What is the truth behind lab testing and how you can use this information to improve your health? I’m Dr. Tom Rofrano from The Natural Medicine Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. I have had the opportunity to see over 100,000 patient visits over the last 37 years. One of the main ways that I use to determine someone’s root causes in order to help them is through comprehensive lab testing.
Standard Lab Tests Aren’t Enough
What many people don’t realize is that when they go to their doctor’s office to get testing done it is just very basic testing that only looks for a few different things. You get a CBC (complete blood count), chemistry panel, lipids, and TSH. They’re looking for high cholesterol, diabetes, and thyroid issues, so anything beyond that is being missed. When you go in and you’re having fatigue, gut issues, pain, headaches, insomnia, and anxiety, they just check these things and say it is very comprehensive. They say they are checking everything but they’re only looking for those three things.
Does Your Doctor Say It Must Be All in Your Head
If you don’t fall into those categories, and many don’t, then the response is “oh, everything’s fine, your lab work looks good, and it must all be in your head. Why don’t you just take this antidepressant? Take this for anxiety. Oh, you’re tired and have a lack of focus and concentration so take some Adderall. Is that eczema? Take this medication.” You leave not knowing what’s going on and thinking it’s all in your head. You must be depressed and feel even worse about everything.
Uncover the Root Causes
Most medical doctors aren’t searching for the root causes of all these ailments but instead write prescriptions to mask symptoms. Coincidentally, the top three prescribed medications in the United States are statin drugs for cholesterol, levothyroxine or Synthroid for hypothyroidism, and metformin for diabetes. Those are the main three things doctors run lab work to check for. What I like to do is take a comprehensive approach, and when you get lab testing, I suggest more comprehensive lab testing besides the basic three.
Case Study of a 26-Year-Old Woman
I saw a 26-year-old female patient who was having fatigue, anxiety, gut symptoms, pain, headaches, insomnia, eczema, was feeling miserable, couldn’t lose weight, and she was overweight.
Besides the basic three panels I also checked her iron levels. She had low ferritin, low iron, low saturation, and I also checked CRP (C-Reactive Protein), GTL, DHA and ANA. She had high CRP which indicated inflammation. Her ANA, which is an autoimmune marker, was high. She also had elevated uric acid, which can contribute to joint pain and inflammation.
Complete thyroid labs include TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, TPO, and thyroid antibodies. Those thyroid labs were normal. Her DHEA and cortisol for adrenals were normal yet she had high testosterone which causes its own set of issues. We check other hormones as well, and with this health panel, often check these basic three or four vitamins or markers: Vitamin D, folic acid, red blood cell, magnesium, and homocysteine.
Lab Test Results Lead to Root Causes
When I get these results back and see these findings, a question I like to ask is what’s causing the pain and this autoimmune condition? I want to know what’s causing the inflammation, low iron and all of these issues. I like to take a root cause approach and do some functional testing, and the five main areas of testing are deficiencies, toxins, infections, hormonal imbalance, and food reactions.
In the above-referenced case, this patient had multiple deficiencies including vitamin A, some B Vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. She had high levels of heavy metals and Candida yeast overgrowth. Her hormonal imbalances showed low levels of adrenal hormones and high estrogen. She had a very high gluten sensitivity as well as sensitivity to yeast, dairy, and almonds. She had a leaky gut on top of that, and high inflammatory markers in her gut.
Treating the Root Causes and Balancing the Body
Once we discover what the root causes are, we can work on solutions. I do this through diet and supplements. The diet I developed years ago when I was discovering how to help myself with the autoimmune Hashimoto’s, elevated rheumatoid antibodies, chronic gut issues, IBS, fatigue, and skin issues.
The diet is called The FreeDiet® because it is free of gluten, grains, sugar, yeast, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes, night shades, and processed foods—those foods that are most commonly responsible for inflammation, gut and other chronic health issues.
In addition to The FreeDiet®, I add our Natural Medicine Formulas® supplements. I start most patients on what I call the functional five: ActivMulti™, OmegaSorb™3X fish oil, D3 5000 +K2, Magnesium Malate, and PriobioXtreme™.
Depending on the lab tests, I’ll add in other supplements like Curcumin Protect, which helps with inflammatory support, gut support, as well address the nutrient deficiencies the patients have. This patient had low adrenal hormones so I add in supplements to support that as well as for her Metal Cleanse™. Liver Support to support detoxification is a good idea in addition to the other supplements.
Her Improvements at One Month
After lab testing at one month, her ANA autoimmune marker was normal. Her CRP inflammation marker, uric acid levels, liver enzymes, iron, ferritin, iron saturation, and her high testosterone were all normal.
Her gut symptoms improved, eczema was better, had more energy, and dropped 17 lbs. At 3 months, she dropped 26 lbs reaching her goal weight. Her eczema was still cleared up and her gut was even better.
When you find the root causes and are provided with the right solutions, I believe almost anyone can get better.
If you need help with your health issues, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.