The standard blood tests you get during a regular check-up are essential for maintaining your overall wellness – but there are some less common, equally important tests your doctor may not order as part of an exam. These tests can reveal crucial information about your health and might explain any unusual symptoms you’re experiencing.
Here are a few tests worth asking your doctor about during your next visit, as recommended by InVite® Health’s Scientific Director, Jerry Hickey, R.Ph:
- HBA1c. This is a panoramic view of your blood sugar levels over a three-month period. HBA1c testing is a useful indicator of how well the blood glucose level has been controlled over the past three months. The results may be used to monitor the effects of diet, exercise, and medications on your blood sugar levels.
- C-Peptide. This is a useful addition to cholesterol and triglyceride tests. C-peptide and insulin are produced at the same rate in your body, so C-peptide testing is a helpful tool in monitoring insulin production.
- Oxidized LDL. This test lets you know if your cholesterol is going rancid – even if your levels are low, if cholesterol becomes oxidized it’s very dangerous. This test also lets you know if you need to consume more fat-soluble antioxidants.
- HS-CRP. This test checks for inflammation in the heart and arteries by measuring C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the liver, which indicates inflammation. HS-CRP testing can help predict your risk of heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death.
Do you have more questions about Cholesterol? Read Jerry Hickey’s, “The Cholesterol Problem: LDL and HDL”
If you have blood pressure issues, heightened risk of heart disease, or obesity, add the following:
- NT-proBNP. Measures levels of the protein NT-proBNP to find the condition of heart cells. According to a study led by a researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, this blood test can accurately predict the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and death in patients with known cardiovascular disease.
- Apo A-1. Apo A-1, a main ingredient in HDL, recycles cholesterol from the tissues back to the liver for further processing. It also prevents cholesterol from forming plaque in the arteries. This test helps evaluate risk factors for heart disease by measuring the levels of Apo A-1 in your blood.
- Apo B-100. Apo B is a protein found on the surface of LDL particles (“bad” cholesterol). This test measures Apo-B levels to find out how many particles of bad cholesterol your blood contains.
- Fragment size of HDL and LDL. This test determines the size of HDL particles as compares to LDL particles to help you make better choices in maintaining a proper level of cholesterol.
Read “Natural Remedies for Healthy Blood Sugar” by Nicole Crane, BS, NTP.
If you are anemic or currently experiencing fatigue, add the following:
- Thyroid Panel. Your thyroid maintains many of your body’s major functions, and when it is either overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism), you’ll likely experience symptoms ranging from extreme fatigue to weight changes, insomnia, anxiety and more. A thyroid panel should include testing for TSH, T3, T4, Free T3, and Reverse T3.
- Iron Test. Iron testing should include ferritin, TIBC and percent saturation, all of which may help determine either too much or too little iron in your body.
- Gluten Sensitivity Test. There are several tests that can determine gluten sensitivity. It’s worth having your gluten sensitivity checked at least once, even if you don’t have symptoms.
Speak to your doctor for more information about these tests and others that are a concern to you.
Source: Jerry Hickey, R. Ph