Have you ever gone to the doctors and had them discuss your blood work? Most likely yes. If we are in the ‘normal range’ the discussion is short. Sometimes there will be a phone call after the fact letting us know that ‘everything looks good.’

Occasionally we may hear that our cholesterol or sugar is a little high so we will keep an eye on it. You may even receive the advice to cut back on fried foods and red meat or watch your sugar intake. Neither is specifically helpful or how to actually do this effectively, but that’s another blog.

If you fall into the normal range, there’s a belief there’s not much to discuss. But is this always the case? Is this the best approach to prevention and staying as healthy as you can be to improve the chances of a long healthspan, not just a long lifespan?

What is considered ‘normal?’

Let’s look at what the ‘normal ranges’ mean. These are based on ranges of what the normal American population has. Keep in mind, the American population is overall unhealthy mainly because of the Standard American Diet known as the SAD diet. This is partially why the ‘normal’ ranges have changed over the years and not necessarily for the better. Falling into the normal ranges does not mean you are healthy or even safe from developing future issues. Of course, it doesn’t mean you are not healthy either.

Confused? Stay with me

How often in these conversations do the health professionals go back into your blood work history, let’s say five or six years? Probably never. The issues lie in the trends that occur leading up to whatever it is that’s happening currently. We don’t suddenly develop the ‘highs’ – blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar or autoimmune diseases. 

By tracking your bloodwork, blood pressure and any other tests that are run annually or over a period of time, you can become your own health advocate and work alongside your health professional as a partner instead of relying on them to do all the work.

Whenever you have diagnostic tests done, like bloodwork, keep track yourself. Note your levels in a chart, calendar or just print out your results and keep them in a file. Annually, or whenever it is that you have your blood work done, compare the current measurements to the years before. Do this with weight, blood pressure and any other measurements taken. Do you notice any trends? Often, we can spot these unhealthy trends before they need serious remediation like with medicine, a total diet overhaul, or worse, surgery.

*If your health professional isn’t interested in your input, questions or ‘partnership’ it may be time to find a new one.