusing but when you get the test results they will tell you if your numbers are either in-line or out of spec and then you simply Google the best and easiest way to remedy what you might be deficient in or have too much of. You can bet that a small investment in testing will lead to an amazing amount of information and will help you get your health tuned for optimal performance.