How Routine Blood Testing Can Help You Live a Longer, Healthier Life

Routine blood testing provides a powerful tool to improve your mental and physical performance, reduce your future risk of chronic disease, and to increase your longevity.

Blood tests are used to diagnose disease but blood work is most powerful when used to monitor your health in a more proactive way.

The two main approaches to using blood work in this way are regular testing of specific biomarkers as well as tracking the values of one or more specific biomarkers over time and plotting them on graphs.

Blood tests allow you to take an inside look at your body and how it functions. Getting regular blood work is the closest thing we have to see inside the body. Understanding your blood biomarkers — the interior signs of health — will enable you to make more informed decisions about your diet, lifestyle, fitness, and supplement choices.

routine blood testing

Track Cholesterol & Cardiovascular Disease Risk With Routine Blood Testing

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that travels in your blood and helps your body digest food. Most of it is made by your liver. Having too much cholesterol in your blood increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and strokes. When you get tested for total blood cholesterol levels at your doctor’s office, you will usually receive results for two types: HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein).

Both HDL and LDL are forms of cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends these guidelines for adults:

If your LDL level is between 100–129 mg/dL, you have a borderline high or elevated risk for developing heart disease. If it’s 130–159 mg/dL, you have high blood cholesterol. And if it's 160 or higher, you have very high blood cholesterol and an increased risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.

Your HDL number should be above 40 mg/dL to help reduce your risk of heart disease. But if you do develop heart disease despite having what appears to be normal levels of HDL, that could mean that there are other factors at play beyond cholesterol levels in your blood.

For example, some people may carry extra weight around their midsection—and having too much abdominal fat can raise blood pressure and lead to irregular heartbeat even when total blood cholesterol is normal.

More than 70% of chronic diseases are preventable. Blood tests can help you to identify if you are at increased risk for developing a chronic disease such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, lung disease, or diabetes. Severe medical conditions can go undetected for years — without evident symptoms, but having routine blood tests can act as an early warning system.

Especially if. you are able to visual track them.

Lab Me allows you to not only test this from home but track it graphically overtime to ensure your lifestyle choices are moving you in the right direction.

Monitor Inflammation With Routine Blood Testing

Chronic inflammation has been associated with cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even depression.

Measuring your inflammatory markers can be an important tool to help you avoid long-term health problems. This means taking your blood pressure regularly and keeping track of any symptoms that might be signs of increased inflammation in your body (fatigue or difficulty sleeping are common culprits).

Make sure to keep tabs on your C-reactive protein levels as well. Research has shown CRP levels above 3 milligrams per liter of blood may predict heart attack risk. Once you have some baseline measurements—based on what’s normal for you—you can watch for trends and make necessary changes.

A steady uptick in blood pressure could mean lifestyle changes like more sleep or better eating habits need to happen ASAP. If a CRP level steadily creeps up, perhaps it’s time to see your doctor about reducing stress levels so you don't have to worry about extra years off your life! Blood tracking is powerful stuff but only if you take note of what those tests say about your body's current state. With regular monitoring and adjustments based on those results, your blood testing can help ensure longevity no matter how old you get!

Check Thyroid Functioning With Routine Blood Testing

The thyroid is a gland in your neck that releases hormones to keep you healthy. Problems with your thyroid can lead to hypothyroidism and weight gain.

The most accurate way to track thyroid function is through blood testing. If you’re suffering from weight gain or fatigue, get checked for an underactive or overactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism often leads to depression; an overactive one can cause anxiety and panic attacks—two other things that make it hard to lose weight.

To avoid these symptoms and stay on top of your health, talk with your doctor about blood tests for both your brain and metabolism. They might be able to help you lose some unwanted pounds!

Lab Me offers two of the most comprehensive thyroid tests available today. Not only do you get the results but you get recommendations on what to do and you are able to ask our doctors anything you want, at any time for no additional cost.

But My Doctor Said Nothing Was Wrong

Just because your doctor doesn’t think something is wrong with you doesn’t mean it isn’t. The average patient sees over five different doctors in their lifetime.

Each of those doctors typically does lab tests and recommends medications that your other health care providers aren’t aware of. There is a wealth of medical information that lives outside your doctor's office—and there's nothing stopping you from getting access to it.

With just one blood test, you cant be confident that all health issues are identified and addressed. It's a snapshot in time. Think of it as investing in a company. You would want to look at the historical chart to be able to make the decision.

Some biomarkers like cortisol and ferritin can fluctuate majorly throughout the day. Maybe it was a bad day and things were elevated but if you cant look at it historically then you can't make a properly informed decision.

If everything checks out as normal, then great—at least now you know for sure! But if something does show up on your blood work report, now you have some actionable advice to pursue before symptoms become irreversible problems down the road.

Their doctor quickly scans their blood test results during their 10-minute consult, looking for any flagged values within a wide reference range.

If they don’t see any disease patterns, they just send the patient on their way.

This is a major frustration for the patient because they don’t get any information from this blood work they just did — and those results are a goldmine of information especially tracked over time.

Having routine blood work will help you make better lifestyle choices so that you can be your best self as early as possible in life to avoid more serious problems down the road.

It will also identify markers for future disease risks so that you can make changes now to prevent illness in the future rather than have to try to fix it when it has progressed into full-blown disease later on.

Blood tracking provides a way forward. It gives you actionable advice on what steps you need to take next before something becomes irreversible or causes pain down the road. Because there is no doctor personally monitoring your health every day, wouldn't it be great if your body could keep tabs on itself?

Aim For Optimal, Not Normal, In Your Routine Blood Testing

Being healthy does not mean being normal. For example, normal blood pressure can be either too high or too low for you depending on your age and other factors.

So instead of aiming for normal blood pressure—what's usually considered to be less than 120/80—, you should aim for optimal blood pressure: A reading that falls between 120/80 and 130/85 is ideal. And while it may seem drastic to aim so high in one measurement, research shows that doing so can make a big difference in your health.

In fact, optimal numbers in your lab tests are linked with reduced rates of heart disease and stroke as well as better control of diabetes and osteoporosis—the latter of which means less bone loss over time.

Anemia is another condition where knowing your lab test results can help keep you on track to wellness; an anemic person has fewer red blood cells than normal and therefore less oxygen-carrying capacity.

Though mild cases aren't always noticeable, moderate anemia creates feelings of fatigue and weakness while severe cases can leave people feeling breathless at rest. Fortunately, just knowing about how anemia can impact performance helps motivate some people to eat more iron-rich foods or seek out additional treatment if needed.

A much better representation of health would be to know the reference ranges of healthier populations of people with whom you can compare your data, such as those who have a healthy metabolic function and no chronic disease, who take no medications, are non-smokers and exercise regularly.

Knowing normal lab values is important but not enough: It's one thing to learn about normal lab values for standard blood tests and measurements. But that doesn't mean that you're going to magically feel great when your numbers are in the normal range.

Unfortunately, there is not an easy way to determine the optimal range for each test without compiling all the research that has ever been done on each one.

For some tests, it is good to be closer to the middle of the range, while for others it is best to be at the top or bottom end of the range.

However, you will be way ahead of most people if you simply get a comprehensive blood test every three months and track it graphically so that you can share this with your doctor. In this way, you can see if there are any major changes to your historical blood data — whether or not you know the optimal ranges for each one.

With Lab Me we make that simple, affordable and convenient. You can even share your dashboard with your doctor or trusted loved one. And you are able to download a PDF report to easily show it to your health care provider.

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