3 Blood Tests Everyone Should Request

Your doctor’s office has become an all-too-familiar scene — the sterilized room with an aroma of disinfectant wafting through the air. This scene can become especially frustrating if, even after a string of visits, your doctor still can’t find anything wrong. Your doctor has probably already been ordering the basic tests. But what if these reveal little or nothing about why you don’t feel right? The three blood tests listed here go beyond the basics and help to dig a little deeper into what’s truly going on.

You should feel comfortable taking charge of your health and talking openly with your doctor. Once you know about the tests that are available to you, you will be able to request them from your doctor. You deserve answers to your health questions, and these tests may help give you just that.

3 Blood Tests Everyone Should Request

1. Fasting Insulin Test

If you have a history of diabetes in your family, your doctor may already be monitoring your blood glucose levels, which is great. But in order to get the full picture, you should also request a fasting insulin test. Why? Well, in order to keep you feeling steady, there is always some amount of insulin circulating in your blood; this is your body’s way of keeping your blood glucose at normal levels, even between meals.

If a fasting insulin test reveals a low level of insulin in your blood (3 or below), this signals that your body isn’t getting the insulin that it needs to regulate glucose levels and could be a sign of type I diabetes. On the other hand, if your test shows that your insulin levels are too high, this could be a warning that you’ve become insulin resistant. This is a warning sign that you’re either pre-diabetic or have metabolic syndrome.

2. Full Thyroid Panel

Thyroid issues, such as Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s disease, are cropping up more and more. Early discovery of thyroid problems is paramount to getting your health back on track. Many doctors only order the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test, but this only gives a tiny piece of the bigger puzzle. In addition to this hormone, your thyroid also produces thyroxine (T4), tri-iodothyronine (T3), and Reverse T3 – all of which are included in the full thyroid panel.

You should especially request this comprehensive test if you have a family history of thyroid problems or have recently been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or a pituitary disorder.

3. High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP)

The medical field is realizing more and more the role that inflammation plays in disease. To that end, the high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein test can be one of the most helpful in determining risk. C-Reactive Protein is produced by the liver in response to inflammation. High levels of this C-Reactive Protein can be indicative of infection, an immune disorder, or even cancer. Many physicians also use this to determine risk of coronary heart disease, the first symptom of which is inflammation in the arteries.

If your doctor is truly concerned about your health, then he or she should welcome your input and involvement in finding any problems and working towards a beneficial solution. Take charge, and discuss these tests with your doctor at your next visit.

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