I recommend that all my clients bring in their labs for me to review, even after they have had a visit with the ordering doctor (MD). Why? In short – so clients get better care. I am very much opposed to sloppy health care.
I hear all the time “that was checked, it came back normal”, especially from new clients. My first internal reaction is frustration, but it’s really not the client’s fault. It comforts people to believe their doctors are paying attention and that our health care system is taking care of them. Sometimes this even happens. But they simply are not informed about what “normal” means. “Normal” means the numbers fall within the reference range set out by the labs. Okay, I know, boring.
And, it has nothing to do with “optimal” and it is not the same thing as “healthy”.
Medical doctors within our health care system are concerned with disease. They are looking for a diagnosis; if there is a diagnosis, then they know how to treat (procedure or drug, sometimes lifestyle). But being free from a disease is not equivalent to being healthy or feeling good. How many times have I met with a client who feels terrible, but looks great on paper? Lots. The other issue is one of skimming, just looking for the numbers that are high or low, or fall out of range, without looking at the values as a whole to gain understanding of what’s going on.
And BTW, lifestyle intervention is a whole lot more effective when you catch an issue BEFORE it becomes a frank disease. And I just don’t see this happening in our public medical system.
I’ll give you an example relating to standard red blood cell count (RBC). What if your RBC is slightly low, but within normal range? We need to look at other values, like the RBC size and variation in size to get a clearer picture. From my experience this simply doesn’t happen in the typical MD’s office (and it’s not their job to do that either). It’s just considered “normal”. Meanwhile the patient could be suffering from low iron, or B12 or zinc and never know about it.
I’ll give you another example – low iron. Lots of people have low iron, the solution is simple, right? Take an iron supplement. But what about the cause? Is it always low intake? No, absolutely not.
I think we deserve better information and better health care and I want Canadians to stop being so passive and start taking responsibility for their own health. What’s at stake is too great – without health, no wealth, no ability to accomplish dreams and very little life enjoyment.
This is why I am in practice – to put people in charge of their health. This is also why I am offering group visits for standard lab reviews (and more). These visits will empower clients with information and understanding so they (you) can interpret their/your own blood work and understand it, to see if more digging needs to be done and to be able to optimize your own health.
Group visits are also supportive, community-building and economical. Win, win, win.
Be an early adopter of a major, positive transition in health care. Check out the group visit options.