How do labs help me meet my goals?

When I started nutrition coaching almost a decade ago, I didn’t have the ability to order labs and much of the planning was based on elimination diets and existing symptoms. We would often miss important information that would help with long-term success. Now as a functional medicine practitioner, we can pinpoint root cause through lab testing and specify imbalances in your personal biochemistry. Here is just a sample of what lab testing can do for you:

  • Deficiency in nutrients such as vitamin D, iron, magnesium, B12 and zinc can explain so many conditions such as PCOS, chronic fatigue, muscle spasms/cramps, immune system deficiency, headaches/migraines and anxiety/depression.
  • The solution to cardiovascular disease involves so much more than cholesterol. We need to see inflammatory markers, homocysteine and proper levels of B12, folate and other nutrients.
  • The cause of thyroid hormone imbalance cannot be identified through the TSH screening test alone. There are many causes to thyroid issues such as antibodies, nutrient deficiency, excess cortisol, pituitary dysfunction (rare) and failure of the thyroid gland itself. In fact, there are 6 tests total that help define root cause.
  • Intestinal issues are common root causes to many conditions. Yeast overgrowth, food sensitivities, leaky gut and excess inflammation can all be identified through blood tests. Triggers can be identified so we can correct and heal.
  • The liver’s ability to metabolize toxins is essential to overall body function. Years of alcohol use, junk food, smoking and medications can burden the liver. Lab testing reveals any issues, so we can correct them and track progress in healing.

Often your primary care physician can order these lab markers for you, but are unable to get all of them due to insurance contract guidelines. I am happy to work with your physician’s labs or help you order your own labs. Keep in mind that every piece of information that we have or are missing determines how successful you will be. Because insurance companies consider such testing “exploratory” without a diagnosis, we cannot bill labs to your insurance company. However, some HSAs (health savings accounts) will reimburse you with a physician’s diagnosis and referral to me as a clinical nutritionist.

Why can’t I lose weight despite dieting and exercising?

In my practice people often come to me with the problem of stubborn weight loss, despite workouts 5 days per week and a healthy diet. What used to work for them no longer works and frustration is high. The good news is that there is an explanation and it can be corrected. The bad news is that it can be one or many of the following reasons:

  • Chronic stress causes cortisol levels to rise in the body. Cortisol not only tells the body to store fat, but blocks important hormones such as thyroid.
  • Inflammation from food sensitivities, injuries and intestinal overgrowth such as Candida yeast leads to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance increases fat storage.
  • Toxins from medications, chemicals, body care products, pesticides and plastics burden the liver. Without proper nutrients, the liver cannot metabolize them and stores them in fat.
  • Chronic “yo-yo dieting” lowers the body’s metabolism and fat-free diets remove the building blocks to proper hormone balance and ability to burn fat.
  • Toxins such as chlorine and fluoride reside in the thyroid where iodine should reside, causing hypothyroidism.
  • Clients may unknowingly take supplements that are toxic or harmful for their specific body chemistry again causing inflammation and fat storage.
  • Physical activity or the exercise routine may not be proper for the client’s current condition or stage of life, causing adrenal fatigue, high cortisol, low metabolism, injury or fat storage.

Correcting these issues can be as simple as discussing your medical history and lifestyle questionnaire with me. Keep in mind that as a functional medicine practitioner and clinical nutritionist, I will be looking at lab work through a different lens of what is considered a healthy range for meeting your goals. After an initial assessment and lab review, we will meet again to present your personalized plan to sustained weight loss and better health.

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